Traveling Ancient Nasca, Peru

Nazca is a region of southeastern Peru surrounded by desert valleys. The area housed a civilization, and they left behind a multitude of captivating things to see. The Nazca people lived in the area from 300 BC to 800 AD. For the time period, they were quite advanced, having built underground aquaducts to supply their city in the dry desert.

Sightseers will find more than just the “Nazca Lines” in the region. While fascinating and mysterious, they are not the only thing to experience. The complex lines are actually a variety of shapes and life forms carved into the desert over a 50 mile area, and can only be seen from the sky. No one to this day knows why they were made.

The cemetery in Nazca and the underground aquaducts are usually included in one day trip. The Chauchilla Cemetery has uncovered mummies still in their tombs which lay in the ground. The Cantalloc Aquaducts were constructed two millennia ago, and remain in use to this day. They are just as fascinating to see as the famous Nazca lines.

In the Nazca area sits the city of Cahuachi, a ceremonial area 15 miles square. It contains a number of pyramids, platforms, and temples believed to have been used for sacrifices by the Nazcans. Some of the pyramids are so tall that some parts of the Nazca lines can be seen from their highest points.

Finally, be sure to take a day to see the Maria Reiche Planetarium and the Antonini Museum. The planetarium is part of the Nazca Hotel, and is named for the person who spent 50 years of her life studying the life like shapes of Nazca. The Antonini Museum displays a variety of artifacts, mummies, musical instruments, and fine textiles collected from the surrounding area.

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