Basically everything have risk factors. Accidents happen and we cannot gurantee anything in life ...that is why we have insurance companies.
I took a small tour aircraft ride at Airport Maria Reiche for an aerial observation of the Nazca lines on Feb 9 2010. It was wonderful... and then on Feb 25, 2010, a small plane had crashed & 7 tourists lost their lives.
But that should not stop any one taking the tour. I will definitely take it one more time or a few more times.
Just pray before you board...
or get a good luck charm
Well we take risk everyday on everything ....including reading of this tip .....
Many times agencies in Nazca (as elsewhere in Peru) will lose your reservation. I had booked a tour in the middle of busy season for $65. When I arrived in Nazca, I was told that they lost my reservation and the price would be $80 or $85. We looked around for another agency, but we were quoted the same price. We soon learned that whatever price is quoted to you ahead of time, may not be the price of your flight. The best thing to do is to book your flight for the next day, very early on the previous day. Basically, the market price for flights is set for the day and all agencies charge the same price. Also, after you book your flight, they will give you a flight time. The day of your flight, your flight time will probably be pushed back until the afternoon even if you have a morning appointment. I heard rumors that the airport took people who got to the airport without booking a tour first because they knew that those who had booked a tour had already paid. We had a 9am-10am appt. and did not get on a plane until 1pm or 2pm. I felt that I was lucky. I met one girl on another day that waited two days to get on a flight because of "weather".
When we visited the chauchilla burial ground, an armed police officer joined us to secure our visit since some previous groups had been attacked in the desert. I also noticed a police escort car securing our backs in the distance. I wonder if things are any safer now, if the locals have started to see tourists any differently. Best to keep an eye out for robbers even though there's nothing much you can do, if they decide to take your money and run.
This is probably a well known problem, but fake s/100 notes are quite common in Peru, especially in the north. We discovered, whilst in Nazca, that we had a fake one originally from Trujillo. We initially tried to argue against it, as we were told it was ours 2 hours after we had given it to the hotel people. We had heard before that often hotel people might swap them and try and pawn them off on tourists. We thought this initially, but the woman seemed genuinely upset, so we took it back.
Ways to check: the waterline, as on normal notes, also check that the colour at the end of the note switches between purple and orange as you twist it. If you find one either take it to the bank you got it from, if you can prove it comes from there, or the tourist police. It was quite upsetting, but just another thing to content with.
A tout named 'Luis' is picking up tourists in the bus from Ica to Nazca for a hotel. Then he tries to sell trips to the cemetry for a lot of money ($20,- per person!)
Then he tries to sell you a ticket for a flight above the lines and since no other options are avaliable (all booked till October) we had to. But because a limited amount of aircraft are allowed above the lines the flight can't be made and Luis is gone with your money! When we dropped the word 'Policia' the money was returned very soon ;-))
... don't sit on the plaza de Armas' benchs during daytime ! Indeed, a lot of supposed-to-be guides will most probably come to you to sell you some tour... And they will stick to you as long as necessary ! Thoug, if you like talking with local people, it's the best way to do it !
... ne vous asseyez pas sur un banc de la Plaza de Armas ! En effet, des pretendus guides essaieront de vous vendre un tour.. et ils ne lachent pas facilement l'affaire ! Maintenant, si vous aimez parler, c'est l'occasion ou jamais !!
When you get off the bus in the early morning in Nazca you will be pounced upon by a tout for the Nazca hotel. These touts are very insistant, but their hotel is a dump. Not only are they very agressive to sell you the hotel or a tour, but if you say that you are not interested in their hotel then they become very insulting (the one I tangled with called me a Puta) which is not an agreeable experience at 5 am.