Mysterious figures in the city of Nazca, Peru

Mysterious figures in the city of Nazca, Peru

Japanese scientists have recently discovered that some of the giant geoglyphs on the Nazca Plateau in Peru depict water birds. A year earlier, archaeologists used drones to discover RIA Novosti, 24.08.2019

MOSCOW, August 24 – RIA Novosti, Tatiana Pichugina. Japanese scientists have recently discovered that some giant geoglyphs on the Nazca plateau in Peru depict water birds. A year earlier, archaeologists used drones to discover more than fifty new figures, much older. Who created them and why – in the material of RIA Novosti.MESSAGES TO THE SKYIn the early 20th century, aviators began to fly over the west coast of Peru and reported on the giant figures on the surface of the mountain plateau of Nazca. For the most part they were straight lines, triangles, trapezoids, and spirals. Some depicted animals: a spider, a monkey, birds, a man (“astronaut”) and strange fairy-tale creatures. The Nazca Plateau continues northward into the Atacama Desert, which stretches along the Pacific coast of South America. It is one of the driest regions in the world. It receives ten millimeters of rainfall per year. No wonder the geoglyphs are well preserved. German explorer Maria Reiche has devoted her life to the study and preservation of geoglyphs of Naska. She managed to get UNESCO to put them on the World Heritage List. Cyclopean signs, which has no analogues on Earth, attract many researchers. Who created them and when? For what purpose? The answers to the first two questions are finally obtained these days thanks to new and sophisticated research methods. The masters of the plateau who destroyed natureArcheologists link the geoglyphs with the Nasca culture, a pre-Columbian civilization that inhabited the plateau in the first six centuries of our era. Artifacts found indicate that the Nazca were engaged in agriculture: grew potatoes, maize, pumpkins, local fruits, raised llamas, alpacas.Nazca made amazingly elegant pottery with a wall thickness of four millimeters. They were skilled weavers. They used 15 colored pigments in ceramics and fabrics, and their patterns are strikingly similar to geoglyphs. These people lived along the banks of rivers in small settlements. The only major town was Cahuachi, which served as a ceremonial center and necropolis. Almost nothing is known about the social and political structure of the Naska people, and religious beliefs were based on two main concepts: water and fertility.By the 6th century, Naska culture was in decline. In 2009, scientists from Cambridge, UK, speculated that a man-made environmental disaster was the cause. They examined pollen in the soil throughout the transect and found traces of coastal trees there. So the riverbanks along which the Naska settled were forested oases. As the population grew, the forests were cut down for fields. This can be seen in the way pollen from trees was replaced by pollen from cultivated plants. Without root protection, the soil became unfortified, and when a powerful el nino, a natural oceanic phenomenon characterized by heavy rains, bad weather, came to the region, torrents of water destroyed the lands. A struggle for resources unfolded, and the society eventually destroyed itself. Nasca and their ancestorsRadiocarbon analysis of pieces of wood and textiles found inside or near the geoglyphs, calibration by annual tree rings allow to conclude that the geoglyphs were created in the period from the II century BC to the VI century AD. Meanwhile, archaeologists have assumed that the tradition of such figures itself is more ancient. In 2018, this hypothesis was confirmed: archaeologists used drones to discover more than five dozen drawings on the Palpa plateau north of Nazca.

Top 10 beaches in Lazio, Italy

As reported by National Geographic magazine, which published exclusive photos of geoglyphs, some of them belonged to the Nazca, but most are the work of their predecessors, the Paracas and Toparas, who lived there since the eighth century B.C. These figures, mostly warriors, are on the hills and can be seen from the villages below. Scientists have established exactly how the geoglyphs were made. Nazca is a rocky desert. To mark the lines, people cleared the surface of stones and piled them here and there along the contour, leaving the lighter areas of land open. Thus, borders of geoglyphs are designated by piles of cobblestones, and it means that there is a unique possibility to define time of their movement. The first attempts to date by radiocarbon method the spores of fungi and cyanobacteria preserved in the stones from the lower layer indicated the Nasca era. These days that result has been confirmed by optical stimulated luminescence, invented in the 1980s to determine how long minerals have been underground without access to sunlight.Take quartz or feldspar, which are found in most rocks, sand. There are always trace amounts of radioactive isotopes of uranium, thorium. Over time, the mineral accumulates irradiation energy in the form of excited electrons trapped in defects in the crystal structure. If such a mineral is extracted and irradiated with light of a certain wavelength, it will begin to luminesce – to emit photons. Their flow is used to calculate the date when the mineral was last on the Earth’s surface. The longer it has been buried, the stronger it glows. The American and Peruvian scientists have selected samples of minerals directly from the ground under stones and from the bottom surface of heaps of stones designating new geoglives – they have found during security works at building of chemical plant. It appeared that stones have been moved in V-VII centuries. The discovery was made public this year. Scientists reject the version of contactAugust Japanese researchers have published the results of the analysis of 16 geoglyphs depicting birds. Analyzed separately the shape of beaks, heads, necks, bodies, wings, tails, feet and compared them to more than two hundred drawings of native Peruvian birds made by scientists. Species were established from only three images: a hermit hummingbird inhabiting the forests of northern and eastern Peru, a coastal pelican and a parrot, exotic to the Nazca, given that the ocean is fifty kilometers away. The rest of the avian geoglyphs have not been identified. As the authors of the work believe, they are either extinct species or simply inaccurate images.Surprisingly, everything that scientists know today about geoglyphs does not come close to answering the question: why did the Nazca make them? In the late 1960s Reiche together with the American archeologist Paul Kosok, the discoverer of geoglyphs, has put forward the hypothesis that they served the astronomical purposes, probably, were a calendar specifying risings and sunsets of various heavenly objects. The researcher asked Canadian astronomer Sidney Van der Berg to check this version. He analyzed the azimuths of the lines, the statistical significance of their distribution, the centers of gravity and found nothing to support the calendar hypothesis.According to one of the first assumptions made in 1947, the trapezoidal geoglyphs served as a parade ground for the head genera. The problem is that some of them were created on high hills, where it is difficult to strut, much less solemnly. In 1968, a book by the Swedish journalist von Daniken, “The Chariot of the Gods,” made a lot of noise.

Ariana to 03/18/2015 at 08:21 Author

There stated the hypothesis about the contact of ancient peoples with aliens who helped to create grandiose structures: the pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge, and the Nazca lines as a spaceport for spaceships. However, this contradicts the facts: some trapezoids are covered by a regular grid of stone dolmens (cairns) from the inside. The hypothesis that geoglyphs served as irrigation channels has not found confirmation also. Ancient peoples made such cyclopean collective efforts for construction only if the result was of great importance for them: development of agriculture, defense from the enemy, religion. Such a consideration was made in 1992 by Van der Berg. Therefore, the ritual purpose of the Nazca geoglyphs is the priority version.In addition to the grandiosity of the lines and figures stretching for tens and hundreds of meters, several other facts point to this. Practically all lines are connected with a city – temple of Cahuachi. And most importantly, they can only be seen from the air. It was probably meant only for divine eyes. Back in 1990, American archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni suggested that the linear geoglyphs served as a place for ritual walks. Two decades later, this idea was confirmed by scientists from Germany, who measured magnetic field anomalies with a mobile cesium magnetometer, which shows changes in soil density with depth. Scientists examined the inside of a large trapezoid near the town of Palpa and found that the soil there is more dense than around it. This is what happens if it has been trampled for a long time. In addition, within the geoglyph pottery was found. The authors conclude that the Nazca walked back and forth within this trapezoid, offering prayers and offerings to the gods.

When to go to Trapani, Italy. Climate, best time and tips

I agree!!! The places are amazing!  The local food is great. especially not for vegetarians. And we had to forage for chicken at times   It's here in the desert that the spiciness of the food becomes a major feature. And the farther north toward Chiclayo, the spicier the sauces that are served become

The Desert City of Nasca in Peru – information, maps, our experiences and photos | Nasca

The city of Nasca in Peru is known primarily for the world famous Nasca Lines, which tourists come to see, or rather to fly over them in an airplane. I will say more, no one even comes to Nasca to visit this city. Everyone just unloads at the bus station, catches a cab to the airport, flies and returns to the buses to go on their route – to Arequipa or to the capital Lima. That’s the way it usually happens. But what if we changed the plot a bit? And stay in Nazca! In this article, I’ll talk about what Nazca is like, what attractions there are in and around the city, how to get to Nazca, and where to stay.


Nasca is a small town in the southern part of the coastal desert in Peru. The main life of the city is centered around the central plaza, Plaza de Armas. However, together with the suburbs and other areas, Nasca is a small, sprawling agglomeration surrounded by the Nasca desert plateau and mountains.

The city stands in the same place where the Nazca culture lived in ancient times. In 400 the first capital of the Nazca, Cahuachi, fell. But the Nazca were not the only people who lived here. There were the Paracas, the Huari, and even the Incas. And each of the cultures left behind evidence of their lives. To make sense of it all is extremely interesting. And that is why I advise anyone interested in the history and culture of Peru and South America to linger longer than a half-hour flight over the Nazca Plateau and prepare for the flight.

Nazca on a map

How to get to Nazca

  • Nazca is 450 km south of the Peruvian capital Lima. It is very easy to get here by public transportation. Usually travelers include Nazca in a circular itinerary in Peru, and thus travel either from Lima or Arequipa. There are also day tours and quite expensive tours from Paracas or Lima.
  • So, buses to Nasca:
  • The bus from Lima to Nazca takes about 7-8 hours.
  • From Arequipa, the journey is 8 hours.
Diyarbakir Fortress and the Cultural Landscape of Hevsel Gardens, Turkey

There are regular buses from Soyuz to Ica. The journey is 2.5-3 hours and prices start at 7 soles.

You can also come to Nasca from Cuzco. The trip takes about 14-16 hours. Buses to and from Cuzco are usually night. So after arriving from the Inca capital in the morning, you can go straight to the airport and book a flight over the Nazca lines.

  • We came to Nazca from Arequipa on a Civa bus (the flight was Arequipa-Lima), and we were also leaving Nazca for Ica City. All passing buses stop at the traffic circle on Panamericana, without going into the city itself. There are also garages there for the local Soyuz company, which serves nearby destinations.


For example, you can leave for Ica with this company, or you can drive to nearby attractions – see the Maria Reiche Museum, the Palpa lines, or the Mirador Metalico lookout, which overlooks the two Nazca figures.

We visited Nazca in 2014 on our round-the-world trip

Hotels in Nazca – where to stay

Everything in Nazca is designed for wealthy American tourists who are just arriving for the day from Lima. And to avoid taking buses twice a day from Lima to the Nazca desert and back (about five hours each way), they stay in town overnight. That is, they walk around the plaza in the evening or book excursions to the many Nazca attractions, and in the morning they go to the airport to do what they came here to do. This is usually the case for those whose budgets are not severely limited.

But trust me, there is more to do in Nazca than fly over the lines, and we spent four days here.

    Well, the good thing about accommodations in Nazca is that the hotels are top-notch, but the budget accommodation is in short supply.

Best hotels in Nazca

– Score 8.3. Hotel in downtown Nazca with an outdoor pool and a beautiful garden. The rooms have a hot tub. The room rate includes breakfast. – Score 9.1. The hotel is located 25 km from the city in a quiet, beautiful location near the mountains. Guests remark on the cozy, meditative atmosphere in nature, where you can relax. The hotel has a swimming pool, and the rooms are eco-friendly and ethno-style. The price includes breakfast and shuttle service from the bus station. – rating 9.1 . Large and spacious rooms in a small and inexpensive hotel. A homemade breakfast is included in the price. Guests comment on the cleanliness and friendliness of the hostess, who helps the guests with everything.

During our visit to Nasca, we stayed at the Posada Luren Hotel. We contacted the hostess in advance and got a reply in Spanish: ok, we thought, we’ll talk in English. By the way, she told us that we’ll be met by car and taken to the hotel for free. And so it happened. Our supposed guide with excellent English was standing there with a nameplate and waiting for us, then he caught a cab. We pushed our many luggage and all of us too into the tiny car and arrived at the hotel.

So we found ourselves alone with a nice girl and her son Carlitos. And then it turned out that she didn’t speak English at all. But we, as always, got out of the situation. What we could, we explained with the level of Spanish we had, and in particularly difficult cases, she used the Google Translator. Advanced young mother!

10 Points of Interest in Cuneo, Italy

What kind of hotel is it? It’s quite small, 6 rooms. The wi-fi is great. The decor is simple but tasteful. The rooms are spacious, with a table and chairs, a closet, and a comfortable bed. On the wall hangs a flat screen TV, which (attention!) can except tv-programs, play different music! You just need to tune the channel that came to mind, and listen to the variety. And do not think that it will be Latin music, no! There was a rock music channel too, a 60’s channel, a 90’s channel, and it was all European or American songs! It’s unexpected and eerily enjoyable! Plus, the price included breakfast, which was carefully prepared by our young girl. When she was in a good mood (which she often was), she would bring us a cup of tea in the evening.

We would heartily recommend this hotel. However, it is currently closed.

Where to eat in Nasca – the best chifa.

Nasca, Peru

As always, all life revolves around the Plaza de Armas. So we rushed there, too, to see what the city is all about. No, first we went in search of a good restaurant. And we found one. To be honest, I don’t even remember its name. It was a very common chifa (a restaurant with Chinese food, that is) on Avenida Bolognese, if you walk on the right side, moving away from the center.

Hotels in Nasca

The chifa doesn’t open until dinner time, which is 5 p.m. Prices start at 8 soles. But I’ll be honest, it was the best chifa in Peru! They serve different sauces, popcorn corn, and a whole bunch of green onions to go with the dish. The portions themselves are so huge that we often ordered one for two and were so full that we didn’t want to eat again until the evening or the next morning. And that’s where we ate dinner every day!

Preparing for Dinner.

The tastiest chifa in Peru

Nasca Sightseeing

The main attraction of Nazca is of course flying over the Nazca Lines! To see them from a bird’s-eye view, you have to come to Maria Reiche Airport (it’s 4 km from the city). It is necessary to choose an airline – their representatives are inside the airport – according to the price and what figures they offer to see. Usually all have a standard route. But it’s still worth checking out two or three companies.

It will be more expensive to buy a tour in the city. Prices at the airport range from $70-85 per seat. We bought tickets for $65 per person after a lot of haggling. And they also took a promise from us that we wouldn’t tell our fellow travelers how much we paid, since they bought the tour in town and paid twice as much for it.

  • You can also see the Nazca Lines from Mirador Metalico, which is located on the Panamericana Highway 25 km from the city. The entrance is 2 sols. Nearby is a small hill, Mirador Natural.
  • Other attractions around the city of Nasca:
  • Пирамида Кауачи – первая столица народа наска. В археологическом парке, который находится в 25 км на запад от города, несколько откопанных пирамид из необожженного кирпича. Подробнее >>
  • Palpa Lines – Less explored, but just as interesting lines and figures on the Nazca Plateau.
  • Maria Reiche Museum – A small but informative museum about the German scientist who dedicated her life to the Nazca Lines and lived in the desert until her death. Admission is 5 soles.
  • Chowchilla Cemetery – ancient desert burials and mummies are located 30 km south of the city.
  • Ruins of Paradones – the ancient Inca city almost within the city limits.
10 things to see and do in Apodaca, Mexico

Cantayoc Aqueducts – spiral-shaped wells built within the city limits. A unique way to extract water in the desert.

Telar geoglyphs are not the most impressive geoglyphs near the city. But interesting to historians.

The last three attractions are located within the city or on its outskirts. They can be visited with a single ticket (10 soles). An overview article is here.

You can see the sights of Naska on your own, as we did.

There is another option – to hire a guide. We talked to the guide at our hotel, and he told us the following prices – for the full package (Paradones, aqueducts, Kahuachi pyramid, mirador natural, Maria Reiche Museum and the Palpa Line) he asked 400 soles. We, of course, decided that this was too much. And then the price was reduced to 350.

We also heard an offer to take us to the Palpa Line and all the sights in that direction (Mirador and Maria Reiche Museum) for 30 soles per person. However, in that case the trip would be a joint trip with two other tourists.

Preparing for dinner.

Photo walk through the streets of the city

The tastiest chifa in Peru

A view of the new boulevard for athletes. A place to run or work out on the terras.

Problems of lodging and dining no longer worry us, let’s still take a closer look at the small and provincial city of Nasca.

I agree!!! The places are amazing!  The local food is great. especially not for vegetarians. And we had to forage for chicken at times   It's here in the desert that the spiciness of the food becomes a major feature. And the farther north toward Chiclayo, the spicier the sauces that are served become

Rally of doctors and medical workers approaching the Plaza

A view of the new boulevard for athletes. Here you can run or work out on the terras

I agree!!! The places are amazing!  The local food is great. especially not for vegetarians. And we had to forage for chicken at times   It's here in the desert that the spiciness of the food becomes a major feature. And the farther north toward Chiclayo, the spicier the sauces that are served become

A beautifully decorated main thoroughfare

A rally of doctors and medical workers is approaching the Plaza

I agree!!! The places are amazing!  The local food is great. especially not for vegetarians. And we had to forage for chicken at times   It's here in the desert that the spiciness of the food becomes a major feature. And the farther north toward Chiclayo, the spicier the sauces that are served become

Cars like these drive into the desert.

Beautiful decorations of the main walking street

Nasca, Peru

These are the cars that take them for a ride in the desert.

I agree!!! The places are amazing!  The local food is great. especially not for vegetarians. And we had to forage for chicken at times   It's here in the desert that the spiciness of the food becomes a major feature. And the farther north toward Chiclayo, the spicier the sauces that are served become

And this is a veteran.

Beautiful flowers in the streets of Nasca

Beautiful flowers on the streets of Nazca

Nasca, Peru

Maps of Nazca and the surrounding area

A map of the lines and figures of Nasca painted right on one of the walls in town.

This is what you can see in Nasca. Note, there is a

A map of Nazca lines and figures painted right on one of the walls in town

This is what you can see in Nasca. Note, there is a

Here’s what you can see in Nazca. Note, there is Chowchilla, a burial center where you can look at mummies as their distant ancestors left them. We didn’t visit this attraction. it’s up to you!

Nazca Sightseeing Map

Tourist map of sights in the Nazca Desert

What else to see in Peru
While traveling through the southern coastal desert, you can visit the town of Ica and surf the sand dunes. Paracas National Park and the mysterious African-Peruvian traditions in Pisco add color to the region.
  • Read also


  • Pauline Vamonos to 03/12/2015 at 19:01

Awesome!!! I think you should always stay long enough or the experience will be very limited – see the sightseeing and leave, not that! Thanks for the hotel recommendation, will come in handy! I even drooled over the rice, though we often eat it too :))

  • Ariana on March 12, 2015 at 19:10 pm Author

I, too, am of the opinion that it is necessary to leisurely explore cities and attractions. It doesn’t always work out though. but when it does, it’s great! The only downside of the aforementioned chifa (like any other in Peru and Latin America) for us personally was that we had to forge out the chicken, for we are vegetarians Dinner with a challange

  • Oksana by 03/18/2015 at 02:18

Amazing places, for sure! What’s the local cuisine like?

( No ratings yet )
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: