The Nazca lines are some very famous geoglyphs in Peru. For example you can see a dog in this picture:

enter image description here Picture from Wikipedia

From a plane or a satelitte or something similar, this looks really impressive. But how is it if I want to visit it on the ground. Is it worth a visit? Can I see anything?

  • As it stands this question is very subjective - whether something is worth it is debateable depending on the answerer. Could you perhaps rephrase? – Mark Mayo Dec 20 '11 at 19:54
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    Actually in the case of this question I don't think it's subjective. He's basically asking if you're not going to do a flight (maybe you can't afford it or have a fear of flying) is there any reason to to go. At least that's how I read it. – hippietrail Dec 20 '11 at 22:18
  • Exactly. I want to know if I see anything if I'm not doing a flight. – RoflcoptrException Dec 20 '11 at 22:23
  • fair call, I've answered appropriately then :) – Mark Mayo Dec 21 '11 at 0:42
  • I'm going to edit your question title since you should mention the no flying bit there. – hippietrail Dec 21 '11 at 12:31

I went last year. My friend and I caught the bus from Arequipa through to Nazca overnight, arriving early morning (around 7). The town itself is fairly non-descript, just full of hagglers telling you they've run out of Avgas and the like to try and charge you to stay a day.

From the ground you can't really get to the glyphs, as they're in the desert. The closest you can get is along the desert highway, where a viewing tower has been built. But it's really not very high - we drove past it in the bus as we left town.

However, anyone who is going there does the flight, which was trivial to organise. We hopped off the bus, got a taxi to the airport, questioned all operators for prices etc (you can talk some of them down), and were on a flight at 10am for 30 min. You get exactly the views you'd expect, and it was fantastic - the pilots are very good at showing both sides of the plane the same thing with banks and turns over the glyphs.

As you come back to the airport you get a good view of the town, and there's really not much else to do there. I wouldn't have minded seeing the old aqueducts, but it'd have required a nights stay as well, so we headed on to Lima instead.

By 11am we were back at the bus terminal to buy our tickets for the bus out of town an hour later.


There is a tower on the side of the highway that you can go up to and look over the plain, you may be able to make out some lines but not really any of the figures. You can also only see a very small part of the whole thing.

I think when going there, you should really take a plane and see the lines from above.

There is not much else to do in the town, but it can be a stop over if you are traveling from Lima to Arequipa.


Be aware that due to winds, there are days when there are no flights. We waited 3 days to get a flight.

Also note that I found it a little difficult to make out the shapes, as the sun was very high and there isn't much contrast between the lines and the desert.

Finally, I should say that my partner got very motion sick during the flight, due the the way the pilot circled the glyphs.

I know this is not a direct answer to you question, but people reading your question and considering taking a flight at Nasca might be interested.

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