I was on a three-month backpacking trip and stayed in Lima for about a week. Given all the things I wanted to do while I was in the area, I was pretty tight on time, so I tried to get quality over quantity – find things that would be the absolutely most interesting to me, and things that would make me feel like I had really seen Peru. Obviously, seeing the Nazca Lines was at the top of my list.
The desert is about 200 miles from Lima, but there are small planes that fly tourists between the two. The distance seems basically nonexistent by plane. The tour is a bit pricey – about $280 USD – so it was a big splurge for a traveler in the middle of such a long trip, but I had found cheaper lodging than I had anticipated, and didn’t eat nearly as much as I do back home, so it felt justified. There are cheaper options from other airports, but the convenience was worth it in my case.
The shuttle picked me up from a bus stop in the late morning and took me to the airport. I booked the tour through NazcaFlights’ official site, and the price included a staff member’s assistance with all the check-in procedures, which was very helpful for me. About 10 other passengers boarded the plane with me, and we took off. The flight was about an hour and a half, total, including the time it took to view the Lines.
I can’t explain how incredible this experience was. The lines are so precise, and so well preserved, I just don’t understand how they can be as old as they are. We were able to see 12 of the most popular formations – immense, brilliantly carved forms of all kinds of animals and trees. I started ravenously consuming theories about their formation the moment I returned and hooked my tablet up to the wifi in a local cafe. No one knows how on earth these people managed to do it. It remains one of the coolest man-made wonders I’ve seen.