Nazca Lines, Peru
The Nazca Lines remain one of earth’s most mysterious enigmas. Believed to have been largely constructed by the Nazca civilization which inhabited Peru from 200 BC to AD 600, they are a set of ancient geoglyphs and biomorphs carved into the Nazca desert. Hundreds are simple geoglyphs, geometric shapes such as straight lines and triangles, while there are a further 70 biomorphs, stunning animal and plant drawings. The most impressive of these are a huge monkey, an intricate spider and a condor with a 130m wingspan. The purpose of the lines remains a mystery, but this only adds to their eerie impression. This is only increased by one biomorph especially, referred to as the astronaut due to its intriguing head shape. Several of the lines have also been interpreted as runways, but the most popular theories suggest that they were created as offerings to the gods. The only way to see all of the lines is from the sky, so take a flight over the desert to truly take in the spectacular ancient art. There is an observation tower along the Panamerican highway for those not wishing to take to the sky, which offers a great view of three of the enigmatic figures.
Where is it?
The lines are located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru, around 200 miles south of the capital city Lima.
What is it?
The ancient artwork is believed to have been mostly created by the peoples of the Nazca civilisation. Placed on the high, arid plateau, the artwork has remained remarkably clear thanks to the desert region only about receiving around 20 minutes of rainfall per year.
Best time to visit?
The Nazca desert gets extremely hot, especially in the summer time from December to March when temperatures can reach 40’C, so visit in the cooler winter months of June and July. You are still unlikely to experience any rainfall on your trip even in winter.
While there are several magnificent drawings, the hummingbird is arguably the most impressive. One of the best preserved figures in the desert, the intricate design stands out perfectly against the dark plateau. The wondrous design adds to the mystery of how such a detailed picture could be created so impeccably.