The Peruvian government has ordered increased security at the country's world famous Nazca lines after a truck driver ploughed his vehicle through the ancient archaeological site.

In future, the 450-square-kilometre area will be protected day and night with drones, the Culture Ministry said on Tuesday.

The 2,000-year-old Nazca lines are giant drawings of around 370 plants and animals, which can only be seen from the sky. They were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

The ministry said that the truck driver ignored warning signs when he drove onto the heritage site on Saturday, leaving deep tyre marks in a 50-by-100-metre area and damaging the lines.

 The truck driver, who was arrested later that day, said he had wanted to change a tyre, according to the newspaper El Commercio.

In May last year, Austrian Greenpeace activist Wolfgang Sadik was handed a suspended jail sentence of two years and four months and a 200,000-dollar fine for marring the lines during a 2014 protest.

He was accused of laying out fabric letters to form a slogan between the lines, which was meant to draw attention to climate change, leaving tracks in the process that irreparably damaged them.