No-one knows precisely why the inhabitants of these coastal valleys etched thousands of lines plus anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures in the desert some 2,000 years ago. The Nazca Lines are among the most intriguing of the many remnants of civilizations that prospered along the Pacific coast for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. You'll find the coast a fascinating contrast to the highlands and the Amazon.
For individuals and couples, the following is a most cost-effective ways to see the coast and fly over the Lines. The trip can operate anytime (different rates apply for New Year, Easter, and July 28 Peruvian Independence Day holiday packages). For groups of 5 or more, ask for our group program. Please specify whether you want Tourist-class accommodation (Hotel Austria or similar) or Superior (Hotel Las Dunas or similar). Both facilities have swimming pools and similar location in Ica, a pleasant desert oasis town. The description below applies to the deluxe package. For the standard hotel package, transfers are included between the Ica bus station and your hotel.
Day One Ica
We pick you up at your Lima hotel (or from Lima airport, if you’re arriving from Cuzco) and transfer you to the bus station for the deluxe express bus transfer to Ica. You travel south along the Pan-American Highway through Peru's coastal desert. To the west, Pacific beaches alternate with rocky headlands; to the east, the arid landscape of sand dunes and rocky plains is punctuated by the lush green of irrigated valleys supporting intensive agriculture. After four hours of travel you reach Ica, a prosperous cotton and grape-producing oasis. The bus drops you at the Hotel Las Dunas, a comfortable resort surrounded by towering sand dunes. There is a large swim¬ming pool, and you may arrange to ride horses or to visit vineyards and other local points of interest. Our local operator will contact you to reconfirm ground arrangements. If you travel on a morning bus, your afternoon is open to explore Ica. We warmly recommend the Regional Archeology Museum; at nearby Huacachina resort you can try dune-boarding or dune buggy rides! Overnight, all meals on your own.
Day Two Nazca Lines
With private driver and guide, we depart at 7.00AM and travel 2.5 hours south along the Pan-American Highway to Nazca. From the Nazca airport, you board a small aircraft (typically 4-or 6-passenger Cessna) and fly over the Nazca Lines, circling major figures at a height ideal for photography. You can marvel at the uncanny precision and elegance in the hummingbird, the condor, the spider, the monkey, and many other compelling figures. Far outnumbering these zoomorphic and anthropomorphic elements are the lines them¬selves, criss-crossing the pampa in bewildering abundance. The origin and meaning of these 2,000-year-old figures remains a mystery. Following your flight, you have time to visit some local points of interest, including a ceramics factory that makes excellent reproductions of pre-Inca ceramics. Return to Ica for overnight. Lunch and dinner are on your own.
Day Three Ballestas Islands
Departure for Paracas Bay is around 7 AM. Reaching the Bay of Paracas, you board a speed¬boat for the two-hour excursion to the offshore Ballestas Islands Reserve. En route you pass the Candela¬bra, yet another mysterious figure etched in the hillside overlooking the ocean. The up welling cold currents offshore support rich marine life, hence the Ballestas Islands are home to large colonies of sea lions and gannets. You'll see Inca terns, with elegant red tufts on their cheeks, and, deep in the sea caves, Humboldt penguins. The thunder of waves crashing on a pebble beach in a narrow, cliff-hung bay occupied by hundreds of roaring, barking sea lions is an unforgettable auditory souvenir. Return to the mainland, and drive out to the Paracas Peninsula for lunch at a fishing village, prior to catching the afternoon bus back to Lima. We meet you at the bus station and transfer you to your hotel or to the airport for your evening flight home.
Included: 2 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast, 2 Lima transfers, express bus Lima/Ica/Lima, Ballestas tour and Nazca Lines overflight with local guides.
Excluded: lunches and dinners, tips,