Ica is one of Peru’s favorite destinations. This city is also known as the region of land and sea. Many travelers choose Ica for its beautiful sites and adventure sports practiced there.
Peru is much more than our beloved Machu Picchu. Ica is adrenaline, fun, adventure, witchcraft, and much more. Therefore, we leave you a list of the 7 best things to do in Ica Let’s start!
Where is Ica?
Ica is located on the south-central coast of the Peruvian coast, 300 kilometers from Lima (4 hours drive). This area includes part of the Peruvian coastal desert.
This city is a land of fertile valleys, enigmatic geoglyphs, dunes, and beaches. Ica is the land of pisco, and it is hot almost all year round.
What activities can you do in Ica?
1. Visit the magical Huacachina:
Huacachina is located in the middle of the Ica desert, just 10 minutes from the city. It is the only desert oasis in South America. In addition to its beautiful scenery, Huacachina is an ideal place to camp or spend the night in a hotel.
You will be able to appreciate an incredibly dark green lagoon, which shines in the middle of the imposing dunes. Here, you can do tubing, sandboarding, and ATVs. We recommend sandboarding around 5 p.m. to enjoy the sunset.
The lagoon was once said to have healing properties. However, it is best not to swim in its waters because it is unsuitable for humans. If you want to have a little adventure, make this visit with the best views of the sunset.
2. Fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines
The Nazca Lines are enigmatic geoglyphs with enormous dimensions that can be seen along the Nazca desert. Many travelers come from all over the world to observe these wonders of different shapes: hummingbird, monkey with nine fingers, spider, and a strange figure known as the owl man, which some resemble the silhouette of an astronaut.
In 1994, UNESCO declared the Nazca Lines and geoglyphs of Nazca a World Heritage Site.
Flying over the Nazca Lines is another incredible experience not to be missed. We recommend you choose the best agency to fly safely.
3. The Pisco Route
The Pisco route is characterized by its vineyards, wineries, and drinks to taste. The city of Ica is known as the most important wine region in Peru for its red wine and the famous local liquor, pisco.
Did you know that from 7 kilos of grapes, you get 1 liter of wine? And in total, they handle 18 types of grapes to make their drinks. You can learn all this and more in this incredible experience.
Thanks to the warm climate of this region, the wines are sweeter. Tacama is the first vineyard in South America and dates back to colonial times. In addition to tasting the delicious wine, you can appreciate the beautiful colonial architecture and learn a little more about the region’s history.
4. Stroll through the Paracas National Reserve
The Paracas National Reserve is considered one of the best natural attractions in Ica and is the only protected area in Peru with a marine ecosystem.
The Ballestas Islands are a smaller version of the Galapagos and are part of this attraction; you can only get there by boat. This magical place is home to thousands of sea lions, the Humboldt penguin, flamingos, and various migratory birds.
On the way, you can also see El Candelabro, a considerable geoglyph of uncertain origin located on the side of a hill. One more enigma that the beautiful city of Ica has, and you can’t miss it.
5. Get to know the Grape Harvest Festival
During the first weeks of March, the famous Fiesta de la Vendimia (Grape Harvest Festival) is held in Ica, where the grape harvest is celebrated with cultural activities.
For several days you can watch cockfights, parades with beauty queens, floats, parties where they dance the Afro-Peruvian celebration, and the spectacle of the elegant Peruvian Paso horse.
The grape treading is one of the most representative activities of the Grape Harvest, in which a tradition is shared. It consists of putting the body in the wooden container (lagar) to extract the most from the grapes and thus obtain the wine. Undoubtedly, you should do it at least once in your life.
6. Explore the Cañón de los Perdidos (Canyon of the Lost)
The Cañon de los Perdidos is one of the most sought-after attractions in Ica, recently discovered in the Atacama Desert. It is located 90 kilometers from the city of Ica, in the southwestern district of Santiago. Here, you can find several exciting places with the most spectacular landscape views.
Studies have determined that this imposing canyon was a seabed 20 to 30 million years old.
On this site, they found several fossilized remains of marine animals: sharks, seashells, whales, birds, among others. The longest fossil was that of a whale that measured around 30 meters.
If you like adventure and new landscapes, this place is ideal for you.
7. Visit Cachiche, the park of the witches
The town of Cachiche is a hamlet where witches from different cities of Ica used to gather to perform their rituals. This place is located 4 km from the Main Square of Ica.
Also, in the same town is the 7-headed palm tree. According to the story, if this tree grows the seventh head that is currently severed, the city of Ica would disappear, turning into a huge lagoon.
It is said that the seventh head of this palm tree tries to come out every year, but the locals cut it off or burn it before it happens, since one year that they did not comply with the tradition, an overflow of the river caused several damages to the city.
If you plan to visit Ica, you already know what activities you can do. Which of them caught your attention the most?
Written by: Estefany Huamaní.