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Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines of Peru are one of the most famous mysteries in the world. They are often featured in shows and documentaries of the ancient world, alien conspiracies and more.  They were one sight I was most intrigued about prior to my trip. They were also, in all honesty, the most disappointing part.

The town of Nazca is not near any other city or sight in Peru that draws a lot of tourists, and therefore it is extremely difficult to get to. For budget reasons, we took the bus, which took 10 hours from Arequipa. The bus itself was nice, with TVs equipped with movies to stream in English, meals provided and a bathroom. However, 10 hours on a bus through barren desert is not really how I would envision spending my limited time abroad. But with no airports within less than a 3-hour drive, it’s what worked for us.

Tiny plane time
Tiny plane time (Karen DiGangi)

We didn’t get to see the town at all, so I can’t speak much of what there is to see and do or eat. Our flight for the day was scheduled for the morning, however, as happens almost daily, the fog caused a delay in the flight schedule with no known idea of when it would let up and flights would begin. For this reason, most travelers have to keep an open schedule for the day and even be prepared for the flights to not take place at all. When flights did open up, we still had no idea when we would actually fly, but we were required to be at the airport to check in and essentially stay on standby. We spent maybe 2 hours in the airport exploring the gift shops and learning the history of the lines while waiting before we finally took off.

Our plane held 16 passengers. It was comfortable enough, at first. I don’t often get motion sick, but it happens at times when I feel hot, claustrophobic or generally uncomfortable. Shortly after take-off, our guide, who sits next to the pilot, began describing our route. For each figure we passed, the plane would completely bank to each side so all passengers would get the chance to view them. While the lines were interesting, the extreme flight experience is one I would say is not worth it.

Rachel is nervous for the Nazca Line flight
Rachel is nervous for the Nazca Line flight (Karen DiGangi)

At the end of the day, we had another 4-hour drive to our hotel for the next evening, Paracas, as there was no reason to stay another night in Nazca. From now on, I will be strongly advising our travelers that unless this is a true bucket list item, the travel and experience itself are just not worth it for your limited time in Peru. Perhaps on your second trip!

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