Situated a few hours by road south of Lima at Ica, the mysterious lines and drawings in the Nazca Desert were famously documented by Dr Maria Reiche. Giant animal and perfect geometric figures were etched in the desert sands by the Nazca people 1,500 years ago and to this day scientists cannot agree as to how or why they were created.
The best way to appreciate the designs is from the air. Light aircraft flights operate from a number of airstrips close to Nazca or nearby Ica and criss-cross their way over the Lines. If you are not staying in the area, then it is possible to take a full day excursion from Lima.
The Ballestas Islands
A short distance north of Ica, the Paracas peninsula and the nearby Ballestas Islands are a great attraction for wildlife lovers. The area is home to a variety of wildlife including large colonies of sea lions, seals, penguins and even turtles, which are unusual for this latitude. Along with sea mammals, a wide variety of bird life can be seen such as albatross, boobies and cormorants.
The area is also home to the majestic condors that come down to feed on the carcasses of dead seals and is sometimes referred to as the Galapagos Islands of Peru. Boat trips to the islands operate in the mornings.
Back on land, the nearby region of Pisco is home to a number of vineyards from where the grape liqueur, Pisco Sour originates.
Get in touch if you'd like to find out more about seeing the Nazca Lines or visiting the Ballestas Islands.