WANDERLUST: THE BEAUTIFUL ANCIENT NAZCA LINES IN PERU
There are some places in the world that everyone needs to visit at least once in their lives; the cenotes in Tulum, the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall in China and without a doubt, the ancient Nazca Lines in Peru. Late last year I was extremely lucky to travel around Peru for two weeks. It was an adventure to say the least. One place I visited was the Nazca Lines. A series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru between the towns of Nazca and Palpa (about 400km south of Lima, Peru’s capital city), the Nazca Lines aren’t like anything I've ever seen.
The area itself stretches more than 80km and it best accessed by small aircraft. Taking off from a small airport near Paracas with several other people sitting on either sides of the planes with full window access, it takes about 45 minutes or so to reach the various figures.
Tip: if you get air sick, I recommend you don’t travel by plane. The aircraft turns sharply and consistently to ensure everyone on each side of the plane gets to see each Nazca figure. I don’t get car/air/sea sick but even I have to admit I was feeling a little green when we touched down back at the airport.
It is believed that the Nazca Lines were created by the local Nazca culture between 400 and 650 AD. There are hundreds of figures peppering the desert and ranging in complexity. Some of the more popular figures include hummingbirds (my personal favourite), spider, monkey (a popular favourite), fish, aliens, astrology and lots more.
So what exactly is so impressive about the Nazca Lines? The answer is simple. It’s the fact that they still remain visible to the eye after thousands of years, the sheer size of the figures and the perfection of which they are created. One of my many questions about the Nazca Lines was how they are made. In fact, they are made in the ground by removing red pebbles which cover the top layer of the desert, revealing a white/grey ground beneath. And due to the arid climate and the isolated location of the Nazca Lines, they have been preserved. The largest figures can measure over 200m in width – so big!