Flights over the Nazca Lines are a highly recommended way to experience this unusual archaeological marvel. Here are three of the best tour options from Lima.
Deep in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru, a series of lines and geoglyphs (large designs usually cut into or made from durable elements) were created for reasons that remain unclear. One theory posits that they were attempts to communicate with the gods. With the largest being over 350m long, what’s clear is that very little can be garnered from a ground-level viewing. That is why you must take to the skies for a real sense of the Nazca Lines’ magnificence.
Nazca Lines and Ballestas Islands full-day tour
To cram everything into one day properly, most day tours from Lima last around 16-17 hours from start to finish. This allows you the opportunity to see two of the region’s unmissable attractions, one natural, the other man-made. Starting at your Lima hotel at 4am, you’ll board a ferry in Paracas, bound for the Ballestas Islands. This nature reserve is home to sea lions and other fascinating avian and marine life. This is followed with a flight over the Nazca Lines, before heading back to Lima. Airport taxes are not included in the price. From $450 per person.
From Lima: Ballestas, Nazca Lines and Huacachina Oasis tour
For an itinerary that packs even more into a 17-hour day, check out this great option. The trip includes a stop at the Huacachina Oasis, where you can go sandboarding on the dunes and have lunch (not included in the tour fee). The undoubted highlight though, is the 45-minute flight from Pisco Airport over the Palpa Desert, where you can look down on the Nazca Lines as they form images of giant spiders and monkeys, gouged into the arid land. From $500 per person.
Private Nazca Lines and Huacachina tour
Perhaps the best value tour of the Nazca Lines is also the most expensive. But in that fee you will get a flight from Ica over the Nazca Lines, and head out onto the dunes at Huacachina Oasis in a dune buggy. This tour is also shorter, at 14 hours, as it focusses on the land-based sights of the area. There’ll even be time to visit a chocolate factory and a winery in the Pisco area for a traditional Peruvian lunch and tipple. From $520 per person.