The Desert Destination: The Enigmatic Nazca Lines and Practical Theories

With the towering Andes and lush Amazon as nearby destinations Peru’s southern coastal desert is often overlooked. With so much to see, we ask ourselves why?

Located in the deserts of southern Peru, hundreds of ruler-straight lines, animal figures, trapezoids and other geometrical figures lie across the rocky Nazca plateau. Visible mostly only from the air, some say the Nazca Lines acted as an ancient solar calendar. Others suggest the Lines acted as ritual pathways for religious processions. Many of the figures’ are designed in a continuous fashion, never crossing itself making it perfect for processions. Still others believe it was just an ancient culture’s way of asking for water during a long drought. We know that about the time the Nazca Lines are thought to have been constructed between about 200BC-600AD, this region of Peru was suffering through an extended drought. This may have led to the eventual demise, or migration, of the once mighty Nazca culture towards more plentiful water sources located at higher elevations in the Andes Mountains.
The most esoteric theory is that Aliens landed here and created the lines as some sort of message to earthly inhabitants.

The general consensus of archaeologists, anthropologists and scientists is that the Nazca people themselves created the Nazca Lines, without help from celestial visitors or aerial views. The figures drawn in the desert match up with images found in other examples of Nazca art, such as pottery. Also interesting and found to support the drought theory, is that many of the figures represent animals that reside in water rich regions of Peru. The Pacific Ocean, the Amazon Jungle and the Andes Mountains are all heavily represented with typical flora and fauna from each region.

In spite of all that we have learned about them in recent years, the Nazca Lines remain a fascinating mystery.

Adventures to Peru offers full day or multi day tours taking you to this ongoing, unsolved mystery. To see our Nazca Lines and Ballestas Islands Tour extension please visit:

Call us at 1-800-490-4590 or contact us for more information.

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