Nazca Plateau

October 7, 2010 § 2 Comments

 

Nazca Lines

Nazca Lines - Space Man

 

Nazca is one of those places those out of the ordinary places which are can be found in National Geographic Magazine or documentary videos.  Located in southern Peru, the Nazca Plateau is home to the mysterious Nazca Lines that have had people pondering their existence since they were first discovered back in 1930’s.  The Nazca Lines are appear in a variety of shapes and figures a whale, dog, monkey, hummingbird and an astronaut are among the many to be seen.  What makes the figures so incredible is they can only be seen from the air.  Your choices to view them are either by taking a small Cessna over the plateau or by climbing a lookout tower.  The fact that from ground level the figures are unrecognizable has only added to the speculation over the years of their creation were they created by ancient Nazca People some 2,000 years ago to signal alien life or were they created as some type of unusual celestial calendar used to determine the time of year.

These lines are one of archeology’s greatest puzzles due to their quantity, nature size and quality.  One of the reasons the lines have remained over the centuries is that Nazca Plateau is one of the driest places on earth where rain and wind is almost nonexistent.  This point leads you to wonder why these ancient people would choose to live in such a desolate area.

Adding to the mystery of the area, the same people that created the lines had similar afterlife beliefs as the people of Egypt and mummified the dead preserving the people and their belongings for their next life.

Incredible engineers, the Nazca people created the Cantalloc Aqueducts a series of underground canals and wells that brought the water from areas higher up the mountain down to the valley and extended the farmable land.  The Nazca people used these wells as a year round irrigation system to grow cotton, corn, beans, potatoes and a variety of fruit.

Arriving in Nazca you learn that it is more than just desert and a place of antiquity – in the cool season when the rest of Peru is cold and rainy it is almost idyllic in Nazca with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s.  Located at the base of several mountains there are two towns side by side Nazca and Vista Alegre the ancient irrigation system help to create an oasis in the desert.  Located in the Ica District the area is home to the grapes that create the national beverage of Pisco.  The area is surrounded by desert but it has green trees, farms and fresh fruit too.  September is a celebration of peanuts, raisins and chocolate all produced locally.

Located at near the halfway point between Lima and Arequipa by road, Nazca is a charming town with interesting sites and the perfect stopover point on a grand tour of Peru.

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