Prestigious Spanish-language media outlet CNN en Español
dedicated an article to the mysterious Nazca Lines, stressing its importance and beauty, as well as the reasons for not missing them while in Peru.
highlights its impressive geoglyphs depicting geometric and zoomorphic figures.
A review of the different theories on the purpose behind the Nazca Lines' construction can also be found in the story.
Within this framework, CNN en Español states that Machu Picchu
and Peruvian capital Lima receive more visits than the Nazca Lines despite their historic importance.
Additionally, the article encourages vacationers not to miss out this destination on their traveling list if they are planning to visit Peru, since the Nazca Lines —it warned— may disappear due to climate change and human activities.
The emblematic Nazca Lines
provide a highly attractive destination for tourists, who can visit the attraction and learn about this major remnant of ancient Peruvian culture.
The geoglyphs are large, detailed designs depicting geometric and zoomorphic figures covering an area 50 km long and 15 km wide.
This magnificent archaeological site can be found between km 419-465 on Panamericana Sur Highway.
First reports on these intricate patterns were made by Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xespe in 1927. Later, in 1939, U.S. scientist Paul Kosok carried out a number of investigations on the lines as well.
However, it wasn't until 1946 that more thorough research works emerged, when German researcher Maria Reiche
became interested in the geoglyphs. She would dedicate the rest of her life to their study and preservation.
Various theories have been put forth to explain the origin and use of the lines, and some researchers affirm they date from 550 A.D.
As for their purpose, the Lady of Nazca interpreted them as a gigantic solar and lunar calendar used by ancient Peruvian astronomers.
Two traits characterize these markings: their massive size and shallow depth, which ranges from 15 to 30 cm.
Over thirty of these drawings have been reported to date, including marine creatures, land animals, as well as geometric and anthropomorphic shapes.
The largest geoglyphs are a bird of nearly 300 m, a lizard (180 m), a pelican (135 m), a condor (135 m), a monkey (135 m) and a spider (42 m).
The arid Nazca plains also play canvas to a whale, two llamas and various birds: a heron, a crane, a pelican, a seagull, a parrot and the symbolic hummingbird.
There are two alternatives to see these enigmatic figures: from the ground and from the air.
Visitors can climb 'El Mirador' (observation tower) built overlooking the archaeological site to appreciate two of the famous lines, the hands and the tree, as well as many other figures carved into the desert.
The other option is flying over the geoglyphs. In this sense, Nazca's Maria Reiche Airport offers 30-minute tours to take in the view from above and marvel at the main figures.
The Nazca Lines and geoglyphs were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 17, 1994.