Flying the Nazca Lines
Seeing the Nazca Lines from the air with kids is no joke. If you are afraid of taking your kids in a little airplane to fly around thousand-year-old geoglyphs, this is not for you. Despite the anxiety that I have of flying in little airplanes, I did it with my family, and I have no regrets. My kids couldn’t believe what they were seeing! It was really a blast seeing the wonder on their little faces – and the best part is they didn’t puke! Here is how we did it and how much it cost.
What are the Nazca Lines?
Nazca is one of Peru’s many treasures. It is a small town, the home of an amazing thousand-year-old civilization, very well known for the giant lines drawn on the sand. It is basically incredible series of geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert of southern Peru. Carved into the desert between 500 BCE and 500 CE by the Nazca culture, the Nazca Lines are composed of hundreds of shapes, lines, and carvings that range from a few inches to over 600 feet in length. To create them, the reddish-brown iron oxide-coated pebbles that cover the surface of the Nazca Desert were removed, revealing the lighter-colored ground beneath.
Behold a remarkable array of geometric shapes, including triangles, rectangles, and trapezoids, along with intricate and stylized representations of animals like spiders, hummingbirds, monkeys, and fish. Marvel at the figures that can only be appreciated fully from the air, spread across an area of nearly 190 square miles (500 square kilometers). These geoglyphs expand in an area of around 75,000 ha. Every Individual figurative geoglyph designs measure between 0.4 and 1.1 km that means about.2 and .7 mile across! It is amazing just to think about it.
The Nazca Lines remain an ancient mystery, but there are theories that the large geoglyphs may have been spiritual or astronomical symbols, or part of an ingenious water management system. Though the true meaning of the lines is uncertain, they still captivate travelers who can take aerial tours and observe the lines from above. However, tourism has been limited due to concerns of the lines’ sensitivity to erosion. That means visitors must admire these impressive ancient works of art from a distance.
The whole length of all the lines is over 1,300 km that means 808 miles. Some people think they can see them by land. There are few spotting sights on a road, but I’m telling you don’t set your expectations high if you do. You can’t see the whole enchilada, believe me, I tried once!
How to Get to Nazca?
We went to Nazca by bus and it took us 6 and a half hours to get there from Lima. There are many bus lines you can take, but we chose Cruz del Sur. We chose their Cruise Suite Service that cost $40 per person. Seats were comfortable which is important for traveling with kids. It includes food, however, the food wasn’t the best.
You will think seven hours is a way to long ride for two littles. My kids are used to long rides. But in Peru, the buses come with a bonus of electronic board entertainment. They look forward to it.
Flying the Nazca Lines : Getting our tickets and the Flight
We got our tickets to fly through Nazca Flights from its good reviews on Trip Advisor. The cost was of $102 per person with an additional $10 per person airport tax.
They picked us up from our hotel around 7:30 am and took us to the airport. At the airport, we got weighed and our documentation was checked (everyone had to have a passport or DNI, the Peruvian ID card). After all that was done, we waited 20 minutes to pass through a simple security check. Then waited about 10 minutes for our airplane.
We were greeted by a friendly co-pilot that gave us the safety information. The kids couldn’t have been more excited to ride the small airplane. We took some pictures, and the co-pilot was nice to take pictures of us and provided us with maps and an explanation of what we will see and when we will see them. The little map with the route of what we will see was very helpful when in the air. They sat us according to our weight to balance the plane, and everyone had a window seat.
The tribulation, using a map, explained to the kids and us what we were about to see. The order of the lines
Once in the air we were able to see for the first time the whale draw on the sand. I had flew the Nazca lines before, but is the first time I saw the whale. Finally! and pretty amazing. Check the pictures of the fly:
During The flight to Nazca Lines
The astronaut geoglyph was one of the most impressive. This figure is located on a mountain it was hard to spot. Although we flew in circles several times, my husband and 7 years old kid couldn’t see it. It was right there! I took pictures for them.
After a while, by the time we spotted most of the lines, my 7-year-old was feeling the altitude of the flight. He started resting his head and keeping it straight to stop the dizziness. It was great that the crew kept an eye on everyone constantly, so that was helpful. Luckily he didn’t puke and we were able to land without any incident, but in case your kid does there are bags for it 😉
How did the Nazca people create these amazing geoglyphs? I still have no clue. There are many theories out there of how and why, but the only thing I know is that they are spectacular! After landing, we hydrated getting some food from the little store on the mini airport and got some souvenirs at a good price ( t-shirt for $4 and little 3-key chains for $1, an example). Then, we were able to use the pool at the hotel and the weather was perfect at 10 AM when we returned. Next our next stop Dunas of la Huacachina!
Nazca Lines Flight Cost
|Bus Lima to Nasca on Cruise Suite Service *||$40||$40|
|Hotel one night for a family of 4 **||$100|
|total cost per family of 4||$708|
|* you could get other services for $20 but they do stops and seats are different|
|** but this for one of the more expensive end this included taxi from bus station to the hotel|
Frequent Question about Flying the Nazca Lines
Are the Nazca Lines Visible from Space?
No, the Nazca Lines are not visible from space with the naked eye. While the Nazca Lines cover a large area, they are relatively small, with the largest figures measuring around 600 feet (180 meters) across. This is much too small to be seen from space without the aid of advanced imaging technology.
However, the Nazca Lines can be seen and studied using satellite imagery and other remote sensing techniques. High-resolution satellite images have been used to map the lines and identify new figures, and ground-penetrating radar has been used to study the geology and structure of the lines.
Are Nazca Lines for Kids?
Absolutely yes! our kids really enjoyed visiting and learn so much about ancient culture. There are Museums you can visit once there. Besides the fly, they were impressed with the mommies. You can check that here. Nazca with kids was for us a great learning experience and I hope you you don’t hesitated to do it with kids.
Yes! Visiting the Nazca Lines can be an educational and exciting experience for kids, but it may not be suitable for very little ones (since attention span is short) I traveled with my almost 7- and 9-year-old and they were impressed. The flight over the lines can also be quite bumpy, and some children may find it uncomfortable.
Older children with an interest in archeology or history may find the Nazca Lines fascinating. The lines are a unique and mysterious cultural artifact and learning about their history and purpose can be an engaging educational experience.
It’s important to note that visitors to the Nazca Lines are required to follow strict rules to protect the fragile desert environment and preserve the lines. Visitors are not allowed to walk on or touch the lines, and photography is restricted in some areas. Parents should ensure that their children understand and follow these rules to avoid damaging the lines or disrupting the site’s conservation efforts.
Why Are the Nazca Lines a Mystery?
The Nazca Lines are a mystery for several reasons. First, they were created over 2,000 years ago by the Nazca culture using simple tools, and their purpose remains unknown. The lines were created by removing the reddish-brown iron oxide-coated pebbles that cover the surface of the Nazca desert, revealing the lighter-colored ground beneath. The lines include various geometric shapes some of the figures are so large that they can only be fully appreciated from the air.
Second, the Nazca Lines are in a remote desert area of southern Peru, and their discovery was relatively recent. They were first spotted by commercial airline pilots in the 1920s, and their true extent was not fully understood until the 1940s when aerial surveys were conducted. This late discovery and remote location contributed to the mystery surrounding the lines.
Third, the purpose of the Nazca Lines remains a subject of debate among archaeologists and scholars. Some theories suggest that they were used for astronomical or religious purposes, while others believe they were part of a water cult or used to mark underground sources of water. However, no single theory has been widely accepted, and their true purpose may never be fully understood.
The Peruvian government has implemented measures to protect the lines, including limiting access to certain areas and prohibiting visitors from walking on or touching the lines. These measures have limited research and exploration of the Nazca Lines, contributing to the mystery surrounding them.
Where to stay in Nazca
Nazca is a little town and there is not much exciting to see but we wanted to grab the first flight the next day so we stayed there for a day.
We chose the Hotel Casa Hacienda Oasis. It cost around $100 per night, of course, you can find cheaper places. We stayed here because the pool and hotel were pretty. Although you probably won’t spend much time on there, to be honest. The restaurant was pricey, and the pool was full of bugs during the night. No swimming at night.
After our flight, we used the pool. It’s early summer in January so the weather was perfect for us. It was a perfect day.
Finally, I hope you find this information helpful when planning your trip!
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