Nazca & Around

You’ll get only a sketchy idea of the Lines at this lookout on the Panamericana Sur 20km north of Nazca, which has an oblique view of three figures: the lizard, the tree and the hands (or frog, depending on your point of view). It’s also a lesson in the damage to which the Lines are vulnerable. The Panamericana Sur runs smack through the tail of the lizard, which from nearby seems all but obliterated.

Signs nearby warn that walking on the Lines is strictly forbidden. It irreparably damages them, and besides, you can’t see anything at ground level. To get to the observation tower from Nazca, catch any bus or colectivo northbound along the Panamericana Sur (S2, 30 minutes). Some tours (from S50 per person) also combine a trip to the mirador with visits to another natural viewpoint and the Maria Reiche Museum. About 1km south of the constructed mirador there is a Mirador Natural (free) on a small knoll-like hill with a close-up view of one of the geometric lines made by removing reddish pebbles from the gray earth.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nazca & Around attractions

1. Museo Maria Reiche

4.54 MILES

When Maria Reiche, the German mathematician and long-term researcher of the Nazca Lines, died in 1998, her house, which stands 5km north of the mirador …

2. Nazca Lines

4.75 MILES

Spread over 500 sq km (310 sq mi) of arid, rock-strewn plain in the Pampa Colorada (Red Plain), the Nazca Lines are one of the world's great…

3. Nazca Planetarium

10.42 MILES

This small planetarium is in the DM Nazca Hotel and offers scripted evening lectures on the Lines with graphical displays on a domed projection screen…

4. Museo Didáctico Antonini

10.98 MILES

On the east side of town, this excellent archaeological museum has an aqueduct running through the back garden, as well as interesting reproductions of…

5. Cahuachi


A dirt road travels 25km west from Nazca to Cahuachi, the most important known Nazca center, which is still undergoing excavation. It consists of several…

6. Paredones Ruins

11.2 MILES

The Paredones ruins, 2km southeast of town via Arica over the river, are not very well preserved (primarily because they were constructed from adobe…

7. Aqueductos de Cantalloc

12.08 MILES

About 4km southeast of town are the 30-plus underground Cantalloc Aqueducts, many of which are still in working order and are essential in irrigating the…

8. Palpa Lines

15.28 MILES

Like Nazca, Palpa is surrounded by perplexing geoglyphs, the so-called Palpa Lines, which are serially overshadowed by the more famous, but less abundant,…