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DESTINATIONS

Nazca

History of Nazca

The first published mention of the Nazca Lines was by Pedro Cieza de León in his book of 1553, and he mistook them for trail markers. The Nazca drew geoglyphs and lines across the surrounding deserts and hills which were either stylized drawings of animals, plants, and humans or simple lines which connected sacred sites or pointed to water sources. Their exact purpose is disputed, but the most widely held theory is that they were designed to be walked along as part of religious rites and processions. The lines were made remarkably easily and quickly by removing the oxidized darker surface rocks which lay closely scattered across the lighter colored desert pampa floor. Most designs are only visible from the air, but some were made on hillsides and so are visible from the ground. The Nazca Lines are legendary. Stretching across nearly 200 square miles of high arid plateau, these drawings of hundreds of figures range from giant spiders to vast geometric shapes, to enormous monkeys as large as 890 feet (roughly two and a half football fields). Hummingbirds, fish, sharks or orcas, llamas, and lizards—and, according to some, astronauts, aliens, and landing zones—are all depicted in these enormous line drawings.

All Places in Nazca

Nazca Lines

Giant ancient line art is drawn in the Peruvian desert so large that it can only be fully seen from the sky.

Chauchilla Cemetery

Plundered and left asunder by grave robbers, this ancient necropolis has been painstakingly pieced back together.

Cahuachi

Nazca pilgrimage site covering 370 acres is a popular stop for archeologists and looters.

Cerro Blanco

This unimaginably large pile of sand near Nazca is one of the tallest dunes in the world.

Nazca Lines Observation Tower

This metal tower in the desert provides views of a handful of Nazca geoglyphs.

The Paredones

These overlooked ruins give an intimate look at the Inca Empire’s urban planning prowess.

Maria Reiche Museum

A museum dedicated to the German scientist who revealed the significance of the mysterious Peruvian Nazca Lines.

Museo Antonini

This archaeological museum in one of Peru’s most intriguing regions exhibits ancient artifacts from the Nazca civilization.

Puquios

The sophisticated hydraulic system of the Nazca civilization.

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Nazca, Peru Average Annual Weather

In Nazca, the summers are hot, arid, and mostly cloudy and the winters are short, comfortable, dry, and mostly clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 59°F to 86°F and is rarely below 56°F or above 89°F.

Nazca

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