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Cantalloc Aqueducts

Photo credit: Hacheme 26 / Foter / CC BY-ND
Cantalloc Aqueducts
  • (worth a detour)
  • 1-2 km
  • Easy
  • Low
  • 1 hour or less
  • 2 2

The Nazca culture irrigating system

The Cantalloc Aqueducts are a unique irrigating system in the world and they were created by the Nazca Culture around the year 1 and 600 AD. These set of canals is truly an example of the engineering technology that the Nazcas invented in order to survive in the aridness of the desert. The aqueducts gather water from the faraway Andes mountains and bring it inside the area and they are still used to date to provide potable water to its residents and for agricultural purposes.


They were constructed utilizing wood and rocks that have managed to survive the test of time. Commonly, these aqueducts are simply called “puquios” by locals and their are spiral-shaped. As you enter the site, you’ll see small aqueducts but as you walk further in, they start growing in size and you’ll be able to walk down the spirals to reach the bottom and fill up your bottle with fresh water. Each puquio has its own name, an example is: Agua Santa (Holly Water) and Soisonguito.


Due to the importance of agriculture in the area for general survival and the economy of the area (being a mayor exporter of potato, beans, cotton, fruits and corn), many rural villagers gather at the top of Cerro Blanco (the tallest dune in the world) to pay their respects to nature, because legend says that underneath the dune there is an underground lake that acts as the source of water for the puquios.