Etched, as if by giants, onto the arid moon landscape of Peru‘s southern desert lies one of world’s greatest mysteries, the Nazca Lines.
Made around 2.000 years ago in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, the Nazca Lines are enormous geoglyphs, the largest of which are nearly 270 meters, covering an area nearly 50 kilometres long and 15 wide.
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Nazca desert hosts hundreds of individual forms and figures. They range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, monkeys, spiders, condors and even a biomorph of a human figure, which some believe is a representation of an ancient astronaut.
Different theories have been put forth since passengers flying over the Peruvian region first noticed the mysterious runways and art forms. Sacred paths, ancient art, astronomical calendars and even UFO landing sites have been attributed to the Nazca lines.
The most common hypothesis is that the Nazca people designed them as offerings to their gods. Naturally, this led to speculation as to whether an ancient civilization who had no ability to fly could have built them. Some explanations go as far as suggesting the Nazca people built a prehistoric hot air balloon to both construct and appreciate the lines.
The Nazca Lines have been a mystery since they were discovered in 1927 and their purpose continues to elude researchers and remains a matter of conjecture.
Nazca is an alternative site to explore during your time in Peru. Just rent a car in Lima and drive down to Nazca crossing stunning and varied landscapes. On the way, you will also have the chance to stop at Paracas National Reserve to see the largest sea-lion reserve in the world.