The city is located on the Ica River about 300 k to the south of Lima along the desert coast of southern Peru. Further south along the Pan-American Highway lies the city of Nazca. and Ica has 4 provinces: Ica, Pisco, Nazca, Chincha and Palpa.
It was founded in 1563 by Spanish conquistador Gerónimo Luis de Cabrera. As of 2005, it had an estimated population of over 219,856, however, the city suffered extensive damage and loss of life during the 2007 Peru earthquake.
The Ica Region has a remarkable geography. It is the only region of the southern coast formed by plains also called coast plains since the Andean Cordillera is erected inside. Some geological folds have determined the formation of lands moving forward the sea which form the Paracas Peninsula while some isolated formations located at the southern part have determined the Marcona complex, a place where the biggest deposits of iron in the Pacific coast have been formed. Ica’s configuration is due to the geomorphology of its two big and unique fluvial watersheds: the Pasco watershed and Ica watershed.
Ica is an important agricultural region, where grapes, cotton, asparagus, olives and other produce is cultivated. It is known by Peruvians as the land of the sun, and although there are the 4 seasons, the warm dry climate makes it feels like summer year-round. Natives also claim the climate of the city can help in the curing of asthma.
Ica and surrounding areas are the traditional source of Pisco brandy. Ica is home to Museo Regional de Ica, a local museum with many exhibits. On display are pre-Columbian mummies with elongated heads bearing evidence of trepanning. There are also furniture, paintings and artifacts from the Spanish colonial era.
Capital: City of Ica
Altitude: 406 m.a.s.l.
Distance: 267 kilometers from Lima.
Tourist sites of ica
A small village near Ica (4 km southwest), Cachiche is well known for its history of witches that cure illnesses from popular believes. Doña Julia, Cachiche’s first witch, was known to practice “good magic,” curing and helping villagers with her spells. Near the entrance to the town, a carving from a single huarango tree depicts this first “bruja de Cachiche” (witch of Cachiche).
This circuit features the best of Peru’s Afro-Peruvian culture, where one can savor distilled aguardiente and fermented grape musts which are typical of the area. There are also interesting pre-Hispanic archaeological sites in the area.
Campiña Iqueña o La Vendimia (The Wine Festival)
This festival in March (summer), is a celebration of the abundance of grapes and wine in the region of Ica (a four-hour drive south of Lima), where persevering efforts in local vineyards have spread greenery across vast tracts of once bone-dry desert. The Wine Festival (Festival de la Vendimia) involves fairs, competitions, processions of floats, musical festivals and parties where guests dance the Afro-Peruvian festejo.
One of the major attractions of the event is the Queen of the Wine Festival beauty pageant. Accompanied by her hand-maidens, the beauty queen treads grapes in a vat in the time-honored tradition to extract the juice that will eventually be fermented. Apart from the delicious local sweets known as tejas, made from pecans or candied fruits, filled with caramel and covered with sugar icing, those attending the event can try pisco, the aromatic and tasty grape brandy that originated in this part of southern Peru four centuries ago.
La Achirana del Inca
Located 18 km northeast of the city of Ica. It is a 500 years old irrigation channel it built during the era of Inca. which still provided water to the districts of Tate and its surrounding area. Legend says that Inca Pachacutec ordered to built it as a proof of love to a young girl of the city.
The Cathedral of Ica
The original construction dates from the eighteenth century, but was remodeled in 1814. originally was part of a Jesuit monumental complex. outside of the church is a neoclassical style and inside the Baroque style prevails as seen in the pulpit and altars.
5 km southwest of the city of Ica (5 minutes). It is a traditional resting place for iqueños. The lake appears as an oasis in the middle of the desert, many people Called the “oasis of America,” forming a splendid landscape of dunes, palm trees and huarango. Some villagers healing properties attributed to its waters. and increasingly as an attraction for tourists drawn by the sport of sandboarding on sand dunes that stretch several hundred feet high.
Legend holds that the lagoon was created when a beautiful native princess was apprehended at her bath by a young hunter. She fled, leaving the pool of water she had been bathing in to become the lagoon. The folds of her mantle, streaming behind her as she ran, became the surrounding sand dunes. And the woman herself is rumored to still live in the oasis.
Mansion of Marques de Torre Hermosa
It is on Libertad street , to 1 block to the , Main Square.
One of the few examples of architecture virreinal that has survived earthquakes and urban growth. Stresses its exquisite cover rococo worked in stone. It is also known as Casa Bolivar, the liberator since stayed on its way through the city.
The Palpa Province is the smallest of 5 provinces of the Ica Region of Peru.
According to recent archaeological studies the first drawings were made in the Valleys of Palpa and Rio Grande. It is said that 3000 years ago our ancestors used the flat surface of the mountains and the slopes of the hills to draw huge geometric figures and human representations. Archaeologist today believe that the figures were made to pleased ancient gods, who apparently were believed to control the forces of nature, such as; earthquakes, drought and floods. Nowadays visitors may observe all these wonders of the past, flying over the zone on our small aircrafts, specially designed with large panoramic windows and good comfort to take great pictures.
In palpa We can found:
Lines and Figures of Palpa At km 400 of the Panamerican Highway South. Huge geometric drawings and zoomorphic fitomorfos similar to the Nasca Lines. They are located in the towns of Sacramento, Pinchango and Llipata.
Petroglyphs Chichictara Farmhouse of Chichictara, 10 km east of the city of Palpa (15 minutes). Stones engraved with various images of warriors, cats, monkeys, deer, camels, birds and snakes, among others.
Lost City of Huayurí At the height of 384 km of the Panamerican Highway south diversion takes the people of San Francisco. Archeological made up of narrow streets that lead to broad esplanades. The site dates from the Late Intermediate (1200-1400 AD) period immediately preceding the Inca.
Pisco the most important port in Ica and a litoral province. The most important attractions are Paracas Bay and the Paracas museum. Pisco was home of an ancient pre-Hispanic culture, Paracas, who are known for their exquisite textiles.
Regional Museum of Ica
This museum was created on 1946, Its prestige is based on the collections that offers to his visitors.
It was the first Peruvian museum which paleopatológicos studies about the pre-Hispanic human rest. It displays a collection of spare Paracas cultures, Nasca, Huari, Ica and Inca. Out stand funeral mummies and looms from Paracas, skulls with presence of surgery and deformed skulls, this remains show the high technology in surgery reached by the ancient Peruvian civilizations. It also contains paintings and collections from the colony, independence and republican times.
It is possible to emphasize that many of their pieces of the museum have been exposed in different places of the world.
Sanctuary of Señor de Lauren
This religious sanctuary contains the venerated image of “Señor de Luren”, the one that was redeem from a shipwreck in 1570 in front of the coasts of Ica, coming from Spain. Señor de Luren patron of Ica, congregates each year thousands of pilgrims during the Holy Week and the third Monday of October in traditional processions. Devote people attribute miracles to the Lord. The catholic devotion in Ica also has expressions of pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Yauca, where the image of the Virgin of Yauca is venerated. Also venerated the “Beatita de Humay” and the “Melchorita” in the towns of Humay and Grocio Prado.
Characterized by its three porticos with brick archs. Neo-classic style.
Archeological Remains of Tambo Colorado It is located atKm 45 from the Los Libertadores Road. Inca city centre is well preserved. Possibly was built during the time of the Inca Pachacutec as shelter for soldiers and senior officials. 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.
Tambo de Mora
8 km from the South Panamerican Highway, Tambo de Mora. Archeological site attributed to the bedbugs (1200 AD-1450 AD), who had built before being conquered by the Incas, and then the Incas changed its original structure incorporating some elements themselves.
The Casa Hacienda San Jose
Is located 15 km southeast of the town of Chincha Alta (20 minutes). It’s construction dates from the end of the seventeenth century. The home-style hacienda maintains cozy and traditional old estates on the south coast. Its main attractions are the baroque altar of the chapel and the catacombs by which led to the slaves with blindfolded to prevent leakage.