Nazca, Peru

With out the nearby lines in the sand it might be said that Nazca is the blandest city in the entire country. Stuck in the middle of the Peruvian Pampa and the Nazca Desert (which is the second driest in the world), the city of Nazca has found itself the benefactor of a great situation. With the mysteriously constructed Nazca Lines and some serious mines nearby, the city has somehow found moderate riches. However, that doesn’t stop Nazca from being nothing more than a dusty town with rough exteriors and a bland facade of tourism-geared buildings. As the morning starts a constant buzz of airplanes whiz overhead reminding visitors of the one and only reason they came.

Time Needed: 1 day

Things to do in Nazca

  • Nazca Flights: The obvious top travel destination here is the Nazca Lines.  The price of flights run between $60-80 depending on the agent and your luck.  There is no need to book in advance but it is worth it to bargain and shop around.  The flights are the best in the morning as the air is a little bit smoother.  People often claim that the flight is actually more exciting than seeing the lines, which are often hard to pick out through the desert.
  • Chauchilla Cemetery: You’ll have to book a tour out here, or hire a taxi, but it is worth a visit.  The Chauchilla Cemetery is perhaps more interesting than the lines, although only a small percentage of travellers get out here.  This is well worth a visit as there is likely no other place in the world like it.
  • Pottery Making: There are about 3 pottery makers in Nazca and they still practice the same methods as the people who made the original stuff hundreds of years ago.  It is worth a visit if you are into pottery, or if you’re looking for an authentic souvenir to take home with you.

Where to Eat in Nazca

The majority of restaurants are along the main street.  Be warned that some close down early and on Sundays your options might be drastically reduced.

  • El Huarango: My favourite place to get grub in town.  It is cheap (meals between $3-8) and the ciollo flavour is nice and tasty.

Where to Stay in Nazca

When I was running tours through the area I always stayed at Hotel Nido del Condor which has a nice property with a pool just out of town and they also had camping.  They would also organize flights for you.  The price was about $6 to camp or about $25 per person for a private room.  While passing through alone and with my backpack I stayed at Hostal Posada Guadalupe which cost me $7 for a basic private room with a bathroom.

Getting out of Town

Although there is a main bus terminal, most buses leave from their own station, so check before hand.

  • Arequipa: About 8-9 hours with about three companies running the trip.  The buses usually come via Lima so they can be late at times.
  • Lima: It’s about 8 hours to Lima as well with most buses originating in Arequipa.
  • Huacachina/Ica: The trip to Ica can be done in about 3 hours and can be done via PeruBus or a couple smaller companies.

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