Things To Do In Nazca After Flying Over The Lines
I had no idea that there were so many things to do in Nazca that don’t involve flying over the Nazca lines until I got stuck in this little desert town for a day.
Peru is vast, and two weeks would barely allow me to scratch the surface, so I decided to treat this trip as a highlights tour and come back in the future to explore it further with more time in my hands. This, of course, meant that I had to plan my Peru itinerary to the T and book everything in advance to make sure nothing would go wrong.
After Arequipa, a flight over the Nazca Lines was next on my schedule. I had steady plans to catch a bus to Ica to continue my adventures in Peru as soon as the flight was over.
And then I missed the bus to Ica. So much for tirelessly planning my trip in advance, huh?
I was left with a full day to explore the town, so I began asking restaurant owners if they had any tips for cool things to do in Nazca aside from flying over the lines.
To my surprise, there are some seriously cool attractions in Nazca that are worth the time of the day. In fact, I think everyone traveling through Peru should schedule at least a day (or two, even!) in Nazca in their Peru itinerary.
Things to do in Nazca after flying over the lines:
Explore Cahuachi Pyramids
Cahuachi is believed to have been a pilgrimage center where people from all over Peru would meet to exchange ideas, trade goods, and perform ceremonial events.
Archeologists believe the reason that the Nazca lines depict creatures so foreign to the desert was thanks to the meetings that took place in Cahuachi, as people from the coast and the Amazonas could have described these animals to the Nazca people.
I was the only person threading through the pyramids for over an hour, so if you’re looking to explore a lesser-known side of Peru, a visit to Cachuachi Pyramids will do the trick!
Visit Chauchilla Necropolis, a burial ground set right in the middle of the Nazca desert
I’m a sucker for all things creepy, and I’ve been known to travel for several hours just to get the chance to explore bone-decorated churches and haunted castles.
That being said, I was over the moon to learn that one of the things to do in Nazca involves observing mummies in a burial ground right in the middle of the desert.
My visit to Chauchilla Necropolis was a highlight of my time in Peru. Not only was it incredibly cool for me to watch the mummies, but it was also a great way to get an insight into how the Nazca people lived and survived in the desert.
Slide Down the Tallest Sand Dune in the World
Most visitors in Peru book their stay in Ica in order to get to sandboard the dunes of Huacachina. What most don’t know, though, is that Nazca boasts the tallest sand dune in the world and you’re very much likely to get to have it all to yourself.
The steepness of the dune makes it impossible for buggies to drive up to the summit, so you must hike up for several hours before getting to slide down the dune.
The trek up is just as exciting as the sandboarding itself. On a clear day, you might even get to see the Pacific Ocean from Cerro Blanco!
Don’t forget to get travel insurance for your trip! As always, I recommend Safety Wing to cover you. I’ve been using them for years and always had a great experience and prices start at $45 USD per month. Check them out here.
Learn About the Nazcas’ Engineering Techniques
Located only four kilometers away from the city center, the Cantalloc Aqueducts are an immaculate example of Nazca hydraulic engineering.
These aqueducts have been in use for over a thousand years and have managed to survive the test of time. The Nazca people lived in the desert and hence, they had no water available for drinking and agriculture so they decided to build these masterpieces of engineering to bring water in from the Andes Mountains.
There are a total of forty-six aqueducts on the site, some are quite small but as you go further in, they get bigger and bigger. To date, these aqueducts still serve their purpose of providing potable water to the residents of Nazca.
Guys, Nazca is really cool and has so much to offer! This trip was ages ago, but I still remember my time in Nazca as being one of the biggest highlights of my trip through Peru. Missing that bus was a real blessing in disguise because I would have never gotten the chance to explore these incredibly cool desert gems and get to learn so much about the Nazca people.
Due to time constraints, I hired a driver to take me around all of these places and while this blog always promotes independent travel, if you’re short on time as I was, I’d recommend doing the same thing as some places are far apart from each other and taking taxis to and from each spot will probably cost a ton. Plus, places like the Cahuachi Pyramids are a bit remote, so you might have a hard time finding a taxi there to drive you back to town.
Continue planning your trip to Peru with these resources:
Peru Packing List – A thorough packing guide to Peru in which I share tips on what to bring along to brave the different climates of Peru.
How to get to Machu Picchu on a budget – If you’re traveling Peru on a shoestring as I did, the cost of the train to Machu Picchu can take a real toll on your budget. Luckily, there are ways to get there without breaking the bank, and I share my hacks on this post!
I’m sure Nazca has even more to offer, so if you happen to know any other kickass things to do in Nazca, feel free to tell me all about them on the comments section below 🙂
Enjoyed reading your post. I to want to go back and visit Peru. Two weeks is not enough time. I think part of me stayed there. I think about Peru all the time. Great places to visit, and very nice people there. Live the culture and traditions.
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[…] a 3 and a half hour bus trip, so it makes for a perfect day trip. Moreover, there are a ton of things to do in Nazca after seeing the lines, including going on sand dune adventures, visiting an ancient Nazca […]