The Vicuña National Park of Pampas Galeras is located about 90 kilometres from the city of Nasca (598 m.a.s.l), following a steep/winding road that leads high into the Andes till an elevation of 4200 m.a.s.l. This area is home of two American camels, the Vicuñas and Guanacos, which can be seen running freely through the Andean plateau. Unlike their cousins the Llamas and Alpacas, the Vicuñas and Guanacos are wild animals, they have not been domesticated and have adapted to high altitudes where drought and freezing nights are the natural rules. The Vicuña Reserve of Pampas Galeras houses roughly 70% of vicuñas in the world, therefore a tour to Pampas Galeras guarantee any visitor a good experience with these wonderful Andean camels.
Photo Gallery of Pampas Galeras.
This tour starts at 8:00 h. Our staff will pick you up from your hotel in Nazca and then we will drive uphill towards the majestic Andean lands. On the way you will enjoy a magnificent landscape that combines different ecological levels, ranging from dry coastal hills with little vegetation, to high Andean plateau full of grass. The Vicuña National Reserve of Pampas Galeras is located 90 kilometers away from the city of Nazca. We will drive uphill for about 2 hours till reach an elevation of 4200, zone in which we will start to spot these graceful animals. On the way up, when we have reached an altitude of 3000 meters, we will start to look for Guanacos, a direct descendent of the Paleo-Llama, an animal in a great danger of extinction still seen on the Andean slopes. Afterwards we will arrive at the National Park, and will first visit a little museum that shows all the fauna (stuffed animals) that exist in the area, and also will learn about the evolution of these Andean Camels. Here we will have a nice talk about the Vicuña Project and will see how the Andean villages organized themselves in order to protect this camel specie that was on danger of extinction in the 1960’s. Afterwards we will walk throughout the national park, visiting various spots where Vicuñas and other species used to congregate. Here you will have the best chance to get a closer view of these animals and also take pictures.
After one hour or so, we will return to the machine and will start to descent to the Coast. Once we are back in Nazca, each customer will be drooped off at the selected hotel. End of the tour.
What is included on this day?
What is not included?
6 hours approximately.
Local Operator Information:
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Chaccu Festival - Pampas Galeras
In Inca times the killing of vicuna was forbidden, instead they used ceremonial hunts, called Chaku, that were an enlightened form of conservation. Nowadays we are applying the same methods to save the animal from extinction. Every year Peru's Andean people gather for the year's final Chaku rituals. After choosing a community leader to dress up as the "Inca King", they form a huge human chain to round up the wild vicunas. Once captured, the "King" will say a prayer in Quechua and taste the blood from the best animal by extracting it from a small slit made in the ear. Afterwards, the ritual shearing begins. See photos of this rite by clicking on the picture on your left.