Location and Geography:
Nazca is the capital of the province of the same name and in the department of Ica, Peru. It is situated 442 km south of the city of Lima in a thin valley at more than 500m high. It is the second largest city in its geographical area. It is bordered to the north by the provinces of Ica and Palpa, to the east by the Ayacucho region, to the south by the Arequipa region and to the west by the Pacific Ocean.
The geography of the Nazca province is characterized by the presence of valleys and rivers (Ingenio-Changuillo, Aja, Tierras Blancas and Trancas), all of which are headwaters for the Rio Grande. There are large pampas and hills on the coastal desert, of note being the San Jose pampa where one finds the famous geoglyphs, the Nazca Lines. In east of the province one can view the gorges which give rise to the first Andean foothills. As for coastal features, of note are the San Fernando inlet and the bays of San Nicolas and San Juan in the extreme south of the province.
The province of Nasca is the communication center of the southern region of the country. It is accessed by the southern Pan-American Highway (Km. 443 - city of Nasca) and the Inter-Oceanic Highway, which links the sierra and the southern Peruvian jungle, reaching into Brazil and Bolivia.
Martime Ports: Ports San Juan and San Nicolas (Marcona), where heavyweight boats pick up iron, and a future Mega Port for Peru and the South American Pacific.
Airports: Airport "María Reiche Neunam" of Nasca (Vista Alegre) and the Marcona Airport.
The scientific discovery of the Nasca culture was by the German archaeologist Fredrico Max Uhle in the year 1901. He performed various investigations of the Nasca culture, discovering ceramic pieces which he later studied. His complete name was Friedrich Maximiliano Uhle Lorenzo, was born in Dresden and is considered the "Father of Peruvian Archaeology" for his contributions to science. The city of Nasca was founded in 1591 by the Spanish in the Nasca valley, close to the villages which were inhabited by ancient civilizations and later dominated by the Incas.
Culture and Traditions:
Some of the customs of the Nasca culture were: - The works that they created were generally accompanied by a banquet which almost always consisted of chicha (fermented corn drink) and various foods. There is evidence of individual worship such as offerings tied with plants, threads, hair, trophy heads, etc. - There is also evidence of collective worship, from the consumption of foods in ceremonial dishes and musical accompaniment with string instruments and drums.
Other customs they had were that when for some reason they decided that the buried deity residing in the temple lost his power or they were dissatisfied with him, they would reconstruct the temple. They would knock down the roof and walls and break the columns, but the foundations were carefully buried and sealed. Over this platform, they would construct a new place to worship. The number of reconstruction was related to the importance and political power of the community in charge of its worship. They were used to human sacrifice as religious rituals or in war ceremonies. They mummified the heads of their dead, adorned and wrapped, for their ceremonies as an offering to their gods.
ATTRACTIONS - NAZCA
Declared a World Patrimony by UNESCO. Located in the San Jose pampa over an area of 50 km, the geoglyphs represent animal and plant figures. Some of these figures are up to 300m long and occupy a space of 1000m².
In this citadel and ceremonial center of the ancient Nasca there are two adobe step pyramids. Close by there is the site known as Estaqueria where wooden poles sticking into the ground are conserved. It is found 27 km (16.77 mi) from Nasca.
Cemetery of Chauchilla:
Located 10 km to the south of Nasca, this cemetery contain ceramics and pre-Incan mummies.
Aqueducts of Nazca:
Archaeological remains of the Nasca culture, an example of their advanced development in hydrological engineering, complete with subterranean aqueducts and reservoirs.
Inca archaeology center found 2 km (1.24 mi) east of Nasca. Constructions include plazas, deposits, a fortress and a ceremonial center.
Municipal Museum of Nazca:
Found in the Plaza de Armas, it holds a collection of ceramics, textiles and artifacts from the Nasca culture.
Found to the east of the city of Nasca, Peru's largest sand dune is ideal for adventure sports such as sandboarding and paragliding.
Beaches of Marcona:
Of note are Playa Hermosa, Lobera, Yanyarina, La Libertad, just to mention a few which are ideal for camping and ecotourism. All of these beaches are found in Marcona.
Punta San Juan Reserve:
Found in Marcona, one can observe the largest colony of Humboldt penguins, guano producing birds and sea lions. It is an excellent marine zone.
Warm and dry, sunny year round, with an average annual temperature of 23C. It has a warm and mild climate. The temperature in summer can get above 30C (January - March).
Due to the warmth of the weather year round, Nasca is known as "The City of Eternal Summer".
When to Travel:
Anytime of year is good, due to its excellent weather.