Tour 2

The Aquaducts of Cantalloc,
Los Paredones,
The Geoglyphs of Cantalloc


The aquaducts or underground courses are a marvelous work of the hydraulic engineering science, built by the old Nazcas. The aquaducts do not have predecessors in Peru and America, comparably are these only with the famous Quanats in Persia, and they are still in use today: in some houses in Nasca there are wells, which are fed by the aquaducts.

The people of the Nazca exercised extensive agriculture, but the rivers drained periodically. However, the Nazca knew that there was always water in a depth from 7 to 10m, especially in the proximity of the rivers.

The underground water flows in small brooks, which are also fed by the strong rainfalls in the mountains. The Nazcas canalized these brooks and designed the circular accesses, the so-called aquaducts.

Thus the ancient Nazcas became the first water engineers and solved their problem of the water scarceness in an ingenious way.


Sectional Drawing of an Aquaduct


Only 2 km away from the city centre of Vista Alegre the "Tambo Real de Paredones" is located, the administrative centre of the Incas. This construction contains strategic departments, depots, living areas of the priests, the ceronomy center etc. The entire system was built from stone in the Cusco style, whereby the stones were brought into the accurate form (see photo).

This "Tambo Real" is the mute witness of the imperial advance up to the coast in the year 1470 A.D.

General Map of Los Paredones


Approximately 5 km away from the city centre of Vista Alegre and east to Los Paredones are the geoglyphs (floor drawings) of Cantalloc located in a desert-like area. Here you must mount a small mountain of approximately 30 m height, in order to admire this immense floor drawing in form of a trapezoid. The construction of these floor drawings corresponds exactly to the style of the figures in the Pampas San José (the Nasca Lines).

According to the theory of David Johnson these floor drawings are an image of the underground brooks and sources. The Cerro Blanco, the highest sand dune of America, was for the ancient Nazcas a holy place and the origin of the water in this area, and so they designed this trapezoid as a type of signal, whereby the spirals represented the aquaducts.

Other theories however describe the trapezoid is the figure of a piece of loom and the spirals represent the bundle of yarn. This by the way is the official version of the explanation.

Duration of this sightseeing tour: 3 hours
Departure (with different travel agencies): Daily (on request)

Municipalidad Distrital de Vista Alegre
Esq. Cápac Yupanqui y Pisco
(/7 +51 (56) 52 37 31

Design, Translation and Production © 2005 MVdata, Nasca, Av. Arica 464a, Tel: +51 (56) 52 37 12