Thanks to quicker and more affordable flights, the world really is becoming a smaller place. That makes it easier than ever to visit exotic and exciting new locations, and few countries have more to offer the tourist than Peru. Machu Picchu is the most famous Peruvian attraction and a visit to the Incan citadel can be found on most people’s bucket list, but there is so much more to this diverse country caught between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains. One area that particularly deserves to be seen is the province of Nazca, home to some of the most incredible sights in South America, if not the world.
A Town Risen From The Ashes
Nazca is the name of a town in southwestern Peru and the arid region that surrounds it. The town was devastated by the Peruvian earthquake of 1996, leaving its inhabitants homeless. It has since been completely rebuilt, and thankfully the new Nazca is faithful to the style of the original. It’s hard to believe that the streets and buildings are, in most places, only a decade or two old because it has a distinctly nineteenth century feel to it. Nazcans are proud of their rebuilt town and offer visitors a very warm welcome, but what draws most people to Nazca is not the town itself, but the incredibly Nazca desert with its mysterious line drawings.
Mesmerizing And Mysterious Lines
The Nazca valleys are among the most arid regions on Earth, but they make an ideal location for intrepid trekkers. There’s one particular reason to visit this desert landscape, as revealed by travel experts Tourist 2 Traveler – the Nazca lines. The Nazca lines are some of the most mysterious objects on the planet, but once seen they are never forgotten. Over 170 miles of desert floor is a series of perfectly straight lines along with pictures of flowers, animals, including whales, spiders, and primates, and even mythical and rather sinister looking creatures. What is most astonishing about the Nazca lines is their huge scale, so that they can be seen at their best from a helicopter. The lines are at least a millennium and a half old, but just who created them, or how they achieved it with such geometric precision, remains a mystery. Some say that extraterrestrial life was behind their creation, but you can make up your own mind when you walk among them.
The Cemetery To End All Cemeteries
Old cemeteries are fascinating places that tell you a lot about the generations who have gone before us, but few have the emotional impact of the Chauchilla Cemetery in Nazca. Don’t expect the monuments and mausoleums you’d see in your local graveyard, for Chauchilla is a necropolis where skulls and mummified bodies are on open show. The site is protected by Peruvian law and contains bodies that were interred between 200AD and 900AD, as well as many examples of ancient Peruvian pottery and burial goods. Two-hour tours are available, and really are a must on any tour of Peru.
Nazca is a region of stark contrasts, from its quaint town to its incredible desert drawings and eery mummified remains. It also provides some of the best hiking and trekking opportunities in Peru and is a sandboarding center, so if you’re thinking of visiting Machu Picchu and moving on, you should think again and head to this vibrant valley.