Friday, July 12, 2013

Peru: Exploring Lima and the Nazca Lines

Paracas boat dock

Welcome to Peru Week on Pro-Soup Propaganda! In case you missed it, this week I'm talking about my recent volunteer vacation to Peru with Conservation VIP and REI!

On Friday, June 19th, I arrived in Lima around 11:30am and took a taxi to my flat I'd rented through AirBnb. All I have to say is WOW! My flat was beautiful and well-priced and in a great location. I was pretty much right across the street from Punta Sol, a popular cevicheria, and across another street from the park where there was paragliding! I hung out in the beautiful sunshine after a delicious lunch of tuna ceviche and was feeling pretty happy. Later in the evening I was able to meet up with Armida, who was on my first trip with me! We walked around quite a bit and enjoyed the Lima evening.

I had to leave her a bit early because I was being picked up at 3am for my Ballestas Islands and Nazca Lines tour! I was taken to the bus station and put on a super bus for three hours down to Paracas. Upon my arrival there I was taken to a boat dock to wait for other groups to show up to take the Ballestas Island tour. I was fine waiting a bit because the morning was so beautiful!

The bad part is that the weather outside of the bay was apparently too rough for the boat and so we had to wait for it to calm down before we could leave. We sat and we sat and then we sat a little more. Finally I was told that we still hadn't gotten approval to go out and that I didn't have time to do any of the other tours because I had my 11am flight scheduled. So this meant I sat at the boat dock from around 7:30am until 10am and was then taken to another downtown area to wait for another shuttle, which didn't pick me up until 10:40am. I was taken with a group to do the Nazca Lines tour and was so happy when I finally was able to make it on the airplane!

Seeing the Nazca Lines was SO AWESOME. Besides the well-known figures there are all sorts of lines crisscrossing the desert. Some were giant, parallel lines that were so giant and straight that they looked like survey crews made them and they stretched all the way to the horizon. It was pretty awesome to see! The bad part is that everyone got a little sick-ish because the pilot would bank the plane hard to the left so all the people on the left could see the figures and then he'd bank it hard to the right so the people on the other side could see them. Do that about eight times and you've got an upset stomach! For me what sucked is that my right ear got plugged from the pressure and sinus congestion and it didn't end up getting unplugged for two days. I was so snarfly and coughy as is and it didn't help!

After the flight I got taken to have lunch and was then picked up again to be taken back to the bus station for another three hour ride back to Lima and then another hour shuttle ride (due to traffic) back to my flat. I was so exhausted and not feeling well at all after the day that I ended up spending most of all the next day and a half in bed. Yup, here I was in a beautiful city and I didn't take advantage at all of doing any sightseeing. BUT I will be coming back to Peru and will happily make up for my Lima trip then!

The only really awesome thing I did on my own while I was in Lima (aside from seeing Armida, obviously) was meeting Heather Thorkelson of Republic of Freedom! She lives not far from where I was staying, so we met at a cute little restaurant for lunch. She was so nice and super fun to talk to. She gave me some great information and I am so thankful I got to meet her!

All in all, Peru was great. I am so glad I got to spend a full two weeks there and do and see SO MUCH! However, check back in on Monday and find out about my trip to Easter Island! I hope y'all enjoyed reading about my trip and that maybe it will inspire you at all to take a volunteer vacation!

The park in Miraflores across the street from my building

The sun begins to set in Lima

Cool fountain downtown!

Early morning Paracas harbor

Peruvian pelican!

I accidentally took this picture, but it looks neat!

Fishing boats as seen from the sky

I altered the following photos so you could more easily try and see the figures!

The Whale

The Astronaut

Random giant parallel lines

The Monkey

The Dog

The Hummingbird

The Hummingbird again - it's my favorite!

The Condor

The Condor again

The Spider

The Tree and the Hands

Paracas sails

Thanks again for reading!

Past posts:
Monday: Exploring Cusco and Sacsaywaman
Tuesday: Exploring Machu Picchu
Wednesday: Volunteering at Chachabamba and Being Forgotten by the Train
Thursday: Hiking the Sun Gate Trail and Exploring Ollantaytambo

Check out the rest of my photos from my trip here!

Love reading about my adventures? Consider donating to my Smarty Pig fund! I'm saving up for a six week trip to Antarctica, Patagonia, Argentina, and Chile in January and February, 2014. Your donation can help me continue these adventures!


  1. More gorgeous photos! You took all those?! The sand figures are crazy!!

  2. I am so impressed even with the plane air sickness you were determined to capture the wonder of the Nazca lines. I imagine I would have been disappointed with missing the first part but you seemed have taken in the spirit of adventure and rolled on! You got amazing photos!

    1. Thank you!! The Nazca Lines was what I had originally intended to see, but the Ballestas Island tour was part of a package deal. I hadn't heard of them until I was looking around at tours, but once I found them I was excited to go. Oh, well, I'll just have to go back! ;o)

  3. Great photos! The Nazca lines are so awesome. What camera did you use?

    1. Thank you! I have a Canon S100. I totally recommend it! Some photographer friends of mine referred it to me and I have been SO happy with it. I can't even think of anything I dislike about it.