Nazca, Peru
As the Panamericana rises through coastal mountains and stretches across the arid flats to Nazca, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this desolate pampa holds little of interest. And indeed this sun-bleached expanse was largely ignored by the outside world until 1939, when North American scientist Paul Kosok flew across the desert and noticed a series of extensive lines and figures etched below, which he initially took to be an elaborate pre-Inca irrigation system. In fact, what he had stumbled across was one of ancient Perus most impressive and enigmatic achievements: the world-famous Nazca Lines. Today the small town of Nazca is continually inundated by travelers who show up to marvel and scratch their heads over the purpose of these mysterious lines, which were declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1994.

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