The Nazca Lines, Ica, and Paracas
The Nazca Lines
This mysterious collection of over 300 geoglyphs and straight lines are believed to have been created, or etched circa 600 C.E. The Nazca Lines consist of furrows, some 20 centimeters deep, which depict stylized representations of animals, such as the hummingbird, monkey and fish, all almost 500 meters long. The German mathematician and student of Kosok, Maria Reiche, dedicated her life to protecting these geoglyphs, which UNESCO declared a World Heritage Site in 1994.
The starting point to visit Nazca and Paracas is Ica, located on the Ica River on the southern coast of Peru about 300 km south of Lima. Ica is famous for its beautiful valleys, excellent wine, pisco, and the rich vineyards that surround the city. Near Ica there is the opportunity for sand boarding and dune-buggy rides.
Paracas National Reserve
Paracas National Reserve, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, is located 260 km south of Lima. The reserve site is set up to protect the vast marine diversity of the area. Just off the coast are the Ballestas Islands, which can be visited by boat, and are rich in marine and coastal fauna, including many types of birds, sea lions, Humboldt penguins, and the occasional dolphin.
Attractions and activities:
- Nature watching
- Water sports
- Boat rides
- Cycling excursions
- Sand boarding
- Horseback riding
- Dune buggy rides through the desert
- Flight over the Nazca Lines