Peru travel blog by Mark Berman -
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NEWS: In July 2017 alien mummies were uncovered in a tomb in Nazca!
I have been to many places in Peru
more than once and Nazca is one such place. I do different things each time I pass through.
Accommodation and Tours
Once when I arrived in
Nazca from Ica
, at the bus terminal I was approached immediately
by people offering accommodation and tours to the Nazca lines. I decided to stay at a hostel
across the road from the terminal and didn't rush into any decisions about tours. Tours including going up in a small plane to view the Nazca lines for
$50-80USD were offered but I had heard from other travelers that you still couldn't see them that clearly unless it is a super fine and clear day.
Necropolis de Chauchilla
I decided to create my own tour of Nazca and go to a few places by taxi the next day. I wanted to go to the Necropolis de Chauchilla which is about
30 minutes from Nazca. It's an ancient cemetery where the dead are on display above the ground in pits. Chauchilla is in an area that is fairly barren
with grey mountains and with an eerie feel about it. The taxi cost around 30 Soles and the driver waited for me while I spent about 45 minutes walking
around the approx. 10 grave pits. The pits contained many bones, skulls with hair, ribcages and even hands and were laid out in rows and in a family
After I had finished seeing Chauchilla I asked the taxi to take me to the Aqueducts if I payed him some extra money. I am not exactly sure
which aqueducts he took me to because there are 4 locations of aqueducts in Nazca - Acueductos de Taruga, Acueductos de Ocongalla, Acueductos de
Cantalloc and Acueductos de Orcona, it was one of them. The Aqueducts are ancient spiral shaped stone walkways which spiral around and around and down
and down until they get to an underground stream where you access water. There are about 20 aqueducts in the location that I went to just near town.
It was a very hot day and the water tasted so cold and fresh! The aqueducts start off small and as you go from one to the next they get larger and
larger. There are 2 lines of them in a 'Y' shape, they were built by the Inca civilization. It was actually quite interesting to walk around and inside
the aqueducts for nearly an hour and again my taxi waited for me to take me back to Nazca.
On my most recent visit to Nazca in mid 2012 I visited the
mirador tower and finally got to see some Nazca Lines. The views are not bad and you get a pretty good idea of their size and what all the fuss is
about. I think that unless you are a fanatic about the Nazca Lines, the mirador is fine and there is no need to get up in a plane. If you do decide to
go up in a plane, do not book at a tour office. Make your own way to the airport and pay directly, it will cost less.
Down the road more from the first
mirador tower is another mirador in Palpa where you can see a set of restored Geoglyphs. These miradors are several kms out of Nazca (26kms) along the
Panamericana highway towards Ica.
More to Do and See
I had checked out of my Nazca hostel and had my backpack and everything with me, it was no problem to do it this way.
The Maria Reiche Museum is only a few kms from these mirador towers and can also be seen on the way to Ica. There is a lot more to do and see around
Nazca including the Orcona Energy Center, the Colonial Temple at San Jose, the Petroglifos de Quemazon and the San Fernando National Reserve on the
coast. Rather than doing tours, it is just as easy and cheaper to decide yourself what you would like to see and go there by taxi in a small group.
Nazca is great if you like archaeology and good restaurants. The city itself has the Plaza de Armas, church Iglesia Virgen de Guadalupe, a bust of
military hero Francisco Bolognesi (1816-1880) in a small park and a few wall murals near the bus terminal. I found Avenida Maria Reiche and her statue,
she is famous for studying the Nazca lines.
There and Away
I had come to Nazca from Ica on my first occasion with views of vineyards, crop fields, churches and statues.
Plus an extended area of mountains with amazing shapes and colors, green valleys with communities and small roadside villages. The most recent time I visited
I had come from Atico through Chala in the south by shared taxi (1hr) and shared combi (2hrs). When I left the next day it was 2hrs up to Ica and 2hrs more to Chincha Alta