Aerial photographs of the Nazca Lines are one of the most iconic sights of the world, and instantly recognisable by anyone. The lines are possibly even more famous for the various plausible and frequently implausible theories about who made them and how and when they were made. Some say the ancient Nazca people used hot-air balloons, others say aliens from outer-space, and while there are more realistic theories the truth is that nobody really knows for sure.

The city of Ica is adjacent to a very bizarre and curious geographical feature – enormous Saharan-style sand dunes, with an oasis lake in the centre. For adrenalin junkies these dunes can be enjoyed via hair-raising rally-style dune buggy trips, followed by gravity-fuelled sand-boarding. (More tranquil options are available!).

Paracas is a beautiful seaside town with an array of nice hotel options, great seafood, and is the base for boat trips to the Ballestas isands, an animal and bird-watching haven where hundreds of thousands of birds including penguins and pelicans come to roost, sea-lions bask on the beaches, and dolphins swim in the surrounding waters. Go Andes have visited these islands many times and highly recommend a visit. If you are short on time both Paracas and Nazca are only a short distance from Lima and can be visited in one day.