Nazca Suffers 50% Tourism Decrease Due to New Travel Options in Pisco

Last week, Peru's National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) announced that a strong decrease of tourism in the city of Nazca generated a loss of US$100 million in the zone. According to president Carlos Canales, the main reason for the loss is a 50% decrease in tourism due to relatively recent competition from the much more modern Pisco airport. Of the 200 thousand tourists who fly over the Nazca Lines each year, 60% of them now opt to fly from the recently constructed Pisco airport.

Previously, visitors arrived to the dusty town of Nazca, located along the desert coast of Peru, vía a long bus trip from Ica (2-3hr), Arequipa (9hr), Cusco (14hr), or Lima (6-8hr). For budget-minded travelers, that's still the most economical choice, but the time-pressed now have more convenient options.

Despite being the smallest of Peru's major domestic airlines, LCPerú generated has been generating a lot of buzz in the last year. February of this year, they inaugurated a new route connecting Lima, Pisco, and Cusco. Switching to light aircraft in Pisco in order to fly over the Nazca lines is an additional option which can be added to Lima-Pisco-Lima and Lima-Pisco-Nazca flights. A flight from Lima to Cusco takes only an hour, so even with the Nazca detour included, travelers need only dedicate a morning or afternoon from their itinerary to the excursion.

Through the airline's "Nazca Direct" service, launched last week, travelers already in Pisco (generally visitors to the Ballestas Islands) can choose from 3 different flight Pisco departures to fly over the Nazca Lines.

For Canales, the only solution is to privatize the aerodrome so that it could be remodeled and enhanced, although the argument could be made that Nazca's other attractions are under-promoted. After all, the city boasts a wealth of relatively overlooked pre-Incan relics from the Paracas and Nazca civilizations preserved by its arid climate: One can visit Chauchillas cemetery to see thousand year old mummies with hair and skin intact, explore the Cantayoc Aqueducts, a network of subterranean aqueducts unlike any you'll see anywhere else in the world, or visit the remains of the ancient sacred city of Cahuachi. Natural attractions include the Pampa Galeras National Reserva and Huacachina Oasis, whose surrounding dunes are popular for dune buggying and sandboarding.

Inca World Team
Publication date: 24 May 2013
Sources: <a href="">Carla Colon</a>

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