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Nazca Lines, Nazca

Peru, Central + South America: on the floor of the Nazca Valley are 10,000 mysterious lines and 300 figures created
Peru's insider take:

The countless—typically immense—lines and animal figures etched into the southern coast's hard desert floor are the most famous legacy of the pre-Inca Nazca civilization. Though the figures' meaning is unknown (theories touch on everything from the agricultural to the extraterrestrial), some of the menagerie's most iconic members include the monkey, hummingbird, condor, and spider. Collectively forming a UNESCO World Heritage Site, they're visible only from above—and while there is a viewing tower, you'll see a lot more by plane. Several local operators offer cheap flights, but one of the best-maintained planes is the Libertador Hotel group's, available to Hotel Paracas guests for $250 per hour-long flight. And as long as you're in the neighborhood, don't miss the Galápagos-evoking Islas Ballestas, with their gorgeous rock formations and squawking, bobbing hoards (penguins, pelicans, boobies, sea lions, and cormorants, for starters).—Updated by Abbie Kozolchyk

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.