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Nazca : Nazca Lines
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Climate
: The region can be visited all year-long, as its balmy climate (24°C on average) is relatively stable, with good light conditions.

Access: The Nazca Lines are found in the Pampas de San José plains 25 km from Nazca (20 minutes) and 104 km south of the city of Ica.

The Nazca Lines, discovered in 1927, are the most extraordinary legacy left by a culture that flourished in 300 BC. The lines are a series of complex designs, some up to 300 meters long which can only be seen in their true dimension from the sky, from an altitude of at least 1,500 ft. The lines that decorate the desert floor have been declared a Mankind Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the ancient mystery of the figures still waits to be unraveled.

Theories abound regarding the Nazca Lines and Geoglyphs, ranging from landing strips for aliens to a giant seismograph. The most probable theory is that of María Reiche, a German researcher who believed that the lines were part of a vast astronomic calendar whose figures marked different solar phases. Ms Reiche, affectionately nicknamed the Angel of the Plains by the local inhabitants, was the first to discover the ancient technique of digging into the tough and dry Nazca desert floor and covering the track with stones brought from distant sites.

The component of natural plaster existing in Nazca helped to preserve for thousands of years the drawings: the hummingbird, the spider, the condor and the monkey, among the more than 30 figures etched into the plain.

Other archaeological reamins in Nazca are:

Cahuachi, about 17 kms from Nazca , was a ceremonial, or perhaps an administrative center, where you can see two pyramids made out of adobe or mudbrick, as well as large plazas and cemeteries. It has a surface area of about 25 km². Most research indicates that this complex was the capital of the Nazca culture. In the vicinity of Cahuachi there is a set of lines made from wooden stakes of "huarango" (a typical tree in the area) which probably indicates the presence of tombs, corresponding to the later periods of Nazca.

The Cantayoc Aqueducts, located 4 kilometers east of the city of Nazca, were built in stone by "hydraulic engineers" of the Nazca Culture. It consists of a network of irrigation channels and underground aqueducts, which still function, watering local crop fields. These Aqueducts are really filtering galleries which can reach down to around 12 meters in depth.

The Paredones, an Inca settlement from where you can see some lines called ´The Loom´ because they have the appearance of a needle wrapped in bundles of wool and thread.

Chauchilla, an impressive Inca cemetery located about 28 kilometers southeast of Nazca town. It is thought that these ruins were built about 1100 BC. Some researchers state that more than 400 tombs were built and that 1000 corpses are buried here. Nowadays you can visit 12 tombs, with mummies of both children and adults.


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