We drive down the coast of Peru from Lima in a private vehicle to the vibrant town of Chincha. On the way (if the site is open) we visit the famous centre of the oracle at Pachacamac, which is a superb example of a reconstructed Inca temple site. Many believe this was one of the most important sites in the pre Hispanic world of the Andean peoples. It was home to the great oracle. Overnight in Chincha.
This morning we will drive to the small coastal resort of Paracas. From here we continue towards the Paracas Peninsula where we take small sturdy launches for a 3 hour cruise out to the Ballestas Islands described as Peru's mini-Galapagos a haven for marine wildlife. The bird and seal life here in this protected reserve is impressive. On the way we get a chance to see the huge 'candelabra' - a massive figure of what looks like a giant cactus etched in the huge sand dune. This can only be seen from the sea. We then drive to the desert oasis of Ica before arriving in Nazca where we will spend the night.
This morning we drive after breakfast to the Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are located in the coastal desert of Peru and are best described as remarkable and enigmatic. The huge designs etched into the desert by the people of the Paracas and Nazca cultures between perhaps 500BC and 900AD. There are several ways to see the lines and our leader will take us to a fantastic vantage point, a watch tower set high above the desert. Another option is to take an optional overflight. Previously, there were limited civil aviation controls at Nazca and no effective safety authority inspecting aircraft or pilots. The Peruvian airport authority has taken over the running of the small Nazca airport from where all aircraft take off for the overflights of the Nazca Lines which has resulted in much better control of the flight schedules and general flight safety at Nazca. World Expeditions cannot arrange these flights on your behalf and they are not included in the trip cost. We can assist you locally to arrange them, however it is important you are aware that you take full personal responsibility for contracting and paying for your own over-flight. These flights take place in small single-engine high- winged aircraft, generally with 10 or 12 seats with their own window. The cost varies between US$50 and US$120 per person for a 30 minute flight (cost depends on demand on the day). The flight is subject to weather conditions and availability. Please discuss this with your leader locally on day 1 of the trip should you like to arrange it. If time allows we may visit a small cooperative that uses traditional methods to make ceramics using the traditional methods of the Nazca culture or a possible visit to the ancient desert cemetery of Chauchillas. We return to Lima arriving late afternoon/evening and our trip concludes.