Discover the medieval town of Nazca
A place of contrasts, Nazca (also Nasca) is the largest existing town in Nazca region which is situated on the southern coast of Peru. The region consists of a system of valleys where the Nazca culture once flourished between 300 BC and 800 AD. These amazing ancient peoples left the famous Nazca lines behind as their legacy. They also left the decorative and ceremonial city of Cahuachi which its impressive system of underground aqueducts - a true marvel of its time. These ancient water systems still function today and the city along with the Nazca lines are very popular with visiting tourists.
Unfortunately, Nazca has seen some turmoil in more recent years. For starters, many of the residents of Nazca started dumping their garbage on the pampa which resulted in some of the Nazca lines being destroyed. The destruction raised a lot of eyebrows and the Mayor of Nazca protested that he did not have enough financial assistance to avoid this. Nazca soon received money to turn the irrigation canals into a tourist attraction but misguided efforts resulted in a bit more destruction. Fortunately, this was stopped and the Nazca lines are safe for the moment.
The people of the area surrounding Nazca, Peru, have seen other trifles too. Their problems started in 1997 when a major Canadian gold mining company found gold in the valley. Many of the people living here for generations were easily displaced and a gold mining operation was set up. While this action is still being fought in court, gold continues to get pumped out of the country to benefit foreign shores.
If you are going to be in the region, Nazca is still very much worth visiting. The valleys are beautiful and the Nazca lines are fascinating. Cahuachi is a well preserved archaeological gem and should not be missed. You should definitely consider making Nazca part of your travel plans.