Let me guess, before planning a trip to Peru you probably hadn’t heard about the Nazca lines (sometimes spelt Nasca)! Am I right? I know I hadn’t. While not a Wonder of the World, the Nasca lines are a pretty big deal in Peru and in the archaeological sphere.
The Nazca Lines are ancient, giant, geoglyphs that had been etched into the desert in Southern Peru some 2,000 years ago. To this day, scientists still can’t agree on how and why they were created, although many suggest practises and rituals based on astrology. Some of the lines start to take shapes such as swirls, zigzags triangles and rectangles, while others become obvious animal representations such as monkeys, spiders, a hummingbird and there is even one that looks like a dinosaur. This is a truly phenomenal site especially when you try to comprehend how people managed to do this 2,000 years ago.
The only way to see the lines and their shapes are from above. You could be standing right in the middle of one formation at ground level and not even realise. This leaves just a few options. For the most budget option, you can take a ride through the desert and climb one of the many hills in this area to get a view of the figures. What’s more, you can get a lovely hike in and just enjoy being in one of the driest deserts on the planet.
The other option is to take a scenic flight over the lines. There are a number of tours and airlines you can book with and they all offer a similar service and price. With prices at around $100 per person, this experience costs more than your average tour and you might be considering if it’s worth it. I’ll go into that a little later.
With prices and flight routes being similar the thing you need to consider when booking is safety and going with a reputable company should be paramount. Do your research and make sure to choose an upstanding company rather than try to save on $5. For this reason, I flew with Alas Peruanas. All planes are Cesnas and have space for 2-4 passengers.
Is it worth the cost?
I would say that the experience itself was quite astonishing. Seeing this ancient feat from the air was amazing and a truly marvellous experience. I would definitely recommend it if your budget stretches that far. I mean there isn’t anywhere in the world quite like this. For me personally, it was a bit of a nerve-wracking experience. I’m a bad flyer, to say the least, and I get anxious on planes and in the air, especially on planes of this size. There was quite a bit of turbulence and the pilot does take some sharp turns in order for you to get a better view of the lines. It felt like I was being thrown around in a tin can suspended in the air. All fears aside, this flight is definitely worth the money. It’s an experience like no other.
Before you fly tips:
- Due to the nature of the flight and the turbulence you may experience, it’s a good idea to take some motion sickness/nausea meds beforehand even if you do have a strong stomach. The plane does provide sick bags and there was one person on my flight that clearly didn’t take their tablets.
- In addition to the price of the flight, you’ll also have to pay a $16 departure tax. This gets paid when you arrive at the airport before your flight.
- Bring your essentials only. As these planes are small our operator took our weight quite seriously and we were all weighed and assigned a seat on the plane. Our daypacks had to stay behind at the airport for the duration of the flight.
- Be prepared for a bit of a wait at the airport. Check-in and getting everything ready can be a little slow going so be prepared to wait a while.
As I said before the Nasca lines are a truly unique and wonderful experience, especially when seen from the air. Peru may be famous for Machu Picchu but these lines seriously bring some competition.
Travelling on to Machu Picchu or Cusco? Check out my guides here.