The Legend Behind the Mysterious Nazca Lines

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Peru is a country that has many mysteries and is filled with ancient cultures which have left many interesting attractions to experience. Some of these cultures date back thousands of years and you can see discoveries from these cultures in the many museums in Peru. On your visit to Peru, it is a great idea to visit the Museo Larco in the city of Lima which will give you a great head start and insight into these cultures. When traveling in Peru, be sure to put Nazca on your list of places to visit.  While visiting Nazca be sure to discover the mystery behind Peru’s Nazca Lines.

Town of Nazca

Nazca is located in one of the driest deserts on the planet and the town itself has the perfect climate with next to no rainfall all year round. Nazca is a sleepy little place which features many hotels and restaurants all catering for the tourist market. Just outside of the town on the desert floor are the Nazca Lines, drawn in the desert floor.

The lines remained a secret until 1939 when a pilot flying over the desert saw the figures. Over the next few decades, many lines have been uncovered with around seventy that depict complex animals and other formations and others that are simple geometric shapes.

The hot and dry climate of the area provide the perfect conditions for preserving the lines and a layer of rich limestone further helps to protect the lines. Scientists believe that the lines were made by digging a four to six-inch trench in the dark upper stone and exposing the lighter stone underneath. A sandstorm in 2014 uncovered 2 new figures and scientists believe that in ancient times there were many more lines than we see today.

Scientist believe the lines were made over a period of 500 years, but the question remains as to what purpose the lines served and why there were drawn in the first place. Over the years of studying this mysterious site, there have been many theories. some theories include irrigation, navigation or even a calendar, the most colorful being that they were created by visiting aliens many centuries ago.

In early 2004, a group of investigators from the United States discovered a headless mummy, this gave evidence to the theory of human sacrifice. Near the discovery, many pieces of pottery containing similar patterns to the Nazca Lines and figures dancing around the lines were also found.  These discoveries gave light to the theory that the lines were drawn to give thanks to the Gods in return for rain. Being a dry region, rain would have been important and finding water would have been a crucial part of survival in the region.

A recent study has found that the lines have been connected to nearby wells that were used for irrigation and the lines were used to irrigate the dry desert converting the area into a lush green garden, this takes some imagination but the theory is credible.

Viewing Tower

The mystery behind Peru Nazca lines may remain just that a mystery. But a visit is essential and the best way to see the lines is by small airplane. From the plane you will get to see many of the figures. Popular lines to see are the monkey, lizard, the spider and the astronaut. If you do not want to go by plane, then just outside of Nazca, there is a viewing tower where you can see a few of the figures.

Summer in Peru especially on the coast of Peru is from December to April with temperatures in the Nazca region climbing high. Many of Nazca hotels have swimming pools, so enjoy a few days relaxing in town. Getting from the Peru Ballestas Islands and the Nazca Lines back to Lima is easy with many bus companies offering great services on a daily basis. From Nazca you can also travel to the Southern city of Arequipa, known as the white city. Also from Nazca there are buses that go onto the Andean city of Cusco. Cusco was the heartland of the Inca Empire and the city is full of Inca temples and ruins.

Everyone who visits Peru will need to experience the Inca city of Machu Picchu and getting from Lima to Machu Picchu is easy, with flights to Cusco daily with many different companies. Once in Cusco, you can take one of the many wonderful trains through the Sacred Valley of the Inca to the town of Aguas Calientes. Stay the night here and wake up early and travel by bus the short distance to the gates of Machu Picchu. If you are feeling adventurous than why not take one of the many treks on offer, most will take you directly to the Inca citadel not to mention the wonderful scenery you will pass along the way.

Peru should be on top of your list of destinations, the country is full of unforgettable experiences and the mysterious Nazca Lines are worth your time. Book you tour to the Nazca Lines today! What are you waiting for?!

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