Travel to Nazca, therefore, is almost all from either Lima to the north or from Arequipa to the south and by road. Nazca can also be visited by direct bus from Cusco. 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 every day.
Arriving to Nazca from Lima
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. Distance from Lima to Nazca is 447 km along Panamerican Highway.
Arriving to Nazca from Cusco
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 with 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.