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Tourist attractions
Population : 26,000 inhabitants
Altitude : 520 m
Distance :
   Ica : 144 km
   Lima : 449 km
   Arequipa : 570 km
   Cusco : 623 km
   Piura : 1435 km


  • Nasca
  • Nasca
  • Nasca
  • Nasca


The city of Nasca is located along the central coast of Peru, in the department of Ica, at some 380 kilometers southeast of Lima, in the middle of the desert of the same name, on the right bank of the Aja river, a tributary of Rio Grande. Relatively small, (approximately 26000 inhabitants) the town is nevertheless very active due to the thousands of travelers who flock each year to visit the many tourist attractions in the surroundings.

Nasca is connected with the rest of the country through the Southern Panamerican Highway that runs along the Peruvian coast from Ecuador to Chile, passing through the cities of Piura, Trujillo, Lima, Ica and Arequipa. But it is also the departing point to Cusco via the highway Nasca-Abancay-Cusco, thus making it one of the central towns from where you can visit major tourist places of the region.
The valley of the Rio Grande was occupied for thousands of years, and the most famous pre-Inca cultures that settled on its banks were the Paracas, Nasca, Huari and Chincha people. The latter ones were conquered by the Incas during the dominion of Pachacutec and definitely integrated into the empire during Tupac Yupanqui’s administration, in the year 1476.

Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the region, the valleys of Nasca and Palpa were known as Caxamarca, which was separated into three territorial divisions known as "parcialidades" : Nasca, Kollao and Palpa. In the mid-sixteenth century, the main "curaca" of Cajamarca was Francisco Nanaska (The curaca was the political and administrative head of the "ayllu", a group of families who were considered a distant descendant of the common ancestor. After the Conquest of Peru by Francisco Pizarro, they were known as "caciques"). Together with his son, they donated their property to the "encomenderos", a sort of feudal lord, "for the creation of the colonial town on the parcialidad of Naska, calling it Santiago Apostol of Nasca".  This is when the rest of the valleys' natives were subdued and the lands were distributed among the Spaniards in 1549, perhaps on July 25, the feast day honoring the patron saint of the town.

Two versions on the Spanish foundation of the town exist. According to writings of chroniclers, it was founded on October 28, 1548, by Alonso de Mendoza who was commissioned by peacemaker Pedro de la Gasca. However, he founded the city of La Paz in Upper Peru (now Bolivia) on October 20 that same year, creating some doubt about this version. The second version says that it was founded by Viceroy Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, Marquis of Cañete and eighth Viceroy of Peru, on November 17, 1591.

On October 14, 1820, the famous battle between the liberating troops of the Argentine Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Rojas Argerich, second in command of General Juan Antonio Alvarez de Arenales (which was part of the Liberating Expedition of General Jose de San Martin) and the royalist troops under command of Colonel Quimper took place in the town of Nasca. The royalists were taken by surprise and were defeated in no time. The same day the city was celebrating the victory.

During the colonial era, several “haciendas” cultivated grapes and cotton. Nasca was also known for producing a grape brandy (similar to pisco) for consumption by slaves, and called Nasca by local inhabitants. It was also said that the first pisco was produced at Hacienda Cahuachi, by an African American slave from that farm. The village of Nazca was created on August 29, 1821. On July 2, 1855, it was elevated to the category of district and it became a province only years later, on January 23, 1941.
Tourist attractions and activities
Cahuachi Ceremonial CenterCahuachi Ceremonial Center
The Cahuachi Ceremonial Center was considered the ancient political and religious capital of the Nasca rulers and the most important housing and ceremonial center of that culture. You can still see its impressive pyramids built on barren hills.
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Islas BallestasCantalloc Aqueduct
The Cantalloc Aqueduct is one of the many aqueducts built by the Nasca culture to capture groundwater and transport it to the irrigation areas of the valley. You can still see ancient channels, galleries and reservoirs which are still used today by farmers of the valley.

Islas BallestasCerro Blanco
The Cerro Blanco dune is 2078 meters high and thus, the highest sand dune in the world ! From the top, you have a breathtaking view over the other dunes around, and you can see really dazzling natural landscapes. With a sand slope of over a kilometer long, it is also famous among sand boarding enthusiasts.

Islas BallestasChauchila Cemetery
The Chauchilla Cemetery is a pre-Inca necropolis related to the Nasca culture, according to some authors, or to the Huari culture by others. In the cemetery,  mummies in stunningly perfect condition can still be seen. In some of them you can even still see remnants of hair and even skin !

Nasca LinesNasca Lines
Drawn by the Nasca culture throughout the dry and hot desert of Nasca, they continue to impress thousands of visitors coming every year due to their size and complexity. The most impressive ones are the ones depicting animals such as birds, monkey, spider or snail.
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Islas BallestasParedones of Nasca
The Paredones of Nasca are some interesting Inca archaeological remains located on the outskirts of the city. Today, one can see remnants of walls with carved stone base, several squares and a tower.

520 m
The city of Nasca, located in the middle of a desert, enjoys a dry and sunny climate all year round, with an average annual temperature of 23°C. It is known as "the city of eternal summer."

Table with minimum and maximum temperatures, and rainfall in Nasca :

Max 33 33 34 32 29 25 23 26 28 29 31 32
Min 20 21 21 18 16 12 12 11 14 14 15 19
mm 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

In degrees Fahrenheit :

Max 91 91 92 90 84 77 73 78 82 83 88 89
Min 68 69 69 64 60 54 53 52 57 57 59 65
mm 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Weather in Nasca

How to get there ?
How to get to Nasca ?

How to get to Nasca by bus :

From Lima : Between 7 and 8 hours. To see a list of bus companies, click here.
From Paracas : Between 3 and 4 hours. To see a list of bus companies, click here.
From Ica : Between 2 and 3 hours. To see a list of bus companies, click here.
From Arequipa : Between 8 and 10 hours. To see a list of bus companies, click here.
From Cusco : Between 14 and 16 hours. To see a list of bus companies, click here.
Hotels in Nasca
Where to stay in Nasca ? Hotels in Nasca :
Complete list of hotels
To know more hotels of the city of Nasca, you can click here.
Restaurants in Nasca
Where to eat in Nasca ? Restaurants in Nasca :
Complete list of restaurants
To know more restaurants of the city of Nasca, you can click here.
Pubs and clubs in Nasca
Where to go out in Nasca ? Pubs and clubs in Nasca :
Complete list of pubs and clubs
To see more pubs and clubs of the city of Nasca, you can click here.
Travel agencies and tours in Nasca
What tour hire in Nasca ? Travel agencies and tours in Nasca (Nasca Lines, Cahuachi Ceremonial Center, Chauchilla Cemetery, Cerro Blanco, Cantalloc Aqueduct, Paredones of Nasca) :
Complete list of tours
To see all the agencies with tours to the Nasca Lines, you can click here.
To see all the agencies with tours to the Cerro Blanco, you can click here.

Top 5 tourist attractions

Top 5 shops