Skip to main content
  1. Leisure
  2. Travel
  3. International Travel

Paracas, Peru and the Nazca Lines

See also

A three-hour drive south of Lima, Paracas is a weekend resort for many upper-class Limeños who keep beach homes here – and yet, Paracas is also a fishing village evocative of the South of France in the years before tourism overtook local industry.

More Photos

Named for the strong winds that come off the ocean and sometimes produce sand storms in the desert, Paracas has one of the richest ecosystems in the world. Paracas National Reserve, along the desert peninsula of Paracas, is two-thirds water and the turquoise waters of Paracas Bay are endlessly captivating – as are the Nazca Lines.

Discovered in 1927, the Nazca Lines are vestiges of a culture that flourished more than 300 years before Christ. A series of ancient geoglyphs, the lines can only be seen from the sky, which means climbing into a 12-seat plane and fastening your seat belt.

Caveat emptor: it is absolutely mandatory that you don’t eat beforehand – not unless you enjoy seeing your food twice.

While the plane ride is thrilling, it’s also chilling – and it’s important to focus on the figures below and not attempt to find the horizon.

Consider instead why that figure of an astronaut is reclining on the hill. And what does the hummingbird signify?

Theories abound as to the origins and intents of these geoglyphs: were they landing strips for extraterrestrials?

German scholar Maria Reiche (aka “Lady of the Lines”), who studied the lines for a lifetime, concluded that the markings are remnants of a monumental astronomical calendar.

Whatever they are, they’re fascinating – and UNESCO declared them a World Heritage Site in 1994.

Advertisement

Leisure

  • Summer romance
    Fun midlife romance summer date ideas sure to appeal to a variety of singles
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • 2014 Honda Civic
    The Honda Civic is the leading choice for a solid compact sedan
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • Newfoundland, Canada
    Here are some great reasons to visit St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • Ombre' technique
    Go for the gusto: What ombre' technique are you?
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Outdoor activities
    Enjoy some of these activities with your significant other and make new memories
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Asian chicken
    This simple recipe marinates the chicken for an hour in Asian spices
    Camera
    7 Photos