Nazca

South Coast

The south coast of Peru was home to extraordinary pre-Columbian civilizations, including the Nazca, who are best remembered for their cryptic geoglyphs: huge line pictures of animals, etched across 190 square miles (500 sq km) of desolate desert land. The Nazca lines can be seen via a plane tour, or in part from nearby hills.

The Nazca culture flourished from 100 BC – AD 800 in the river valleys of the Río Grande de Nazca and the Ica Valley. The Paracas culture, one of the “parents” of the Nazca along with their invaders the Topará, are one of the most curious ancient civilizations, and their mark on the Nazca includes ritual trepanning (drilling holes in the head) and skull elongation. These practices produced the mysteriously altered skulls that can be seen in museums such as the Antonini Museum in the city of Nazca.

The Nazca were also a talented people, their ceramics and textiles detailed, their geoglyphs nearly impossible-seeming feats. They were also advanced in the science of irrigation, having built underground aqueducts that, amazingly, are still used today.

After exploring the south coast's history and landscape, it may be time to take a break at one of the many haciendas and enjoy some Afro-Peruvian music, dance, and cuisine. The music performed in these former slave-tilled estates, which are now hotels and clubs, is derived from the transatlantic slave trade and is an essential ingredient in contemporary Peruvian popular music: its powerful and engaging beat from the Afro-Caribbean influence is perfect for lively dancing after enjoying the local food and wine, or, of course, an authentic pisco sour.

Nearby Activities

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Aerodiana Nazca Classic Tour

2-in-1 combo|30 minutes

Nazca

4.5 / 5.0
Starting At$152
Aerodiana Nazca Classic Tour

In order to fully appreciate the Nazca Lines, you need to see them from above. On an Aerodiana Classic tour, experienced pilots will fly you over these ancient...

4.5 / 5.0
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Nearby Lodging

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Casa Andina Classic Nasca

Nazca

Air Conditioning

Bar

Cable TV

Free Breakfast

Restaurant

& More

5.0 / 5.0
From$114

Casa Andina Classic Nasca

Casa Andina Classic Nasca is set within the town of Nasca. The hotel has comfy rooms and is a central location in Nasca.

5.0 / 5.0
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Kunan Wasi Hotel

Nazca

Air Conditioning

Cable TV

Free Breakfast

Wireless Internet

& More

New Hotel!
From$49

Kunan Wasi Hotel

Nazca’s economy depends largely on a busy tourist trade, a result the local attractions, including the mysterious Nazca Lines. Kunan Wasi Hotel offers a calm, quiet...

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Nuevo Cantalloc

Nazca

Air Conditioning

Bar

Cable TV

Free Breakfast

Restaurant

& More

New Hotel!
From$86

Nuevo Cantalloc

The Nuevo Cantalloc hotel is designed to look like a charming colonial-era building. Set just a short distance from several famous ancient Nazca and prehistoric sites,...

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El Majoro

Nazca

Air Conditioning

Bar

Cable TV

Free Breakfast

Restaurant

& More

New Hotel!
From$95

El Majoro

Get a cozy room at El Majoro and embrace the calm of this rustic hotel in Nazca. The Majoro building was built in the late 17th century, and spent most of its life as a...

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