Ica is located on the Southern Coast of Lima, at approximately 300 kilometres in the middle of the Peruvian desert, along the Panamerican highway. The city of Ica is the capital of the Ica Region and the most important wine producer of Peru.
The first inhabitants of Ica belonged to the Paracas and Nazca Cultures (600 BC – 200AD), famous for, among others, their pottery and textiles. The city of Ica was founded in 1563, on June 17th.
Ica is not only famous for its wine, but also for its enormous sand dunes - shaped by the winds of Paracas in this part of the Peruvian coast – and last but not least, for the lagoon of Huacachina. The attractive Huacachina is a natural oasis about 4 kilometres outside Ica, in the middle of the sand dunes.
Attractions in Ica
Ica has become increasingly popular especially because of options for sandboarding in the desert around the Huacachina Oasis. Ica's unique location in the desert provides amazing opportunities for sandboarding and sand buggy tours. The city attracts both international travellers and national tourists, looking for a relaxing trip to the calm resort or a refreshing trip to the Ballestas Islands and the Paracas National Reserve.
A popular trip to be connected with the visit of Ica, is a tour to the city of Pisco
, famous for the production of Peru´s national liquor with the same name.
Furthermore, the small city of Nazca, not far to the South o Ica, offers the experience of the infamous Nazca Lines
Lastly, don´t forget to take a trip to the interesting bodegas in the city of Ica, such as the Bodega Tacama, Bodega Ocucaje and the Bodega El Catador. Most tours at the bodegas are free; you just need to hire a taxi to get there. The building of the Catador is from 1856, owned by one of the richest families in Ica. The Catador is also recommended for nice meals.
Museums in Ica
Ica hosts the Museo Regional de Ica, a regional museum with prehistoric artefacts and some furniture and paintings from the Spanish colonial era. The most interesting items, however, are the pre-Columbian mummies with typical skulls of the Paracas culture, offering us proof of the fact that this culture used to perform successful brain surgeries at their time.
Travel Information for Ica
Travelling from Lima to Ica takes a 4-5 -hour bus ride, with buses leaving Lima several times throughout the day and night. There are also buses leaving Cusco, that take about 18 hours. From Ica, the bus ride takes approx. 1,5 hours to reach Pisco and another 2 hours to get to Nazca.