Paracas, Ica, and the Nazca Lines

Peru’s Southern Coastal Region

Despite its dry and barren landscape, Peru’s southern coastal region nurtured some of South America’s most productive cultures.

Centuries before the Inca, this plain bloomed with the help of elaborate irrigation systems, producing maize, sweet potatoes, cotton, and cocoa.

The Nazca culture created enormous geoglyphs and expressive ceramics.

A hummingbird carving in Peru's Nazca lines, photographed on a helicopter tour

The Paracas National Reserve

The Paracas people are famous for their intricate textiles and complex mummification rituals.

Today, coastal Paracas and inland Ica serves as bases for exploring the region’s islands, deserts, dunes, and ancient sites.

The Paracas National Reserve—Peru’s only marine reserve—protects coastal plains, geoglyphs, red and orange sand beaches, and a small archipelago—the Ballestas Islands.

“Mini Galapagos” Archipelago

By chartering a boat to the islands of Paracas, guests can observe sea lions, Humboldt penguins, flamingos, boobies, frigates, and dozens of other bird species en masse.

Huddle of Ballesta Penguins in Peru

Even if you’re not an enthusiastic bird watcher, this “mini Galapagos” is impressive for its quantities.

The Regional Museum of Ica and Huacachina

Approximately 45 miles to the southeast, The Regional Museum of Ica displays mummies, trophy heads, elongated skulls, and knotted-string quipus.

Huacachina, an oasis town near Ica, is known for dune surfing and adrenaline-pumping buggy tours.

To the southwest of Ica is the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau.

The Nazca Desert

The rainless Nazca Dessert preserves fragile geoglyphs, created over 1300 years ago.

Ancient Inca Water Channels in Peru

Hundreds of gigantic figures—monkeys, birds, lizards, and insects—mark 350 square miles of desert floor.

The patterns are so large that they can only be discerned from the air. Flights can be arranged from Lima, Paracas, or Nazca.

The Ocucaje Desert

For even more adventure, head out into the Ocucaje Desert with a paleontologist or archaeologist.

This landscape is rich in marine fossils, including several now extinct species of whales.

Ancient graveyards also appear among the dunes; it’s not uncommon to see a mummified hand or femur emerging from the sand.

Beautiful sunset over the dunes of Peru's Ica Desert

LANDED delivers the finest in custom, private travel to Central America, South America, and Antarctica. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our expert travel planners today at 801.582.2100. We’ll create the most exceptional trip of your life.

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is, at last, to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.”

G. K. Chesterton

Let’s Talk


Could not have been more pleased.  This was the trip of a lifetime for our family.  Thank you!

S. Gentry, San Clemente, CA


What an amazing adventure we have had.  Many thanks to you for putting it together. The whole rhythm of the trip was perfect, and leaving one place for the next worked perfectly. This trip definitely made me want to experience other great spots in South America as the people have been wonderful and the places incredible. Wish we had a month to really explore.  Everybody in the family had a great life experience. Thanks again!

S. Ecenia, Knoxville, TN


One of our best trips ever, made excellent by LANDED’s attention to detail. When planning the trip our travel planner listened to us carefully, asked the right questions, and customized the trip to have just the right balance of adventure and city sights for us. The guides, drivers, and “handlers” were superb. The hotels were top notch. We felt relaxed and pampered all the way. Will definitely look to LANDED to plan our next trip to South America.

M. & J. Siegel , New Rochelle, NY

Absolutely amazing. Thanks again John. Carlos was the best guide I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. Top notch talent.

T. Hill, Fort Worth, TX

We returned yesterday from our trip and I wanted to let you know that it was absolutely amazing!  There is not a single thing on the itinerary that we would change.  The guides were knowledgeable, friendly, and prompt.  The hotels were beautiful, the food delicious and the pace of the activities was perfect for us. Thank you so much for making our trip such a fantastic experience.

B. Baltes, E. Rockaway, NY

In short, our trip was amazing, and, as we had hoped, the Inca civilization was fascinating to us. Thanks so much for your constant assistance and thorough planning.

H. Liroff, Minneapolis, MN

The planning, service and execution of the trip was flawless – thank you for making it perfect!

R. Hayek, San Francisco, CA

LANDED’s services were excellent. You were helpful and knowledgeable, making our trip a memorable one.  I will use your services in the future as I continue to explore Central & South America.

A. Reynolds, Tucson, AZ

It was like being in a very well organized dream. Your patience with my questions and concerns during the planning stage was remarkable.

W. Sibley, New York, NY

I’ve never had such great service from a tour operator. Not only were you a great help on the planning-insuring that I was staying at the right places and enjoying the type of activities we love-but the follow up was incredible. Your team checked in with us several times during the trip to confirm that everything was going well, and that the guides you assigned were satisfying us. It’s one thing to get a “thank you card” or a “hope your trip was great” note after you’re back, but to insure that it’s going well during the trip is a welcome first! I look forward to working with you again on a another trip.

C. Leavitt , New York, NY

You actually got to know us, which made it possible to know just what we like. You promised the best trip ever and you kept your promise.

B. Furstenberg, Roxbury, NY

The entire trip was amazing. Both the hotel & restaurant recommendations were well thought out and helped us thoroughly enjoy our honeymoon.

C. Venezia, New York, NY

LANDED is like the ultimate virtual guide, suggesting the high points and helping us get the most out of a week’s time.

F. Greenberg, New York, NY

We had a great time, and didn’t miss anything. We zip-lined, rafted, sailed and surfed. The contacts and drivers were professional and courteous. We don’t want to be back at work. Thank you for all of the work you did to set up this trip.

M. Marrocco, Dallas, TX