Nazca Lines and the Condors
Amongst the Nazca Desert you will find one of the most cultural and mysterious places in Peru, the Nazca lines. The Nazca lines are a collection of ancient animal and geometric etchings in the ground. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1994, there are many legends relating to how the lines were formed but scholars believe the Nazca lines were created by the Nazca culture between 400 and 650 AD. To view these lines is an awe inspiring realisation of the existence of an ancient world. Thirdly, you will visit the grandeur of the Colca Canyon, home of the rare and magnificent Andean Condors. The Condors hold special importance in Peru due to their connection to the spiritual world.
Day 1: Journey Lima to Paracas (Ica Region)
Your journey begins with a coach transfer from Lima to Paracas travelling along the Pan-American Highway from Lima to Paracas. When you arrive into Paracas you have the rest of the day at leisure. We have selected a hotel with a great atmosphere and eateries nearby. We recommend having an early night as the next day is an early start.
Day 2: Paracas – Sightseeing Ballestas Islands – Journey to Nazca
Today begins early with a sightseeing journey to the aquatic nature reserve of Ballestas Islands. After exploring the Ballestas Island your journey continues with a short transfer down to the town of Nazca. On arrival to Nazca, you will be taken to your hotel and then you are free to explore Nazca.
Day 3: Nazca to Arequipa with Nazca sightseeing
This is your opportunity to see the remarkable Nazca lines. Look for the giant figures of the hummingbird, spider, monkey, fish, shark, orca, Llama, and lizard.
The best option (at an additional cost) to have a scenic flight over the Nazca lines, an Ariel view of this ancient drawings will give you a fantastic insight on just how big the lines are and you will still wonder after this flight just how the Nazcas formed these lines so many centuries ago.
There is a museum in the House of Maria Reiche who devoted her life to the Nazca lines explorations. The Planetarium located in Hotel Nazca offers nightly shows on the various theories about the purpose and origins of the Nazca lines, a worthwhile visit and recommended, there is a small entrance fee. Return to your hotel in Nazca time at leisure to reflect on your day of discovery.
Optional flights are available to fly over the famous Nazca lines with great photo opportunities. These flights are at an additional cost and taken early in the morning.
From Nazca your journey continues along the scenic road to Arequipa for a two night stay.
Day 4: Arequipa + half day city tour
Today is a morning tour of Arequipa, whose historic centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, in recognition of its architecture and historic integrity. This morning tour includes the Santa Catalina Monastery built in 1580 and currently home to a small number of nuns. You will then have the remainder of the day to explore Arequipa on your own or have a relaxing afternoon and take in some of the historical sights you have witnessed the past few days.
A visit to the Museo Santuarios Andinos is recommended here you will find Mummy Juanita, the remarkably preserved teenage Inca Ice Maiden sacrificed between 1450 and 1480. Juanita’s discovery has been chronicled by National Geographic and listed by Time magazine in 1995 as one of the World’s Top Ten Discoveries.
Day 5: Arequipa to Colca Canyon/Chivay
After a relaxing start of the day your journey continues to the Colca Canyon, this coach trip is stunning as you travel past the spectacular Misti and Chachani volcanoes and hot springs. Once you arrive in Chivay your driver will take you to view the Colca Canyon and then you are able to have a relaxing afternoon in the thermal springs of Chivay, a perfect way to relax and soak up the atmosphere and culture of Peru. Overnight is in Chivay town, there is an upgrade available but this is outside the town.
Day 6: Sightseeing Colca Canyon & Journey Back to Arequipa
This morning is an early departure from your hotel in Chivay to Cruz del Condor where Andean Condors can often be seen catching thermal uplifts and soaring with graceful ease. The Colca Canyon is the world’s deepest canyon and twice as big as the Grand Canyon, the magnificent sight of the presents amazing photographic landscape opportunities for photographers and even better if you can catch a condor gliding in the skyline.
After the Colca Canyon, you will journey by coach back to Arequipa. Enjoy your last night in this beautiful white washed city and taste the local food in the many restaurants in and around the Plaza Mayor.
Day 7: Depart Arequipa – Onward Journey suggestions
Today after breakfast your adventure to Nazca, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon will come to an end.
Transfers are not included as it is depending on your onward journey
Onward Journey Suggestions
For your onward journey from Arequipa, our suggestions are
Your options are endless and your Travel Specialist will be able to assist you with expert information on South America.