Nazca, Paracas and Ica Tours
The famous Nazca Lines are cut into the stony desert, not only parallels and geometrical figures, but also some forming the shape of a dog, an enormous monkey, birds, a spider and a tree.
The valley about 35km south of Nazca is full of ruins, temples and cemeteries where mummies, bones, pottery shards and scraps of textiles may be seen lying in the desert sun, although the best pieces have of course been taken by grave robbers and archaeologists. More cemeteries are being found all the time. At the edge of the town is the water reservoir taken by the Nazcas through underground aqueducts (many still in use) to water the land.
Pisco gives its name to the white grape brandy produced in this region - the famous PISCO SOUR" cocktail is known worldwide. It is fairly important port of about 82,000 inhabitants and lies some 283 Kms south of Lima. We use Pisco as a base with economical hotels to see the wildlife of the nearby Ballestas Islands and Paracas Peninsula but the area is also of considerable historical and archeological interest.
The Paracas National Reserve encompasses land and sea and the most important wildlife on the Peruvian coast. The area is particulary known for its bird and marine life. The birds nest on the offshore islands in such numbers thar their nitrogen-rich droppings (guano) collect in quantities large enough to be commercially exploited for fertilizer. This practice dates from at least Inca times. The most common guano-producing birds are the Guanay Cormorant, Peruvian Booby and the Peruvian Pelican. These are seen in colonies of several thousand birds. Less frequently seen but of particular interest, are the Humboldt Penguins on the Ballestas Islands and the Chilian Flamingos in the Bay of Paracas. The Andean Condor occasionally comes down to the coast and may be seen gliding majestically on the cliff thermals of the Peninsula.
BALLESTAS ISLAND CRUISE - Cruise around the Ballestas Islands to see plenty of birds and marine life like sea lions lying on the rocks or swimming around the boat. Some species like penguins are less visible. En route we'll see the giant figure etched into the coastal hill called Candelabra similar to the figures of the Nazca Lines.
Ica Is a pleasant colonial town of about 150,000 inhabitants 306 Km from Lima. The PanAmerican Highway heads inland from PISCO, rising gently to 420 meters above sea level at ICA. Because of this, the town is high enough to rise above the coastal garua (sea mist) and the climate is dry and sunny. The desert surrounding Ica is noted for its huge sand dunes and deserts, abundant "HUARANGOS", palms trees, cotton and grapes. Ica is also Peru's chief wine center, some Bodegas can be visited, it is a Pisco destillery with ancient grape press made with huge tree trunks, out of town is the Huacachina Lagoon, surrounded by sand dunes, where you can go sandboarding or buggy riding. The Regional archeological Museum with magnificent collection of ceramics, skulls, and the Cabrera museum with collection of engraved stones are also main attractions.
Day 1 Lima - Ica - Early morning transfer to the bus station. Take the Royal Class special bus to the city of Ica (308 Km/191 miles South of Lima). Bus will leave passengers at Las Dunas Hotel. In the afternoon take a small (one engine) plane to Nazca and fly over the mysterious Nazca lines, which is the only way to see them. These are drawings made in the sand over 2,000 years ago, that time and weather have not eroded. You will see gigantic geometrical lines resembling a landing field and over 32 figures including a monkey, a spider, a condor, a reptile, a fish, a bird, etc. The biggest figures are the reptile (180 mts/590 ft long) and the monkey (90mts/295 ft.)
Day 2 Ica - Paracas - Lima Breakfast. Transfer by private car (1 hour) to the Bay of Paracas for a cruise out to the Ballestas islands (90 mins.), where you will see sea lions, penguins and more than 60 species of sea birds and wild life. On the way you will also see the "Candelabra" a huge sand design on the hilly coast, only seen from the sea or sky. Afternoon return by Royal Class bus to Lima. Meet on arrival and transfer to your hotel.
NAZCA, ICA & PARACAS
DAY 1 LIMA – NAZCA
Transfer from hotel to bus station. Depart by regular bus toward Nazca (07:00am – 01:30pm) in deluxe reclining seats with videos and music. Arrival and transfer to hotel. Afternoon overflight to the Nazca Lines . Overnight at Majoro Hotel. This is a beautiful former convent and hacienda with beautiful gardens and many ancient weavings and artifacts.
DAY 2 NAZCA
Breakfast at hotel. Morning tour to the partially restored ruins of Cahuachi, This was a site with 25 temples, built about 2000 years ago by the Paracas culture. Some Italians started excavating the site in 1983, but it is still relatively unknown. You can still see artifacts from looted graves lying on the ground. I think it will be a big attraction when it is more restored and gets more publicity. Afternoon archeological tour, inclding the ancient aqueducts that are still used today. Overnight at Majoro Hotel
DAY 3 NAZCA / ICA / PARACAS
Breakfast at hotel, then transfer to Ica for a city City + Wineries tour. Visit 3 wineries to sample wine and the famous Pisco that is used in the national drink of Peru and Chile. Continue to Paracas and overnight at La Hacienda Bahia Paracas Hotel
DAY 4 PARACAS / LIMA
Breakfast at hotel Morning Ballestas Island tour. Transfer to bus stop Depart by regular bus back to Lima (14:30pm – 18:00pm). Arrival and transfer to Lima airport or hotel.