The Nazca Lines
The Nazca Plane, Peru © Brattarb
Nazca is a small desert town in southern Peru. Named after the Nazca civilisation, the area is famous for the mysterious lines and diagrams etched into the surrounding desert floor. Visitors will also find some interesting museums and archaeological sites, including the Chauchilla Cemetery, where 12 exposed underground tombs contain skeletons and preserved mummified forms. That said, the town's main attraction is an aerial flight over the Nazca Lines, which are spread over miles of the region's vast desert terrain. The dimensions of these enormous figures, spirals and geometric designs are so large, the only way to view them is from the air. Pilots will point out the outlines of intriguing bird and animal representations, such as the Condor, Monkey, Spider, Hummingbird, and the unusual cartoon-like character known as the Astronaut. These figures were made by removing sun-darkened stones from the desert floor to expose the lighter coloured stones below, and were created over a thousand years ago.
Experts have not discovered why they were created, nor how they were designed. For tourists, the Nazca Lines are among the strangest and most unforgettable sights in the country. They're a legacy of the ancient Nazca culture and one of South America's great mysteries.
Address: Nazca is a few miles in from the coast, 238 miles (383km) southeast of Lima.
Transport: Ormeno and Civa are two of the best bus companies with offices in Nazca.