Peru geographic regions - Ica department, tours and travel directory for Ica in Peru

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Peru: Ica department

Peru: Ica department

Location: Central Coast 

Area: 21 305 km2 

Capital: Ica (406 masl) 

Altitude: 

-Minimum: 2 masl (Paracas) 

-Maximum: 3796 masl (San Pedro de Huacarpana)

 

Ica

Ica is known as an area of sand, sea, oases and valleys, the cradle of Peru's Creole culture, saints and medicine men, where the best pisco brandy.

 

Nasca Lines

Just two hours from Ica, 50 square km of desert floor were covered centuries ago by vast drawings, figures of mammals, insects and deities.

 

Paracas National Reserve

Wedged in the middle of the coastal desert in the department of Ica, covering an area of 335 000 hectares, Paracas is the only national reserve that protects part of the Peruvian sea.

 

Adventure Sports

- Biking in Paracas

 

Tourism Ica Region

This circuit along the south coast provides a combination of sun, sea, beaches, history and traditions. But above all, the area features marvelous landscapes, making it a major attraction for a different kind of adventure. 

 

The area is reached from Lima by road down the South Pan-American Highway. First stop is the city of Chincha (202 km, two-and-a-half hours), the cradle of Afro-Peruvian culture. 

 

Next stop is the Bay of Paracas (50 km, 30 minutes from Chincha), home to the Paracas Reserve, which harbors a large variety of bird species, sea lion colonies, penguins and many other species, making the areas one of the country's richest in terms of biodiversity. The area is ideal for adventure sports, eco-tourism and sailing. We recommend the early morning boatrides around the Ballestas Islands. 

 

Ica, (50 km/40 minutes from Paracas), a festive region steeped in religious traditions, is the next stop on the tour. Here, visitors can take in the Ica Cathedral and the shrine of the Señor de Luren, the patron image of the city. Further inland in the desert lies Lake Huacachina, an oasis surrounded by vast, wind-sculpted sand dunes. 

 

From Ica, visitors can board light planes and fly over the Nazca Lines or continue along the road down to the city of Nazca (140 km / 2 hours from Ica); by the road in the Pampas de San José plains is a lookout tower from where one can see part of the lines. Before returning, visitors should not miss a tour of the traditional local vineyards and taste some of Peru's finest wines and pisco, the country's national beverage, particularly in the month of March, when the area celebrates the Ica Wine Festival.