Mysterious and Magical Nazca Lines
Around five hours from Lima, you will come across the small town of Nazca. Not very much happens there, it has a few hotels and several restaurants but nothing much to speak of. The town receives no rainfall at all, so the weather is warm and dry all year round. So what is the attraction of this little desert town? Well, the purpose of visiting this town is to see the extraordinary Nazca Lines.
The Mysterious and Magical Nazca Lines are geoglyphs or drawings on the ground made by removing rocks and earth to create an image. The desert floor has weathered over thousands of years so when the upper rocks were removed they revealed a light sand coloured rock, the light coloured is what allows us to see the lines. Because of the dry climate, the lines have been preserved for more than 500 to 2000 years. Scientists believe that the lines were made by the Nazca people, from around AD 10 to 700.
When were discovered
The lines were discovered in the 1930s when two pilots flying a commercial flight saw the lines and reported them to the Peruvian government. In the 1940s, American Professor Paul Losok investigated the lines and when the sun was setting he noticed that the sunset was in direct alignment with the lines; he called the lines the largest astronomy book in the world.
Kosok was succeeded by German scientist Maria Reiche, who was later known as the lady of the lines, she dedicated 40 years of her life to the study of the lines. Her theory was that the lines were for astronomical and calendrical purposes. She fought hard to protect the lines and even lived just outside the site to keep an eye on her project.
Town of Nazca
The lines are located around 200 miles south of Lima, the area features 800 straight lines, 300 geometric figures and 70 animal and plant designs, some of the lines are around 30 miles long and some reach up to 1200 feet in length. The best way to see the Nazca lines is by plane, this way you will see the lines distinctly. You could also go to the viewing tower located outside the town of Nazca, from the tower you will see a few figures and it will cost you a few soles.
Some of the figures you will see on your flight over the Nazca lines includes the Condor, hummingbird, pelican, shark, bird, fish, spider, lizard, parrot, flamingo, iguana, dog, llamas, jaguar, fox, whale and monkey. The largest figure is the bird measuring around 990 feet.
In recent years, the discovery of the Cahuachu People has brought some new insight into the mysterious lines. Just south of Nazca, scientists have discovered the lost city of the line builders, it is said to have been built around 2000 years ago and abandoned around 500 years later, the artifacts found at the site has provided researchers with new information about the people who are now believed to have built the lines.
Over the years, there have been many different theories as to the purpose of the Nazca Lines, a book published in 1968 supported the theory that the lines were landing fields for extraterrestrials and the lines were created by aliens many thousands of years ago. Archeologist Johan Reinhardt believes that the lines have a religious purpose and were used to worshipping the gods. But the truth is that many archeologists and scientists have studied the lines and there are still many pieces of the puzzle missing, so many questions left unanswered.
You may want to know when the best time to go to Peru is. Peru has many seasons depending on what part of the country you visit. On the coast there is winter and summer, in the highlands you will have wet and dry seasons and in the jungle, you also have the wet and the dry season. Nazca, however, is great to visit all year round.
Nazca from Lima
You can also visit Nazca from a Lima Peru sightseeing tour, from the capital there are flights available over the lines, this is a little more costly than from the town of Nazca, but an option that many people choose to take. There are also flights available from the town of Pisco around four hours drive from Lima, these are great options if you are short on time. But if you have the time, go to Nazca and see the lines as the town also has some other attractions worth a visit.
Go and discover the mysterious Nazca Lines for yourself, include Nazca as part of your Peruvian adventure, hear the theories and the stories, take pictures and make memories. Don’t miss the ancient Nazca Lines!