Nazca Lines

Nazca Lines - Monkey 400
Nazca Monkey – Nazca, Peru
Photo by: leander.canaris, Creative Commons

Nazca Lines are located in the Nazca Desert, Peru. They are giant sketches that are so large that they can only be viewed from the air. These are believed to have been made by the Nazca Indians from 200 BC to 700 CE. There are hundreds of designs, they include human body shapes, hands, trees, condors, hummingbirds, monkeys, sharks, spiders, llamas, fish, and lizards, just to name a few.

Due to the dry and stable climate, these large drawings have been preserved for centuries, even lasting to this day. The Peruvian desert of Pampa Colorada or Red Plain is filled with Nazca lines. They are normally 15 wide, not sandy, but has a dark red colored layer on top with a lighter colored soil underneath. Clearing away the upper layer creates Nazca Lines, thus revealing the lighter colored soil underneath.

It is amazing how these lines survived for centuries, thus many people have speculated with many conspiracy theories. Simply put though, the desert is made of stone, and the dry climate makes it very hard to erase the drawing.

The primary means of transportation to get the Nazca is only by bus. From Lima, Ica Cusco, and Pisco, there are plenty of buses to take you to Nazca. Once you get to Nazca, how can you see the lines? The best way to see them is by air. You can take a small plane that can carry five passengers. The tour lasts about 30 to 35 minutes, and they fly over the most renowned Nazca lines. It is recommended to fly and see the lines between 8 to 10 am and 3 to 5 pm, where the air is usually clear and haze free. Prepare yourself though, these small plane rides can get bumpy and nauseating, especially if you’re prone to airsickness.

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