This is a tour full of mystery and excitement. First you will fly over the Nazca Lines, to try to decipher the origin of its creation. Then you will continue to Ballestas Islands, to sail to a refuge of playful sea lions. Finally the visit to Machu Picchu citadel where you will appreciate its beauty, stunning architecture and energy.
Nazca Lines: A Complete Mystery behind
The mysterious Nazca lines, over 2,000 years old, are probably one of the biggest enigmas in Peruvian history. These geoglyphs drawn over hundreds of miles in the desert in the southern area of Peru are riddle yet to be uncovered. A few facts are clear: they are much older than the Inca empire, they were made by the people of the Nazca culture, and they represent a wide range of figures; geometrical like parallel lines, animals like monkey, spiders or birds, flowers or anthropomorphic among others. But how they were carved with such precision over the sand being larger than two or three football fields if the people of the time could fly or have a way to look at them from up above? What do they mean? Some scholars say they are linked to some underwater canals, others think they were related to astronomical views, and some crazy theories even posture that they are related with aliens!
A tour to the Nazca lines will challenge your imagination and channel your inner Indiana Jones for sure. We offer you the possibility to fly over them and try to decipher their true meaning. We offer you to depart points from this tour, taking the from Lima or from Paracas, 3 hours away from the capital city but nearer to the destination.
Our guided visit to Lima allows you to see the Historical Center: Main Square, the Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, the City Hall and old streets with colonial mansions and Moorish balconies. You will also visit the historic Santo Domingo Convent , an icon of colonial architecture. The tour goes all the way to modern district of San Isidro and Miraflores, where you’ll appreciate archaeological sites of sacred Inca structures and also, you will observe the Pacific Ocean coast from the vast seafront.
Four hours bus ride to Paracas. Upon arrival transfer to the selected hotel.
At appropriate time transfer to the airfield to board a light aircraft and enjoy the flight over Pisco, Ocucaje, Palpa and the amazing Nazca Lines. There you can see a number of geoglyphs, representing stylized pictures of animals and plants, distributed among a huge maze of rects, trapeziums, triangles and spirals carved on the land and preserved for almost 2, 000 years.
Departing from Libertador Paracas Hotel's pier, this 2 hour boat ride will lead you to the Ballestas Islands located near Pisco city, in front of the Paracas National Reserve (largest coastal wildlife sanctuary of Peru). These beautiful islands are home of thousands of migratory birds, including: pelicans, tendrils, gulls among others, which share their habitat with huge groups of sea lions and fur seals. During the excursion you will also see the mysterious designing over the hill, called “El Candelabro” (The Chandelier).
Transfer to the bus station to take the ride back to Lima.
You will start your excursion visiting Maras, located in the province of Urubamba, 46 kilometers West of the city of Cusco. Salt deposits are located Northwest this town. There, you will find the most important salt mines of the region, operated from the Incan times and the viceregal period.
Then, you will visit the circular andenes in Moray, created by the Andean man with the looks of an amphitheater.
Finally,you will go to Ollantaytambo, military, religious and agricultural center of the Incan Empire. The fortress is located on top of the mountain and allowed them to protect the whole valley from invaders. From the highest spot we will be able to appreciate the narrow roads along with the channels that remain unaltered since Incan times. Lunch will be provided at local restaurant.
Transfer to Ollantaytambo train station to take the ride to Machu Picchu town.
Today you will start your Machu Picchu excursion with a private guide. This incredible place is a renowned example of the advanced Inca’s architecture, surrounded by an amazing landscape of lush forest. Lost in history, Machu Picchu was not discovered until 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, but was built in the middle of XV century. The name of the citadel comes from the Quechua language that means “Old Mountain” and apparently was the principal Inca’s Sanctuary. Enjoy a buffet lunch at Sanctuary lodge.
At the appointed time, you will return to the station to take your train ride back to Cusco.
Transfer from the train station to the hotel in Cusco.
Get to know the city of Cusco, an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and possessor of a style on its own. The tour begins at the Koricancha Temple, an old Incan palace and main center for the worship of the sun god, Inti. Once the Spanish conquered Peru, the Dominican order built a lovely church over top this temple’s foundations: the church of Santo Domingo that is still there today. Your next destination is the Main Square, and then the adventure continues at the Sacsayhuaman Fortress built of enormous stone blocks expertly shaped by the Incas. It is strategically located at the top of a hill overlooking Cusco. What a view of the city! The tour continues with visits to three archeological sites: “Qenko, Puca-Pucara, and Tambomachay”, important religious and administrative centers for the Incas. Finally you will visit an art workshop named “Inkas Expression” that presents artists working on silver pieces and painting in wood. This is an ideal place for the ones who like andean art.
To complement the Nazca lines tour we suggest you a visit the adjacent aqueducts know as “puquios” called Cantalloc, built about 1500 years ago by the Nazca people to bring water from springs located very far in the mountains into the desert, mainly to help them turn the arid sands of the Nazca desert into green lands to cultivate their most important products such as beans and potatoes, and to provide water for the people of the area. Since they carry water from far away, its builders put wooden roofs over them to keep it clean. So take a tour of the Nazca lines and experience the mysterious history of Peru.