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NAZCA, PERU FACTS

NAZCA, PERU, FACTS: HUB FOR CULTURE, NATURE & FUN: Nazca lines, Paredones pyramids, Andes vecuñas, coastal wildlife and sandboarding world's highest dune

Nazca, Peru Facts

A mere provincial town in the desert of Southern Peru, Nazca has become famous for its mysterious Nazca lines, geoglyps carved out in the desert surrounding the city.

 

From the ground, the designs of the lines can hardly be seen, but from a small airplane one gets a fantastic view of these figures, some of the largest being several hundred meters long. Many figures are mere lines or have geometric shapes, but others represent animals, people and plants, some of which have been given names like "monkey, parrot, hummingbird, whale", etc. So it is not surprising that Nazca has become one of the prime destinations in Peru.

 

Why consider booking our  Peru National Parks Tour? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL places for which Peru is so famous, and on top of that, you get to see 9 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a naturalist guide. There is nothing similar on the market. As Peru can be combined with other countries, we organize tours in modules: Lima Cusco, Machu Picchu module, Manu National Park module, National Parks Module, All modules.

Destinations Overview:  World Heritage Site LimaWorld Heritage Site Cusco, Amazon park Manu National Park World Heritage Site Valle Sagrado/Sacred Valley, World Heritage Site Machu Picchu, Cloud Forest Machu Picchu Sanctuary, Highland wetland Titicaca National Reserve, Uros floating islands, Altiplano wildlife park Salinas & Aguadas Blancas National Reserve, World's second deepest canyon Colca Canyon, Word heritage site Arequipa, World heritage site Nazca Lines, Pampas Galeras National Reserve, San Fernando National Reserve, Paracas National Reserve, Ballestas Islands National Reserve.

 

In fact, Nazca, Peru was known for its viticulture, producing wine and grape brandy known as Pisco, and quite famous in Peru as Pisco Sour, a cocktail of pisco brandy, eggs, lemon and sugar. Both the wines and the brandy were sold throughout the viceroyalty of Peru. Nowadays, Peru and Chile each have their own pisco, with annual production in Peru being 7 thousand tons and in Chili 100 thousand tons.

 

Modern Nazca is not a picturesque place, although it has a lively tourist street with lots of restaurants worth a visit at night. In part, this is due to a major - scale 7.5 - earthquake in 1996 that destroyed much of the city, but even before that there was not much to see for tourists. Having said that, the surroundings of Nazca are far more interesting than tour operators are aware off.

 

Only recently are the Cahuachi - aka Paredones- ruins becoming visited, while they are only 15 minutes away from the outskirts of town. In fact, the Cahuachi archaeological site, already existed during the heydays of the Nazca lines, but an Inca-wall also indicates that it was used by the Incas.

 

Not less interesting are the natural monuments at less than an hour's ride from town:

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Pampa Galeras, the center of recovery of the famous vicuñas at an elevation of some 4,000m are only an hour away towards the east, where one can enjoy the view of vicuñas, Guanacos and Andean foxes;

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On the way towards the reserve, one passes by an access road to the world's highest dune, the Cerro Blanco, where youngsters go "sandboarding" but which also is an interesting geological phenomenon;

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Half an hour's ride towards the South, is San Fernando National Reservation, a fabulous 154,716-hectares reserve where one gets to see Condors feeding on dead Sea Lions washed ashore, an enormous Sea Lion colony, a Humboldt Penguin colony, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, Neotropic cormorants, Andean Foxes and Guanacos. This incredibly interesting reserve gets less than 350 per year!

All in all, Nazca is an extremely interesting destination, well worth spending a night or two.

 

Nazca Climate

CLIMATE IN NAZCA, PERU. INFO ON WEATHER & SEASONS. Graphs: hours of sunshine, overcast, rainfall, temperatures, etc.

Nazca lies at an elevation of around 500 m and has a desert climate, due to the Humboldt current. Often the days begin with an overcast sky, but clouds disappear by 9:00 - 10:00, allowing for flights over the Nazca lines. Down at the coast of San Fernando National Reserve, the climate is even drier, with hardly any precipitation at all. The little vegetation that one finds there probably depends on moisture brought in by nightly fogs.

 

As one rises from Nazca to Pampa Galeras, humidity gradually rises, while temperatures fall, which makes for fascinating desert vegetation transitions over very short distances.

Climate of Nazca

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Average high °C (°F)

30.7
(87.3)

31.3
(88.3)

31.3
(88.3)

30.4
(86.7)

28.3
(82.9)

27.1
(80.8)

25.3
(77.5)

26.5
(79.7)

28.3
(82.9)

28.9
(84)

29.8
(85.6)

30.0
(86)

28.99
(84.17)

Average low °C (°F)

16.8
(62.2)

17.8
(64)

16.9
(62.4)

14.8
(58.6)

12.2
(54)

9.3
(48.7)

7.9
(46.2)

9.3
(48.7)

10.1
(50.2)

11.5
(52.7)

12.4
(54.3)

14.9
(58.8)

12.83
(55.07)

Precipitation mm (inches)

2
(0.08)

2
(0.08)

0
(0)

0
(0)

0
(0)

0
(0)

0
(0)

0
(0)

0
(0)

0
(0)

0
(0)

0
(0)

4
(0.16)

Source: Climate-data.org (UN), Climate of Nazca

Nazca, Peru: Plaza de las Armas.

Nazca, Peru: church.

Nazca, Peru: Local hotel.

Above: The Plaza de las Armas is a friendly but unpretentious little park in the center of town.

 

Left: Little 2 - 3 star hotels abound.

Nazca, Peru: Maria Reiche Neuman Airport for Nazca lines flights

Nazca, Peru: Nazca lines, Condor.

Nazca Lines Flight services from Maria Reiche Neuman Airport in Nazca take you over the different figures left behind in the desert by the Nazca people.

 

 

Nazca, Peru: Paredones archaeological site.

Nazca, Peru: Cahuachi pyramid.

Nazca, Peru: Cahuachi ruins, a sacred place of the Nazca culture.

Nazca, Peru: Cahuachi adobe walls.

The Cahuachior Paredones archaeological site is located at a distance of 15 minutes from Nazca. There are about 40 hill low hills with adobe structures on top in an area of about 1,500 hectares, most of which have not yet been excavated nor studied. According to archaeologists Giuseppe Orefici and Helaine Silverman, the site appears to be a ceremonial pilgrimage center of the Nazca culture. The huge architectural complex covers 0.6 sq. miles (1.5 km2).

 

Nazca, Peru: San Fernando National Reserve.

Nazca, Peru: San Fernando National Reserve visit with dune buggy.

San Fernando National Reserve is a fantastic desert and coastal national park, that gets very few visitors, among other things, due to the absence of passable roads. As one needs to traverse some very steep dunes, the most secure way to enter the national park with specially built dune-buggies for tourists.

   

Nazca, Peru: San Fernando National Reserve, Humboldt pinguins.

Nazca, Peru: San Fernando National Reserve Andean condor.

San Fernando National Reservate, at merely half an hour away from Nazca, has some incredible species like the Humboldt Penguin and the almost always present Andes Condor feeding on dead Sea Lions.

   

Nazca, Peru: Kiawa or Huarango Millennium tree, Prosopis pallida, hardwood.

Nazca, Peru: Kiawa or Huarango Millennium tree, Prosopis pallida, grove.

The Kiawa or Huarango Millennium tree, Prosopis pallida, is a species of mesquite tree from Colombia to Peru, in English known as American carob, as well as "bayahonda" is a very draught resistant tree, used by the Nazca people and later the Incas for construction purposes and for making roofs over irrigation canals, as well as for firewood. Major forests have all disappeared, but small remnant groves still survive, one on the way towards Cahuachi.

   

Nazca, Peru: Cactus field to raise  Dactylopius coccus larvae for the production of scarlet dye.

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An interesting product is the scarlet dye derived from Dactylopius coccus larvae that feed on cactuses. Once full-grown, the larvae are harvested to produce a natural dye that is in very high demand. As cactuses have rather low demands on water, their cultivation is very suitable for the Peruvian desert lowlands.

   

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