Ica

 

 

Capital: City of Ica

Altitude: 406 m.a.s.l.

Distance: 267 kilometers from Lima

 

The province of Ica is located in the central south coast of the Peruvian seaboard. It is considered the center where the important pre-inca civilizations Nasca (300 years b.C.) and Paracas (700 years b.C.) developed.

 

The men of Paracas practiced the trepanation of skulls on living bodies using knives made of "obsidiana", a certain kind of volcano rock. They also reached a great development in the art of weaving.

 

The Nasca culture stood out for its admirable knowledge in hydraulic engineering building aqueducts and subterranean canals reinforced by inner walls of stone and roofs of huarango.

 

Ica is known as the region of the sand and sea, of oasis and valleys. Besides of the pisco, wine and popular devotions, like the Señor de Lauren or the Sanctuary of Yauca.

 

It is interesting to visit:

 

Square of Arms

Sanctuary of Señor de Lauren

Regional Museum Maria Reiche

Museum of Piedras Grabadas (Engraved Stones)

House of the Marquis of Torre Hermosa

Wine cellars Vista Alegre, Tacama and Ocucaje

Huacachina Lagoon

Snowy Mountain Ampay

 

Tourist Site Attractions:

 

National Reservation of Paracas, with a surface of 3.350 hectares, is one of the most important, protected areas of Peru, being the only one that has a marine ecosystem. The place is a refuge for sea dogs, Humboldt penguins, flamingos and others. It is located at 250 kilometers from Lima.

 

From the spa of Paracas, in the county of Pisco, it is interesting to visit the islands Ballestas and San Gallan, habitat of sea dogs, by boat. On the way one can see a figure of El Candelabro, engraved on the slope of a hill.

 

El Candelabro is a geoglyph of great rocky formation eroded by the sea and the wind. It has a width of more than 120 meters which is also called Tres Cruces or Trident. The best way to see it is from the sea.

 

The tourist information site of the reservation is called "Centro de Visitantes" and it is located on the 27 kilometer of the road from Pisco to Puerto San Martin. It provides information about the reservation and the protected species. On the other hand, the museum Julio C. Tello (at the side of the Centro de Visitantes) also shows representative pieces of the Paracas culture like mantles, mummies and pottery.

 

Lagoon of Huacachina is considered one of the most beautiful places of the Peruvian coast. Located at 5 kilometers from the city of Ica. It is an oasis with abundant vegetation (dunnes, palm trees, tamarindos and eucalyptus) with sulfurous, green waters with curative properties. The sand dunes of Ica are considered the best place for sand-boarding.

 

Town of Chincha, located at 202 kilometers from the city of Ica. It is a rich oasis with pre-inca remains. Cradle of a great part of the black population of the county and of its rich folklore. The ranch of San Jose has tunnels and punishment cells for the old slaves.

 

Town of Humay, place of the ruins of Tambo Colorado. The site was built on an antique fortress of the Chinch culture and later adapted and transformed by Pachacutec in the 15th. century.

 

Archeological remains of Tambo Colorado, located at 45 kilometers from the road Los Libertadores. This Inca urban center is the best conserved one from the coast. The name Tambo Colorado comes from the Quechua word "tampu" that means place to rest and the Spanish word "colorado" (red) due to the color of its walls.

 

Sanctuary of Melchorita located at 10 kilometers the city of Chincha. Melchora Saravia Tasayco, known as La Melchorita was a Franciscan tertiary devoted to the virgin Santa Rosa de Lima. She devoted her life to caring for the poor and sick people of the town.

 

In the county of Nasca are the Paredones, located at 2 kilometers from the city of Nazca and it is considered an administrative center of the Incas. It consists on rooms, terraces, patios with floors of stone and adobe walls. Besides of the aqueducts, true water galleries with walls of boulder and roofs of stone slab that pass, in some cases, at 12 meters of depth.

 

In San Pablo, in the county of Nasca, it is interesting to visit the House Museum of Maria Reiche.

 

 

Other Site Attractions:

 

The wine cellars of Tacama, Ocucaje and Vista Alegre are only a few minutes away from Ica. Traditional cellars used for the elaboration of wine and pisco.

 

Beaches La Mina, Lagunillas and El Raspon: with sandy ground, few waves and clear water, ideal for recreation.

 

Yumaque Beach: Favorite beach of the bathers. One must be careful because it is a nesting place of birds.

 

La Catedral and Los Frayles Beach: Are rocky formations on the coast, produced by the erosion of wind and sea. It is possible to visit the interior of La Catedral.

 

Punta Arquillo: A natural view-point from where you can observe colonies of sea dogs and other species.

 

 

 

 

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