Discovered entirely by accident in 1927, the Nazca Lines are ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca desert in southern Peru. With the larger ones stretching for several miles, they were designated as Unesco World Heritage Site in 1994. The Nazca Lines are one of the main draws for visitors to this part of the country and a fight across them especially is an unmissable part on trip to Peru.
With hundreds of different designs, some in the shapes of animals, some in geometric patterns and yet other lines converging at the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, historians and other scientists have been struggling for decades with the purpose of the Nazca Lines. The earliest explanation and one that is still among the more popular today is that they were used as markers to show were the sun and different star signs rose, but they could also very well have been constructed as part of religious ceremonies worshipping their gods.
We do know for sure that they were created between 400 and 650 AD by the Nazca culture. A pre-Columbian people who apart from these geoglyphs were also known for their advanced woven textiles and their creation of an underground system of aquaducts to transport water across the arid plains that still functions today.
Though some of the lines can be seen quite well from the surrounding hilltops and there are some observation towers that have been built along the Pan-American Highway that crosses the plain, the best way to really get an impression of the enormous scale is from a light airplane.
The small airplanes flight off and on from the airport of the city of Nazca. Each of these planes only has space for only 6 passengers which makes it a pretty exclusive and very personalized experience. The pilots are very knowledgable about the lines and their history and are besides being an excellent pilot, also be a very good guide. Before take off all passengers will get the necessary safety instructions and then when the plane takes off, it’s all you need to do is enjoying the views from the Nazca lines and figures, while the pilot tells you everything you would like to know about these still not officially historically explaned wonder.
We’ll give you some insights on several of the figures you will see from the air. The first one to pass will be the whale, this figure is located on the eastern part of the archaeological complex. Next is the traingle, it appears over a small hill. Third is one of the least defined figures, The Astronaut. Yes, the Nazca people may have had ideas or imaginations of what an astronaut would look like. We at Encounter Latin America believe that this is definitely one of the strangest creatures in the Nazca desert. After this exceptional figure there are many more to follow, those will be kept a secret. Book your flight to the Nazca lines to see them all!
All passengers will have enough time to look down and take photos of every single figure as you will circle left and right bound about each of them.
Since the planes are quite small, you might be wise in considering some precautions against motion sickness before taking of, to make sure you can enjoy the experience of this ultimate trip in full.
Be amazed by the ancient, mysterious Nazca lines during your Peru trip. The fact that their purpose was still not defined may even make you more interested in taking the flight! Ask your travel specialist for more information about the Nazca lines, all Encounter Latin America tours can be customized. Those looking for Peru travel inspiration might want to have a look at this Peru tour which includes a flight over the Nazca lines.
Photo credits featured image: The View South