A Mystical Trip to the Skin of the Earth
arriving to Ica, the land of cotton, wine and pisco, from the beginning
we realized that it is impregnated with history. In their flat
deserts the old Peruvians wove splendid mantles in various colors, mummified
their dead in singular mastery, designed lines and gigantic figures
in desolated pampas, with the intension of rendering worship to the
water god or interpret the sun, moon and star messages which were so
vital to there lives.
city of Ica is located in the south coast of the Peruvian littoral,
with a warm and dry climate throughout the year and mid temperatures
of 25 degrees Celsius. It is one of great late history, it's first
inhabitants date back to 10 000 years old. This zone develops divers
cultures like the Paracas, Nazca and Tiahuanaco that pertains to the
Nevertheless, the center of the tourist activity in the region
resides in Nazca which is well-known at worldwide level by its
ceramic art where the colors and representation stand out. The
same as the famous lines and figures in Nazca whose layout is
unexplainable until nowadays. In this mystical place, this is
how we found the city of Nazca located in the basin of Grande river
with an extension of 48.828 square kilometers.
this corner, south of the Peruvian territory we will find elaborate
ceramics and gigantic geometric designs on land, the majority
represent animals and birds. Dated back among 900 BC and 600 AC the
designs are only visible from air, but for 50 dollars there are
numerous opportunities to fly around the zone. The excursion
last approximately 8 hours from Lima to Nazca and vice versa with
transfers on plane this is why you count with time, don't miss
enjoying this emotional experience.
in the zone exist with prices from 5 to 50 dollars, the air tours on
airplane last (approximately 30 min.) cost around $40 US seeing all
of the impressive figures at once. The journey on bus from Lima
takes approximately six hours (from Paracas 3) and you can do a
complete visit in 2 days.
Situated 600 m in altitude and bathed by Nazca river it
possesses rich agriculture (alfalfa, cotton), ranching and mining
(gold, iron). One can commute with the north and south of the
country by way of the Pan-American highway and from the city part of
the highway unites with the interior of the country through Abancay.
is famous worldwide because the territory welcomed the known Nazca
culture, a pre-Incan civilization whose maximum apogee took place
between the II century AC and VI BC; this culture was highlighted by
its ceramics with symbolic stylized figures in which the colors
dominate over the drawing, this is why it is considered the best pictorial
ceramics of pre-Colombian America. Also the underground subterranean
are important and the figures, named Lines of Nazca, which are only appreciable from the air;
these figures constitute an important agricultural calendar that
still has not been possible to decipher and owes its discovery to
the archaeologist Paul Kosok in 1932.
Patrimony of Humanity
interesting zone in Peru receives its name in part of the oceanic
crust of the Pacific Ocean that is located in front of the coast
that goes under the Andes. Its population is close to 37
Nazca Lines, which is the official name of the principal tourist
attraction of the zone can be found in the Pampas of Jumana.
It is a set of zoomorphic, phytomorphic and geometric figures
(straight lines, triangles, spirals, a bird, a spider, a monkey,
flowers) that appear engraved in the surface of the desert
exact origin is not well known, although it seems to be that they
were elaborated among 100 and 800 of our era years. These figures
are declared Cultural Patrimonies of Humanity by UNESCO, extend 500 km2
to the archaeologist Maria Reich (1903-1998), that dedicated her
life to study and the safekeeping of the millenarian lines, are basically
figures that represent the movement of the stars and would allow the
register of the seasons, something very necessary for the
development of agriculture.
the zone it is possible to get to know ruins of the Paracas culture
(600-100 BC) characterized by its necropolis undertakings, semi underground
houses, pyramids for ceremonial use and its unequaled textiles.
For there constructions they used adobe, in conical form in which
they made there houses in rectangular plans where they formed
villages. Also public constructions exist with pyramid temples
surrounded by plazas and dwellings, in which are highlighted by
there historic attraction and Cahuachi remains.
power of time
of the greater doubts that the tourist have upon visiting the place,
is trying to understand how the "lines of Nasca" have
stayed intact until this very day, subsisting the attacks of time
and nature: earthquakes, changes of climate, wind and rain.
Reiche comments this miracle to us, since the lines are light clefts
or cracks in the ground. One possible explanation may be the
climate in the place "you can say that for every two years it
rains for half an hour", explains the scientist.
amazing phenomenon resides in that the movement of air diminishes a
few centimeters from the ground, due to the dark color of the rocks
of the surface, in which they resemble a cushion of hot air that
protects the geoglyphs from the strong wind and with them, it
prevents the progressive deterioration of the relieves.
element that prevents the change of the surface is the gypsum that
the ground contains, that the contact with the dew causes the stones
to stay lightly glued to the base.
creativity for the gods
than thirty geoglyphs until this day have been found in the Pampas
de Nazca. Which depict marine and terrestrial animals,
geometric and human figures.
drawings are less than the quantity compared to the geometric
drawings that consist of hundreds and hundreds of lines, triangles, quadrangles
that occupy large extensions of terrain. The topographers of
the past paid careful attention to the techniques of construction
seeing that they took the lines to hills and ravines or precipices
without deviating themselves of their original direction.
depth of the lines never exceeds 30 cm and some are simple etches on
the surface, although they can be recognized when the sun is low and
the relief is accentuated", explains Dr. Reiche in on of the
many testimonies that she left to the world.
the larger geoglyphs there is a large bird that is 300 m, a lizard
that is 180 m, a pelican that is 135 m, a condor that is 135 m, a
monkey that is 135 m and a spider that is 42 meters. These dimensions
are reasons for constant admiration by the visitors of the
comments that "there is a bird so big that one can place
themselves on the point of its wings and you can even see the head,
nor the other wings, it is only possible to perceive a few lines on
the ground, you would have to fly over the area in order to
appreciate it in its entirety". On the contrary, the smallest
figure found until this moment is a spiral that is 3 meters in
diameter. Almost half of the figures are constituted by spirals and
concentric designs of several sizes.
the designs of the animals that are perceived in Nazca the
represent: a whale, a dog with a long tail and legs, two llamas,
diverse birds like a heron, a crane, the pelican, a gull, the famous
humming bird and the parrot. In the reptile category, a lizard, that
was cut while constructing the southern Pan Americana, an iguana and
a serpent. On the other hand there are imposing figures: the
monkey, the spider and the snail among others.
lines are perfect. The straight ones are enclosed with
perfection with small deviations throughout kilometers, the curves
look as if they seem to be drawn with the perfection of a compass.
The drawings are well proportioned, mainly if we think of the dimensions
of them and the impossibility of the Incas not being able to rise
above in the air to see the results of there piece, it is for this
reason that the majority of the time Nazca is referred to as a
are ventured into saying that the Nazca lines are a message etched
by extraterrestrials so when the moment of maturing as inhabitants
of this planet arrives we will be able to make out the meaning of
them, others think that it is a stellar map, a calendar for sowing
and harvest planning times, other sacred furrows where Indians
walked on the drawings and lines as secret rituals that still exist.
is also possible to visit the Inca remains of Paredones, the aqueducts
that the Inca civilization used for irrigation and the pre-Incan cemetery
of Chauchilla. In addition, in the outskirts of Nazca it is
possible to get to know the traced lines in the ground, whose width
oscillates between 40 centimeters and 1.10 meters. It is a
black and reddish earth that turns violaceous at dusk. A semicircle
of hills in the distance conforms a gigantic open natural amphitheatre
towards the west and receives the name of the Pampas of Socos.
with time the deterioration of the geoglyphs have been a product of
lack of safekeeping of some of the tourist that travel on land due
to the proximity of the Pan-American highway, in general it is
recommended to take 3 day tours, that include visits to the coastal
zone of Paracas as well.