Nazca – Aqueduct of Ocongalla – Cahuachi – Wood of Huarango Trees – Desert of Usaca – Sand boarding – Marine Fossils
National Reserve San Fernando
THE NATIONAL RESERVE OF SAN FERNANDO
The National Reserve of San Fernando is located on the coast about 70 km from Nazca. In this beautiful place a variety of coastal and marine flora and fauna can be seen including sea lions, sea otters, penguins and cetaceans. Besides this, even though it seems odd, it is also often possible to observe typical Andean animals such as the guanaco and the condor. These come down to the coast following narrow and fragile corridors of vegetation on the hillocks.
Duration: All Day
We shall collect you from your hotels at 7 a.m. We shall head out of Nazca in a south westerly direction in a 4 wheel drive vehicle. After a short time we shall visit the ancient irrigation canal at Ocongalla. This remains in perfect condition and continues to be used by farmers to irrigate their fields today. The water comes from underground deposits of water.
We shall continue our journey until reaching the ceremonial centre of Cahuachi. Cahuachi was a ceremonial centre founded before the birth of the Nazca culture in the 4th Century B.C. It declined around 300 A.D. following an invasion by the Wari. It is located in the Nazca River valley about 28km from the town. Its name means “Place of the fortune tellers”.
It is said to have been centre for pilgrims. Normally it would have had a small population which would grow when special ceremonies were held. It is likely that these ceremonies would have had a relation with the Nazca Lines.
Here we will be able to appreciate the remains of The Great Temple, The Large Pyramid, The Stepped Temple and other buildings of interest. Our guide will provide information both about the site and the Civilization which built and occupied it.
After visiting the ceremonial site we shall go and see a Wood of the native Huarango tree. This tree can live for over 1,000 years. In addition to providing the Nazca Civilization with wood for cooking and for building it also had an important ecological role as it has long roots which help to prevent erosion and effects from flooding. A group of British experts from Cambridge University have even suggested that large scale deforestation of this species by the Nazca Culture had a key role in their eventual demise as a very powerful El Niño event at the time wiped out the agricultural lands, which were no longer protected by the trees.
We shall make a brief stop to prepare the vehicle for the change of terrain before entering the desert of Usaca. Here there are many large sand dunes sculpted by the wind. We shall make a stop to climb the largest dunes in order to practice some sand boarding.
After this sport we shall continue our journey through the desert until reaching the canyon of Huaricangana. Here we shall be able to observe fossils of marine animals including one of a whale.
Soon after viewing the fossils we shall arrive at the San Fernando Reserve. Once here we shall be able to spend some relaxing time observing the marine and coastal flora and fauna including sea lions and penguins. If we are lucky we shall also be able to see guanacos and condors which sometimes come down from their highland homes.
We shall have a box lunch and will then proceed to explore this spectacular site by foot until walking down to the beach to rest and to swim (best in the summer months)
During the afternoon we shall return to the city to complete this excellent tour.
COST OF TOUR
The Price Includes:
- Pick up from hotel
- Transport – either a 4 wheel drive pick up or a sand buggy
- Sand boards
- A driver experienced in desert terrain
- Bilingual guide
- Box Lunch
- Drop off at hotel