Ica (pop. 151,000) is a lush agricultural oasis surrounded by desert, located 194 mi. south of Lima. The city is well known as Peru’s wine and pisco capital. Tours can be arranged to nearby vineyards, where you can learn about pisco’s cultivation and sample several varieties. Also worth a visit is the Regional Museum, which displays numerous examples of textiles and pottery and even mummies from the Paracas, Nazca, Wari, and Chincha cultures. The city is also hub for excursions to nearby attractions including the Paracas Islands, where you can observe colonies of sea lions, penguins and many bird species. Ica is also a departure point for aerial “flightseeing” tours to the enigmatic Nazca lines.
One to two nights
Best time to go
Like all inland southern Peru, Ica is a year ‘round destination characterized by clear skies and hot temperatures averaging 86°F. Temperature variations are barely significant throughout the year.
What to do
• Nazca Lines: Daily over flights of the enigmatic Nazca ground drawings
• Wine tours: Ica is Peru’s capital of pisco, the famous national drink
• Paracas Islands: The Galapagos of Peru may be visited on small boat tours
• Archaeological Museum: Astonishing Pre-Colombian mummy collection
• Sand boarding: Excellent at the nearby Huacachina Oasis