As world-famous as the Nazca Lines are, it’s no wonder that other worthy attractions nearby are often overlooked by rushed tourists. As proponents of slow, purposeful travel, we think that’s a shame. These other sights might lack the iconic status of the lines, but they can give you the insight you need to understand the mysterious Nazca culture, and to enjoy a few adrenaline rushes in the process…
The world’s largest adobe city may hold the secret of the Nazca Lines. The 2000 year old city of Cahuachi (Home of the Clairvoyants) predated the Nazca, but became a pilgrimage site and the ceremonial center of their civilization, which some speculate had some connection to the nearby lines. Cahuachi was abruptly abandoned after a series of devastating floods and the Huari invasion, and is still being excavated today. However, you can still visit its terraces, Great Pyramid, Necropolis, and Staggered Temple- just 20 minutes from downtown Nazca. Visit Cahuachi by high-octane sand buggy, then stop by the Usaca Valley for some extreme sandboarding!
The Mummies of Chauchillas
Thousand year old mummies so well-preserved that some still have their hair and skin, macabre trophy heads, headless bodies with ceramic ‘head jars’ with faces painted on them, skulls bearing the marks of brain surgery and deformation… the residents of this city of the dead provide intrepid visitors with a unique insight into the Nazca and their world. Visit Chauchillas Cemetery.
Vineyards in the desert? The Nazca Civilization left their mark along the desert region of Peru in more ways than one: their network of underground aqueducts have a unique design unlike any you’ll see elsewhere, and are still in use after a milennia, bringing a green fertility into the region’s valleys. Visit Cantayoc Aqueducts.
Don’t forget that you can get information about local attractions and arrange excursions at reception at our Pirwa Hostel in Nazca.