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Nazca, Ballestas And Colca Canyon


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Book this tour through our partner: World Expeditions

Explore the wildlife rich Ballestas Islands (mini Galapagos), view the spectacular Nazca Lines and visit the Colca Canyon, the world's deepest canyon


Depart Lima, Ballestas Islands boat trip & drive onto Nazca

We depart very early in the morning from Lima for the drive south in a private car down the coast to Paracas. From here we take a boat journey out to the Ballestas Islands known as the mini-Galapagos. On the way we get a chance to see the huge 'candelabra' - a massive figure of what looks like a giant cactus etched in a huge coastal sand dune. This can only be seen from the sea. The islands are a wildlife haven with hundreds or seals, penguins and other birdlife. We continue onto Nazca for overnight at our comfortable hotel.

View Nazca Lines & drive to Arequipa

The Nazca Lines are located in the coastal desert of Peru and are best described as remarkable and enigmatic. The huge designs etched into the desert by the people of the Paracas and Nazca cultures between perhaps 500BC and 900AD. There are several ways to see the lines and our leader will take us to a fantastic vantage point, a watch tower set high above the desert. Another option is to take an optional overflight. Previously, there were limited civil aviation controls at Nazca and no effective safety authority inspecting aircraft or pilots. The Peruvian airport authority has taken over the running of the small Nazca airport from where all aircraft take off for the overflights of the Nazca Lines which has resulted in much better control of the flight schedules and general flight safety at Nazca. World Expeditions cannot arrange these flights on your behalf and they are not included in the trip cost. We can assist you locally to arrange them, however it is important you are aware that you take full personal responsibility for contracting and paying for your own over-flight. These flights take place in small single-engine high- winged aircraft, generally with 10 or 12 seats with their own window. The cost varies between US$50 and US$120 per person for a 30 minute flight (cost depends on demand on the day). The flight is subject to weather conditions and availability. Please discuss this with your leader locally on day 1 of the trip should you like to arrange it. In the afternoon we will leave Nazca and continue on a tourist class bus service to Arequipa. The 9 hour drive across the vast Peruvian Desert follows the Pan American Highway, which is a good sealed road by Peruvian standards. The buses are a standard long distance bus that you might find in Europe, North America or Australia. They are quite comfortable with reclining seats. You will arrive late into Arequipa and upon arrival transfer directly to you hotel.

To Colca Canyon

After an early breakfast we board our vehicle for a spectacular drive past the perfect cone shaped Mount Misti. At 5822m this towering volcano provides a spectacular backdrop to the city of Arequipa. We ascend around the back of Misti to the dry semi-desert where we often see herds of wild Vicuñas and cross a high pass before an immediate and spectacular descent into the dramatic Colca Canyon to Chivay. We spend the rest of the day visiting parts of this massive canyon – which is arguably the deepest in the world! Please note, the Colca Canyon tour on day 3 & 4 is on a shared service basis with other travellers.Overnight Hotel in Chivay.

At Colca and return to Arequipa

An early start for a drive along the top of the canyon to visit the famous ‘Condor's Lookout' where we get a chance to look for these magnificent birds (the heaviest flying bird in the world) gliding below and above us. Since they are wild birds we cannot guarantee sightings but most groups do get to see them. Early in the morning, as the sun starts to heat the air, is the best time to view the condors as they set sail from the rocky valley sides into the thermals. After a last look at the Colca area we depart for the drive back to Arequipa. Upon our arrival back to Arequipa we enjoy a short guided tour of the city and the famous Santa Catalina Convent which is one of Peru’s most fascinating colonial religious buildings.Overnight Hotel in Arequipa.

Tour concludes in Arequipa

Transfer to airport where services end.

Additional Information

An ideal fast paced extension for those wishing to see the coast, desert and canyons of Peru. From Lima, we head to the Ballestas Islands for a wildlife cruise and onto the famous Nazca Lines. We continue to Arequipa and the fabulous Colca Canyon, home to the magnificent Andean Condor.

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5 Days



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