Nazca is located in the Ica desert, about a 6 or 7 hour drive from the capital. Unfortunately there are no trains or planes to Nazca, meaning the only way to reach the fascinating geoglyphs is by bus. For travelers looking to reach the famous city, there are several bus routes that pass through everyday.
Coming from the capital, the bus route to the city of Nazca hugs the Peruvian coastline, following the famous Pan-American Highway. Many service operators take pit stops along the way, especially in the seaside town of Paracas and in Huacachina, the only natural desert oasis in all of the Americas. The direct journey from Lima to Nazca can take upwards of 7 hours, meaning a few beautiful stops along the way can be a great way to liven up the journey.
Peru Hop run a hop-on/hop-off service that allows their customers to choose how long they spend at each of the destinations along the route. As Peru Hop run a route through Nazca, their service appears to be a perfect way to reach the city and its mystical lines, and they stop in both Paracas and Huacachina meaning you can explore two more incredible towns on the way from Lima to Nazca.
The journey with a public bus tends to be less pleasant. Without pit stops along the way, the journey can become quite tedious and very long. Nevermind you’ll miss out on two of Peru’s most sought after destinations! We definitely recommend our readers choose a hop on hop off option like Peru Hop in order to make the most of the trip.
For many traveling in Peru, the next destination after the heights of Cusco and the wonderful Machu Picchu is of course along the coast via Arequipa, up to Nazca and beyond. The journey from Cusco to Nazca can take over 18 hours, so it is highly recommended to break it up by spending some time in Arequipa. The beautiful white city is framed by 3 major volcanoes, meaning the landscape surrounding the city is more than just a little amazing.
It is possible to travel inland to Nazca from Cusco, cutting out a little bit of the journey and the time it takes to get there. There have, however, been many reports in recent months of both attempted and successful hijackings and kidnappings along this route meaning we believe it to be too dangerous for travelers looking to reach the Nazca Lines. We recommend that our readers ensure they avoid the dangerous inland route and instead take the more scenic, undoubtedly beautiful coastal path to the Nazca Lines.
Should you take our advice and follow the coastal route, the journey to Arequipa will take 8-9 hours followed by a similar journey duration again on to Nazca. Like with the Lima to Nazca route, we recommend that our readers take a look at the offerings of Peru Hop for this route. Their hop-on/hop-off service means you can spend as much time in Arequipa before moving on to Nazca, and you can even move on to Lima and the fantastic destinations between Nazca and Lima along the way.
Some travelers find themselves looking to head north towards Nazca from the city of Arequipa, Peru’s second largest. The journey from this beautiful volcano-surrounded city tends to take around 7 hours.
We recommend our readers take the popular Peru Hop bus service to make the journey. Their hop on hop off passes mean you can continue north after your visit to the Nazca Lines and see what else Peru has to offer. What better way to end your time in Peru than in the seaside town of Paracas and and in Huacachina, the only true desert oasis in the Americas.
Take to the skies and discover the incredible Nazca Lines for yourself, A flight is the best way to see it all!
If flights aren’t quite your thing, don’t worry! For a small fee you can climb the famous Nazca Observation Tower.