October 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
Traveling is fun, but to be honest it can also be a bit stressful. Checking in and out of hotels trying to establish some sort of normal pattern while seeing the sights you’ve dreamt of seeing. When I’m looking for a hotel I always try to find somewhere where I’m comfortable yet have a degree of privacy. I like to have internet access and be close enough to things I want to do that I can easily get around. I’m going to attribute it to luck that I found the Hacienda Nazca Oasis Hotel when traveling in Peru.
This is a new property, open only two months and is located just off the Pan-American Highway between Vista Alegre and Nazca, close to the airport where you go for the tours of the famous Nazca Lines. The Hacienda is run by a mother and daughter, Zolya and Cecila. From the moment you arrive you feel absolutely welcome.
Unlike the other hotels in Nazca this is a peaceful retreat – without the noise of local bars at night and the continual noise of taxis honking looking for passengers. Instead you are out on the edge of the desert, surrounded by farm land – like any good hacienda would be. The property is light and bright with the use of natural colors and textures.
The rooms are extremely large and come with either twin beds or a matrimonial bed – there are also several connecting rooms. Each room has a large private bathroom that includes both a shower and tub. There is a sitting room in the main building as well as a dining room and bar. There are tables and chairs out back, and a warm swimming pool with rock waterfall. Cecilia has rescued several falcons, which live in an aviary at the rear of the property.
The Hacienda Nazca Oasis is a unique mix I didn’t expect to find. The family has roots going back for generations in Nazca, yet they went to live in the United States for years. As a result they understand a level of service that international travelers expect. Zolya provides the warm inviting atmosphere of being a guest in her home as well as providing delicious food while Cecilia complements it with a youthful energy and eye for technology. The result is a place that feels like you are home yet has all the comforts you would want from a hotel – a rare treasure to find.
The family has lived in the area for generations and they know all the history of the area and can arrange whatever you need in just a quick phone call. Cecila was telling me stories of visiting Maria Reiche with her father when she was a little girl and that everyone thought at the time she was a crazy woman sweeping the desert with a broom. At the time the local people did not understand the significance of the Nazca Lines. They have secret spots to share like nearby virgin beaches, places you would only know if you were from the area. I spent a couple of days exploring the area, and felt well rested here and like I had made good friends.
October 7, 2010 § 2 Comments
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.