Reserva Nacional Pampas Galeras

Nazca & Around

This national reserve is a vicuña (threatened wild camelids) sanctuary high in the mountains 90km east of Nazca on the road to Cuzco. It is the best place to see these shy animals in Peru, with about 5000 of the species residing within the reserve boundaries, though tourist services are very limited. The majority of the reserve is located at altitudes between 4000m and 4200m and temperatures can fall to -5°C so be sure to bring suitable clothing.

Every year in June is the chaccu (roundup), when hundreds of villagers round up the vicuñas for shearing and three festive days of traditional ceremonies, with music and dancing, and of course, drinking. Full-day tours from Nazca to the reserve begin from S110 per person but it's well worth spending the night up here to fully appreciate the nature. There are three hiking circuits leaving from the visitor's center and basic accommodations are available within the reserve. Resident biology students are often on hand to guide visitors.