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A view of the Nazca Lines, Peru

Nazca Lines

Adventure Holidays to the Nazca Lines

No adventure holiday in Peru is complete without exploring the Nazca Lines. They are an awe-inspiring collection of over 300 figures that includes a whale, a condor, snake, llama, spider and a flower. All super sized, etched into the sprawling Peruvian desert and only visible from the sky.

Thousands of years old, we don’t know who made them, we don’t know why and we don’t even know how the ancient artists in question were able to view them without aircraft. The Nazca Lines are one massive, marvellous mystery.

One of the most elaborate drawings is the 45 metre long spider. Drawn in one continuous line it is styled on a miniscule Amazonian species that is only a 1cm long and found 1000km away on the other side of the Andes. Figure that one.

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Our travellers rate our Nazca Lines holidays as

4.7 / 5 based on 223 reviews

Nazca Lines Adventure Holidays

Essential Peru

136 reviews

Discover southern Peru's archaeological and natural wonders 

Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Ages: 16+
15 Days from $3,599 USD
Guided (Incl. Taxes)
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Peru Explorer

35 reviews

An in-depth discovery of southern Peru from the Andes to the Amazon

Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Ages: 16+
20 Days from $5,599 USD
Guided (Incl. Taxes)
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Inca Trail, Titicaca & Nazca

47 reviews

Discover Peru's deserts and high Andes and follow a classic trekking route

Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Ages: 16+
15 Days from $3,999 USD
Guided (Incl. Taxes)
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I’ve just come back from the Essential Peru trip and it was incredible. Our expert local guide,...

Kristen Whitla, 2022 Essential Peru

We were on the same trip as Neil Thomas and agree with everything that Neil has written in his...

Emlyn Jones, 2020 Essential Peru

The trip starts with exploring the capital city Lima, then follows the coast seeing flocks of the...

Vince McClave, 2019 Peru Explorer

Solving the Enigma: Top Nazca Lines Theories

Only discovered in the 1930s, countless theories claim to solve the enigma of Nazca - from astronomical calendars to extraterrestrial airports:

1 Astronomical advice
One of the earliest Nazca researchers Maria Reiche, who dedicated most of her life to studying the lines, was convinced they represented a vast astronomical calendar constructed to map the places on the horizon where celestial bodies rose and set. Unfortunately other academics have found her evidence wanting.

2 For the eyes of the Gods
Many believe that an ancient culture constructed the lines for the eyes of the gods, not for human viewing at all. All of the lines point towards the Andes, suggesting worship of the mountains and the precious water that flows from them to this arid area. Their creation may also have been a reaction to a unique series of solar eclipses in Peru at the time, when the eclipsed sun could have been taken for the “eye of god”.

3 Water works
Another water theory suggests that the lines indicate where rich sources of water flow under the desert floor. They may have acted as a guide for thirsty ancient Nazcan people, so they could locate water when they needed it, wherever they were in the desert.

4 Alien ancestors
One of the best known Nazca theories was put forward in Erich von Daniken’s “Chariots of the Gods” where he claims the lines were alien aircraft landing strips. He argues they are simply too complex to be drawn from earth so they must have been made from the air. Other theorists agree on this point, some proposing the ancient Nazcans must have constructed hot air balloons from the primitive materials available at the time.

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