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Cantayo Aqueducts - Ruin Nasca - Peru

In the middle of the desert, huge stone and huarango-wood spirals whirl into the sand. These reservoirs, along with canals, are aqueducts that the pre-Inca Nasca nation built over two-thousand years ago, to irrigate dry lands that lacked surface water. Thus, they were able to grow food for their people and combat the ever-growing dessert. The system is unique in Peru and perhaps in the whole world.

The ones at Cantayo (also spelled Cantalloc or Cantayoc) are the most famous. Others exist at Agua Santa, Majoro, Majorito, Pangaraví and Soisonguito. To this day, over 30 of these underground channels are used by local farmers, who grow cotton, corn, beans and potatoes, as well as a variety of fruits. In addition to the aqueduct, visitors may also see various lines etched on the desert floor representing geometric forms.


4 kilometers (2.4 miles) East of Nasca village

Nasca, Peru

Ruin Types:
Ruins, Nasca lines, Earth art (geoglyphs)

Getting There

Tours cost $18-45 (check if entry ticket is included). A taxi to Cantayo, Paredones and El Tellar (geoglyphs in Buena Vista) costs $8 per hour. Or walk out Prolongación Tierras Blancas 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) for Cantayo.

Travel Tips:

This is easily combined with a trip to the Incan ruins of Perdones. It is best to go in the morning if walking, to beat the heat and sun.

Take lots of water.

Price Description:

Included in one-day circuito municipal ticket which covers the Aqueducts, Paredones and El Tellar and can be purchased at any of the sites (adults $3.75, children $1)

Relative price: Budget

Open Hours from:Daily 8 a.m.

Open Hours to:Daily 4 p.m.

Travel Skills: None

Currencies accepted
Peruvian nuevo sol

Here are other activities in and around Nasca that may be of interest: Mirador and Cerro, Ruins of Cahuachi, Paredones and Cemetery of Chauchilla.

19 Jun 2012

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