Nazca Lines Flight from Nazca Airport
Nasca Lines Tours: Classic flight over the Nasca Lines
The Nazca Lines are giant figures and lines drawn in the desert of Sudewestern Peru by ancient Nazca peoples. The drawings were created on such a large scale is such that the shapes can be readily discerned only from the air, leading to a variety of theories about their purpose. The Nazca Lines were created in the time of the Nazca civilization, which flourished in the area from 200 BC to about 600 AD. Graves and ruins of their civilization have been found near the lines.
The area of the Peruvian desert in which the Nazca Lines were drawn is parallel to the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. The desert is not sandy but made of dark red surface stones and soil with lighter-colored subsoil beneath. The lines were created by clearing away the darker upper layer to reveal the lighter subsoil. The lines would have taken a long time to create, perhaps several generations and many people contributed to their creation. As to the purpose of the Nazca Lines.
It seems incredible that such simply-made drawings have survived for so many hundreds of years, and some have seen a mysterious element to this. But there is also a natural explanation: the surface is made of stone, not sand, and the climate of the area is such that there is practically no erosion. The Nazca peoples chose an excellent place for an enduring monument.
The Nazca Lines include straight lines and geometric shapes as well as stylized depictions of animals, humans, and plants.
Now studying the topic more closely…
LINES AND FIGURES OF THE PAMPA DE NAZCA
by Masato Sakai and Jorge Olano (latest exhibition and exposition on the Nazca culture at the National Art Museum of Lima (MALI) – June 2017.
The geoglyphs of the Pampa de Nasca, located between the Ingenio and Nasca valleys on the southern coast of Peru, have been the subject of many investigations over the years. Due to the sheer number of geoglyphs that exist in this area, however, the investigations conducted to date have been limited to specific parts of the Pampa. The area of study has generally depended on each investigator´s objectives and availability of time. For such reason, we still do not have detailed records of the distribution, characteristics, and material associations of the geoglyphs on the Pampa.
The first archaeological records of geoglyphs on the Pampa de Nazca were taken by Kroeber and Mejia Xesspe in the 1920s. Later on, Kosok, Reiche, and others created more records, drawing location maps of the most important figures and lines. In the 1980s, Anthony Aveni led a multidisciplinary investigative team in studying the centers of radial lines. As part of this investigation, Clarkson analyzed the pottery shards indicated that the lines were used mainly during the Middle Horizont and the Late Intermediate period. However, based on their exploration of the geoglyphs of the Ingenio valley, Silverman and Browne dispute these results, arguing that the lines are primarily associated with the Early Intermediate period.
Different suggestions have been made with regard to the functions of the geoglyphs. Some maintain that the geoglyphs were tied to rituals involved in the worship of mountains, water, fertility, or celestial movements and that they acted as roads, labyrinths, ritual settings, and others. It has also been suggested that the geoglyphs depict the social order of the ayllus. The recurring presence of broken vessels at the geoglyphs on the Pampa de Nazca indicates that they were the site of ritual activities in which vessels were most likely shattered intentionally.
The geoglyphs of the Pampa de Nazca can be classified into figurative, linear and geometric groups. The majority of figurative geoglyphs are biomorphous, although there are also some that depict artifacts such as antaras, tupus, and others. The linear geoglyphs are the most common and can be found in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Some lines run up to ten kilometers long, while other measures just a few meters. On the Pampa de Nazca, lines can frequently be found in radial arrangements around a mound or hillock. The geometric geoglyphs, which we do not address specified in this study, can be found in the form of trapezoids, triangles, spirals, ZIg-zag, etc.
Depending on the technique used in their creation, the geoglyphs can be divided into two types: figures made with a clear, continuous line that forms the shape of the animal, plant, or object depicted; and figures formed by the contrast between light and dark areas produced by removing and/or accumulating stones. Geoglyphs of the first kind were made mostly on flat terrain and generally measure over fifty meters long. The second type of geoglyph is mainly located on inclined slopes or hillsides and generally measures less than fifty meters long.
Several of the images depicted in the first type of figure are similar to the drawings found on Early Nasca ceramics, indicating that they are associated with that era. The discovery of Early Nasca pottery shards in the figure of the Monkey near the Ingenio Valley and the figures of the Whale and the Hummingbird near Nasca appear to confirm this theory.
Some geoglyphs of the second type display an iconography similar to that of the Early Horizon and probably belong to said period. To date, however, no ceramic remains have been found on the surface of this type of figure.
During the exploration of the Pampa, pottery shards were frequently found in and around linear geoglyphs. In many cases, the accumulation of pottery shards seems to have been the consequence of an event involving intentional shattering, probably related to the activity carried out on the geoglyphs, which we know by the name of “ritual ceramic breaking”. The stylistic identification of the ceramic on the geoglyphs makes it possible to deduce the eras in which this activity was performed. According to our records, human activity with ceramics on the lines began in the final Early Horizon and continued up until the Late Intermediate period.
At the end of the Early Horizont period, activity with ceramic vessels tied to the lines commenced in the area near Cahuachi, La Ventilla and the river confluence in the Nazca valley. The vessels were probably shattered intentionally as part of the rituals performed on the lines. These rituals seem to have been closely tied to ceremonial centers and sacred rivers confluence points , or tinkuys. In connection with the Final Early Horizont period, thereis evidence of use of the route connecting the Nazca and Ingenio valleys across the Pampa. This route is thought to have connected the site of La Ventilla in the Ingenio valley to the river confluence areain the Nazca valley , crossing the eastern part of the Pampa near the cordillera . there was probably another route, as well, that crossed the western part of the Pampa in the direction of the lower Nazca valley . Both routes featured primarily figurative drawings on hillsides and elevated points, which were likely used as signs during travels across the Pampa.
The breaking of vessels on the lines of the Pampa reached its peak in the Early Nasca period. Geoglyph activities increased in areas that had been in use since the final Early Horizon. During the Early Nazca era, there are signs of ritual activity in geoglyphs in the northwestern area of the Pampa, near the confluence of the rivers of the Ingenio Valley, another tinkuy. During the Early Nasca times, large figurative geoglyphs were created on the flat surface of the Pampa. Unlike in the Early Horizon period, the figures from the Nazca era were probably not used as signs, but rather as ritual spaces where the breaking of ceramics was performed. The ritual activity in the figurative geoglyphs from this period was likely tied to the ceremonial activities carried out of Cahuachi.
No Middle or Late Nasca ceramics have been discovered in the figurative geoglyps of the Pampa. The activity in linear geoglyphs continued during the Middle Nazca era, but dropped sharply in the Late Nasca period. During the Middle and Late Nasca, on the lines near the route connecting the middle Nasca and Ingenio Valleys, vessels were no longer broken as they had been previously. This change is likely due to the decline of Cahuachi and social changes that occured in the valleys.
In the Middle Horizont period, activities with ceramics have been registered only on the lines. Local societies likely continued to perform rituals on the Pampa, although now under Wari influence. During this time, activities with vessels increased on the lines passing through the inter- valley route located on the eastern part of the Pampa, near the cordillera. This seems to suggest that the breaking of vessels on the lines of this route recommenced, as an activity likely carried out by local communities.
The activity of breaking vessels on the Pampa de Nazca continued until at least the Late Intermediate era. During this period, lines with radial centers were reused, inserting connecting paths to form a network of ritual roads. It seems likely that the local population had a significant interest in ritual activities. During this time, activities with ceramics increased on the route connecting the middle Nazca and Ingenio valleys across the Pampa.
In summary, rituals on the figurative geoglyphs were performed only during the final Early Horizont and Early Nasca times. The linear geoglyps, on the other hand, were used from the Final Early Horizont up until the Late Intermediate era. The figurative geoglyphs have different characteristics in each period, and were used as signs for travelers or ritual sites. The lines, conversely, exhibit a different distribution os usedepending on the era. The distribution makes it possible to learn about the dynamics of interaction among local societies near the Pampa de Nazca.
Why book this experience
- Flight over one of the most mysterious shapes and lines on earth.
- Check off your bucket list and fulfill the dream of a lifetime.
- Classic highlights of Peru.
- The Nazca Lines has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
- UNESCO wrote, “They are the most outstanding group of geoglyphs anywhere in the world and are unmatched in its extent, magnitude, quantity, size, diversity and ancient tradition to any similar work in the world.”
Itinerary for Nazca Lines overflight:
Day Activity You will be collected from your hotel in Nazca and taken in an air-conditioned vehicle to the aerodrome where you will board a light aircraft for a memorable Nazca Lines Flight. A bilingual guide (English/Spanish) will accompany you on this tour.
This flight over the Nazca Lines will cover the expanse of the stony Nazca desert, the surface of which is scarred by gigantic drawings and geometrical shapes. The flight lasts exactly 30 minutes and is the best way to see these fascinating lines and drawings that have intrigued people for years. Here, you will spot various figures drawn on the stony surface of the Nazca desert, representing animals and stylized plants, distributed in a huge labyrinth of lines, trapezes, triangles and hairsprings which have been preserved for almost 2000 years. They are the most incredible remains that an ancient culture has left behind. These designs, some of them as long as 500 meters, can be truly appreciated only from the sky at an altitude of 1,500 feet.
Return to the Nasca Airport
At the end of the Nazca Lines Flight, you will be dropped back to your hotel in Nazca or bus terminal.
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off roundtrip Transportation from select Nazca hotel.
- If you are arriving from Arequipa or Cusco, just let us know the bus company name and the approx. time of your arrival to pick you up.
- Bilingual guide (English / Spanish)
- Projection of video about the Nazca Lines at the airport
- 30 minutes’ Sightseeing Flight over the Nazca lines.
- Nazca Lines maps.
- Airport Tax (S/. 30.00 per person)
- Daily Nazca Lines Flights from the Nazca Airport / Panamerican Road Km.450.
First Departure time and Last Flight:
- The flight is available from 7:00 hrs. to 14:30 hrs.
- but flying during the morning is far preferable to fly in the afternoon.
Return time of your Classic Nasca Lines flight depending season:
- Low Season of tourist: the total operation for flights can take 2 hrs. (Sometimes there are short delays before the flight, meanwhile, we will be able to watch a video film to get more information about Nazca Lines).
- High Season of tourist (our winter season/your summer season): The exact departure of the flight would depend on weather conditions & air traffic, please remember it is cloudy and foggy in winter.
Additional Information about your Nazca lines flight:
- Control tower at the airport in Nasca designate altitude/levels for the Classic Nazca Lines flight, the altitude for the first level is 2500 feet and the second level is 3000 feet.
- The altitude or level where the lines are is 1824 ft. with respect to sea level. This means that by flying at 2500 ft. you will be flying over only 676 ft. off the ground and 1176 ft. if you fly to 3000 ft.
- This flight must be booked at least 4 day in advance of your travel date if your are going to do it through our website.
- The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination.
- We will happily answer any questions about your classic flight over the nazca lines.
- Apart of the city of Nazca we also can provide you services from the Ica and Pisco airport, please feel free to ask any questions about these services.
- we will require certain information from you in order to book your classic flight over the Nazca lines such as:
*Participant’s full names:
*Hotel address in Nazca: or bus company name If you are arriving the same day (morning).
*Date of the Nazca lines flight:
- Participants weighting over 300 pounds (136 kg) must book an additional seat to accommodate weight restrictions.
Don’t forget to bring your passport and camera …!!
- * As maximum the day before of the flight is required to provide excellent service.
- * the cost will be increased in 10% during the high season of tourist (June, July and August).
- * local airport tax must be paid in person minutes before to board the aircraft.