We will be open at 9:00 am. Call 020 7590 0691
Nazca Lines, Peru

Peru's southern coast

Nazca, Ica & the Ballestas Islands

Introduction

The desert coast south of Lima, which skirts the Pan-American Highway toward the border with Chile, holds some distinctive attractions. The most famous of these are the enigmatic Nazca Lines – a series of mysterious geoglyphs carved into the desert floor – while the coastal Paracas Peninsula plays host to one of the world's great marine bird reserves and was the site of one of Peru's most important ancient civilisations. Also on the coast, the Ballestas Islands are noted for their arches, caves and abundance of birdlife.

Nazca Lines

Etched into barren desert on the Peruvian coast between 500 BC and 500 AD they have survived for centuries in a landscape rarely touched by rain. The collection of geoglyphs depicts more than 70 human figures and animals and 10,000 lines. With theories continuing to abound on the site's original purpose - giant astronomical calendar, a ceremonial tool for shamans, or alien landing strip - the site has so far managed to guard the secrets of the ancient culture preserved here. An air tour is still the best way to appreciate the majesty of the Nazca Lines.


Ica

An oasis in the desert, the town of Ica is an impossibly verdant agricultural centre, springing up from one of Peru's driest regions. If you make it here, there are some genuine highlights to enjoy, not least the superb museum, which showcases the region's often-fascinating history through a series of excavated artefacts, and Peru's leading winery. However, if you're after the true desert-oasis experience, head to nearby Huacachina where, aside from the incredible scenery, it's possible to hire out sand boards and dune buggies for days of sand-filled excitement.


Ballestas Islands

For a taste of Peru's coastal wilds, this small collection of islands – sometimes dubbed a Galápagos in miniature – is home to cormorants, Peruvian boobies, pelicans and colonies of Humboldt penguins. Seals sprawl on rocky outcrops and dolphins are occasionally spotted on the cruises that depart Paracas, which also offer superb views of the huge Candelabra geoglyph, etched into the coastal hills.


Top places to stay in Peru's southern coast

Hotel Paracas, Paracas

Contemporary resort

Enjoy the best in resort luxury while keeping in contact with Peru’s ancient history and unique wildlife.

Peru's southern coast articles

Just back from: Chile and Peru

Our travel specialist Emma recently returned from a nine-day tour of Chile and Peru. Read her in-depth review for an insight into her spectacular trip as well as advice if you're planning your own tailor-made holiday.

Meet our Peru's southern coast experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0691

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0691 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 45 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation
  • In-depth Wexas travel guides

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Wexas Travel App
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected