Travel With Me! #8 PERU: The Nazca Lines! One Of The World's Greatest Mysteries!
Hey everyone!! I'm so excited about this post!
THE NAZCA LINES!
If you used to watch the discovery channel in the 90's and early 00's, the chances are you saw a documentary about these famous Nazca lines. The cheesier the documentary was, the crazier the theories were! Inkas? Mayans? Aliens?!
Regardless of how they got here, they're a must see when you're visiting the beautiful country of Peru! I'm going to tell you exactly how to see them, theories, how much to pay and what else you can do here!
- The lines were created between 500BC and 500CE. Making them over 1500 years old.
- They were first acknowledged in 1553 in a book by Pedro Cieza de León. However, they were first people to report the lines were the Peruvian Military and some Civilian Pilots.
- The depth of the lines are between 10 and 15cm deep. They were made by removing the top layer of Ion-Oxide stones to unveil the lighter soil beneath. The lack of wind and the fact that it's one of the driest deserts on the planet help preserve the lines.
- The original lines are actually from the Paracas culture, this culture is believed to have inspired the Nazca lines. These Paracas lines are also visible during the flight!
- Some of the lines depict animals including a Whale, Monkey, Spider and Hummingbird. However, the Condor is the longest, spanning 440ft!
The City Of Nazca
This incredible mystery is situated in the typical desert city of Nazca in southern Peru, just 4 hours south of Huacachina, the famous oasis town or a 10 hour bus journey north from Arequipa. Nazca city isn't really much to look at itself but it is bursting with history. The lines take up the bigger chunk of the tourist industry here but there are also the open graves of the Nazca cemetery, yes, OPEN. As well as the Ancient Cantalloc Aqueducts and the ruins of the ancient civilisation.
The locals are desperately trying to market these other activities and show that the city is much more than just the kilometre-long pictures drawn in the desert. Personally, I think it's important to go and see these other highlights, simply because that in a few decades, sun bleaching, environmental changes and careless tourists are going to make it impossible to enjoy and learn from this history.
Seeing The Lines
How It Works
Okay, so there's only one way that you can see the lines and that's from above! Approximately 1500ft above to be exact. There's a small 'airport' to the South-West of the city that is just a glorified landing strip made to feel like an airport.
Regardless of how or where you purchase your tickets beforehand, you will need to come through the main building here at AeroNazca. You can also just rock up to the airport and purchase a ticket so don't worry if you can't find a place to buy one!
After weighing you on a scale, the staff of your chosen ticket provider will take your bags and send you through security and eventually out onto the runway and in to the plane!
The planes are tiny, only fitting 8 people including the pilot and the guide. It's a little cramped but it does feel a lot more personal with a small amount of people.
Once you're up in the air the guide will tell you which drawings you will be seeing and on which side. They circle the lines 2 times, once for the left side of the plane, again for the right side. If for some reason you didn't see it, they will go back around for you! Which I thought was a really nice touch, however, no one needed a re-run on my trip.
This is 'The Astronaut'. 63m tall and seems to be waving to the sky! One of my favourites of the day! Can You see it?
Like with most tours when you're travelling, everyone claims to have 'The Best Price'. This may be the standard with Mayan tours in Mexico, snorkel tours in Thailand or any other small scale activity around the world, but here the price is set.
Booking the tour from Nazca, you have 2 options. the 30 minute flight or the 60 minute flight.
The difference between the 2 flights are the amount of drawings that you will see. There's in fact many more than you probably know about! There's the famous set of lines, that includes the Spider, Whale, Parrot, etc. And then there's the older set of lines. These are less geometrical and more like a child's drawings. I like to think that they were practice drawings when they were just learning how to make them!
'The Parrot'. Both of it's circular eyes are identical in size!
30 Minute Flight - 268 Soles ($80) + 30 Soles ($9) for Airport Tax = 298 Soles ($89)
60 Minute Flight - 504 Soles ($150) + 30 Soles ($9) Airport Tax = 534 Soles ($159)
CHEAPER - sometimes if you book the flights through your hostel or an independent tour company, you can knock a small amount of the price.
For example, I stayed at Nanazca Hostel, who offered me the 30 minute flight for 250 Soles ($75) . ( I still have to pay the airport tax). It's not much of a discount but every little helps!
Seeing The Nazca Lines From Huacachina
When I was in Huacachina, there were deals for 270 Soles ($80) that included transport from Huacachina to Nazca and back, food and the 30 minute flight. However, they fail to mention the fact that you need to pay 30 Soles ($9) 'airport tax'. Making it a total of 300 Soles.
What Time To Go
Flights above the lines take of every hour starting from 8am , going through until 4pm. I would highly recommend going for the earliest possible flight, or one closer to 3 or 4pm.
When the sun is highest in the sky, it shine directly into the trenches that sketch out the pictures. Going while the sun is at an angle will allow shadows to form within the lines and make them more visible!
Although, you will be able to see the lines regardless of what time you go. THEY'RE HUGE!
More Photos + My Theory
'The bird'. This was one of my favourites simply because it seems like a child's drawing. Very basic but easily readable!
'The Tree' and 'The Bird' next to the Pan-Am highway! Look how small those trucks are in comparison!
'The Dog'. This one makes me laugh because of its stiff, rigidness. And it's long legs remind me of Salvador Dali's Elephants! Can you see it?
Well, my theory is more of a 'I wish this were true' idea than a theory based on facts, haha!
I like to think that in the past there was a human civilisation that had been in contact with extraterrestrials. Advanced by technology relative to the universe and galactic compassing.
For me, this would explain all of the ancient creations that are ridiculously accurate in terms of in pointing to areas of the night sky. For example, The Ancient Pyramids of Egypt, that point to the Orion Correlation and Stonehenge in England that can be linked to the Summer Solstice calendar. It's not just the accuracy, the size and weight of the materials used to build them!
There are also many other structures in Latin America that are theorised to be created by some supernatural beings. Mexico's 'Teotihuacán', the City Of God's and Peru's 'Sacsayhuamán' are surrounded by mystery.
To add to this extraterrestrial theory, the drawing of 'The Astronaut'. Maybe it was inspired by something or someone that the Nazca people had seen at some point or even met!
Where did this civilisation go? Well, it's no secret that the human race was almost wiped from the Earth around 70,000 BC and only survived due to a tiny amount of survivors who, thankfully for us, decided to continue reproducing!
This, added to the fact that humans only started documenting our history from the year 3000BC , makes for a whole lot of time undocumented!
I think it's fun to assume some crazy things happened between our 'almost extinction' of 70,000BC and the moment we decided to start documenting (Again?).
Ha! I really hope you enjoyed this post and I also hope that one day YOU can visit the Nazca Lines for yourself and witness this special place!
@ Travel_gasm - Remember, you can follow my travels on Instagram, I've been travelling for over 3 years!
BecomeTheAtlas - Subscribe to me on YouTube! I will be posting a video of The Nazca Lines soon!
Love you all!