Soar above the mysterious Nazca lines on Peru's Pacific coast
Where else in the world can you take to the skies and soar over the images of a giant monkey, flamingo, hummingbird, whale and a lizard intersected by the Pan-American highway? In what other context are an astronaut, dog and condor linked? These are just some of the many mysterious geoglyphs you will see on an aerial tour of the ancient Nazca Lines, scattered over the barren coastal deserts of Southern Peru. How they were created and what purpose they serve remains a mystery.
The Nazca lines cover a surface area of more than 500 square km. of desert between Palpa, Nazca and Pampa Colorada, and are an incredibly precise collection of figures and lines, created over centuries in pre-Inca times, for reasons as yet unexplained. Maria Reiche spent most of her life studying, protecting and clearing the lines, arriving at her theory of them representing an astronomical calendar.
You will be transferred to Maria Reich Airdrome in Nazca. For this aerial tour, you will board a small plane, which has spacious room from 5 to 9 people, each person with a window seat. Your English speaking pilot will proceed to give you a briefing about this air tour and also will give each participant a map of the archaeological zone, which shows all the figures you will see from the air. After some basic information about the Lines and safety instructions, the airplane will take off. In a matter of just 2 minutes you will be flying over the Nazca Lines zone, and the first figure you will see from the air it will be the whale. This beautiful marine deity is located on the eastern part of the archaeological complex, and was drawn over a big rectangular figure.
As soon as we get close to the whale our pilot will let you know and then will fly in circles over it. The others figures you will see are a triangle, which appears over a small hill featuring 3 points. On the other side you will also see the famous trapezoids that, according to Erick von Daniken were ancient runways for visitors from another planet. Some kilometers further west we will find one of the strangest creatures on the Nazca desert "The Astronaut". Later on, we will fly over the monkey figure, an enormous drawing that measures about 90 meters in length, and shows at one hand five fingers and on the other just four, symbolizing the 9 month of drought the Nazca people suffered every year. After the monkey, we will fly over the dog figure, a small drawing that according to some scholars it represents a divinity worshipped by the Nazca people.
Then it comes one of the best preserved figures of the whole area "The hummingbird", a gorgeous design perfectly made on a dark plateau located at one corner of the archaeological complex. Not very far from the hummingbird, you will find the spider, a figure that according the local knowledge, represents the fertility and water, as this insect used to appear when it is going to rain or the water in the rivers is about to come. Some meters away we will find the huge condor figure, featuring a straight line that crosses its wings and points towards the place where the sun sets every year on summer solstice.
Our next figure will be the flamingo, which is the longest figure on the desert, with over 300 meters. Then we will fly over the parrot figure, a huge bird with about 230 meters in length. In addition to the parrot, you will also see several geometric designs around, and the beautiful valley of Ingenio. Finally we will fly over the Pan-American Highway, where you will see 2 figures; the hands and the Huarango tree. If you look carefully, you will find next to the tree, another figure representing a big lizard. Unfortunately when the people built the highway in 1937, they had no idea that ancient figures were drawn there, so the cut the lizard figure in two.
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