Named after the Nazca Civilization which rose to prominence in this area, travelers to Nazca, Peru can explore the ruins, mummies, and famous marks this great civilization left upon the desert floor before they disappeared into mystery. While the town itself may seem sleepy at first glance, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that it is also a popular stop for those interested in more extreme pastimes like sandboarding and dunebuggying!
What are our top recommendations for your stay in Nazca?…..
#5 The Cantalloc Aqueducts
Thousands of years ago the Nazca developed an extensive system of subterranean aqueducts to provie year-round access to water in the arid desert unlike any found elsewhere. More than 30 of these channels of have not only survived seismic activity but actually remain in use by farmers! The best-preserved channels are in the higher Nazca Valley’s Cantayo zone. You’ll find the channels lined with riverocks and manholes with descending spiral paths to be both beautiful and fascinating.
Check an Itinerary for the Cantalloc Aqueducts .
#4 Chauchillas Cemetery
Gain valuable insight into the Nazca culture by visiting the remarkably well-preserved mummies of the ancient necropolis of Chauchillas. These bodies still retain hair and soft tissue such as skin after a thousand years. You’ll see trophy heads and head jars as well. Tours to Chauchillas generally include a demonstration of artisan gold mining and the traditional method of producing the beautiful polychrome ceramics for which the Nazca were famed.
Check an Itinerary for Chauchillas Cemetery .
Exploring the Usaca Desert in dunebuggies brings off-roading fun to your trip. Despite their small size, these can go pretty fast, hitting and jumping dunes for some desert thrills. Many tours stop for guided visits at the abandoned adobe city of Cahuachi, once the religious center of the Nazca, and Estaquería, the Place of the Stakes, where it is believed mummies were painted in a dark resin and put out to dry.
Check an Itinerary for Dunebuggying in the Usaca Desert.
The most popular options for sandboarding are Cerro Blanco (White Hill), once considered a deity known as Yuraq Orjo. It’s reputed to be the world’s largest sand dune, reaching 2,087m above sea level in the Nazca Valley. One can practice on smaller dunes around the peak before taking the big leap! Another popular spot for adrenaline-seekers wishing to try sandboarding is the beautiful Huacachina Oasis, along its surrounding dunes.
Check an Itinerary for Sandboarding Huacachina Oasis .
#1 Nazca Lines
Of course any list on activities in Nazca must culminate with the world-famous and enigmatic Nazca lines, whose original purpose and method of construction still incite debate. Tours include an introductory video and then half hour flight in light aircraft, from where you’ll be able to see the animal figures and geometric shapes which sprawl over miles of the desert floor, so large that they can only be seen from the sky. Among other figures, you’ll be able to spot the monkey, lizards, spider, dogs, hummingbirds, the condor, and plants and flowers.
Check an Itinerary for a Flight Over the Nazca Lines.
All About Pirwa Nazca Backpackers!
Pirwa Nazca Backpackers located only a few blocks from Nazca’s Main Square, just 5 minutes from the bus terminal and 10 minutes from the airport. You’ll be able to take advantage of the sunny climate in the outdoor patio, where you can throw a barbecue and relax in the hammocks. After a day of exploration, you can retire to a comfortable bed in a room with private bath (whether private room or shared dormitory) with 24/7 hot water access. You’ll find that Fernando and the rest of the Pirwa Nazca family are eager to help travelers feel comfortable and to assist with trip planning, be it transport, guided excursions, or lodging reservations in other cities. We hope you’ll come visit us in Nazca during your trip through Peru!