A trip to the Nazca Lines in Peru can be the adventure of a lifetime. You may have seen them in pictures, but it pales compared to looking at these gigantic geoglyphs in person.
The Lines can be found on the southern end of Ica City. The geoglyphs are spread over a plateau 500 sq km. It is between the Ingenio and Nazca Rivers. You can drive to the site, but tourists usually fly over the site. This is understandable. The drawings on the ground are so large they can only be seen from the sky.
What to See
The giant drawings depict different subject matters. Some are drawings of humans, geometric patterns, birds, monkeys, serpents and perfectly straight lines. The biggest drawings are over 900 feet long. Aside from the straight lines, there are also perfect curves.
You will also see hummingbirds, spiders and lizards on the plateau. A trip to the Nazca Lines in Peru would not be complete without visiting the Panamerican highway observation tower. From here you can see three of the figures. A bus going to Soyuz, Cueva or Flores can take you there.
The Lines are old, and estimates put their age around 2,200 years. However, there is debate as to how the Lines were built and for what purpose. One theory is that the Lines were built in connection with some astronomical purpose in mind. Other researchers believe that they were constructed for the worship of ancient deities.
Since the figures can only be seen from the sky, some researchers theorize that the Nazca people used hot air balloons to build them. The writer Erich Von Daniken has stated that the Lines were built by the natives with the help of extraterrestrials. Von Daniken believes the Lines were runways built for use by alien spacecraft.
An overflight tour of the Lines costs about 150 to 200 USD per passenger. This is only the average price. Other tours may cost more if lodging, food and drinks are added. However, this price will usually cover any fees required to enter the site. The access to the observation tower is 1 soles.
If you are making the trip to the Nazca Lines during peak season (December to March), book in advance. The best option is to get in touch with the flying services at the airport.
The flights can take place in the morning or mid day. The latest is usually 4 pm. Aside from a camera, bring binoculars too.