extension and population
| Brief historic
Main attractions of the capital |
Main attractions of the department of Ica |
Typical dishes and beverages |
EXTENSION AND POPULATION
The department of Ica is located in south Coast of Perú,
south east of Lima. It limits to the north with Lima, to the
south with Arequipa, to the east with Huancavelica and Ayacucho,
and to the west with the Pacific Ocean. The weather is warm
and dry all year round, with a maximum of 30ºC (86ºF),
and a minimum of 8ºC (32ºF).
The department has an extension
of 21,251 km² (8,200 sq ml) and a population of almost
550 thousand people.
The capital is Ica,
surrounded by beautiful valleys, famous for their vineyards
and the excellent quality of wine production. Other important
cities are Chincha, Pisco, Nazca, and Palpa.
Ica is an area of great historic
past. The first settlers date from 10,000 years ago, from
which the Wari, Nazca, Ica and Paracas cultures developed,
the latter being the most important.
The Paracas culture developed
from the seventh through the second century BC. It is distinguished
by its matchless textile skills, Trephinations, and the art
of mummifying their dead.
The Nazca culture, on the contrary,
well-known for its artistic pottery, in which colorful designs
and representations excel over the form, the same as their
famous lines and figures that have undergone implausible interpretations.
This culture expanded from the second century BC through the
seventh century AD. They have left us their wonderful aqueducts
that made good use of underground water, of rivers and rain,
showing a great knowledge of hydraulic engineering.
In the fifteenth century, during
the Inca empire, Pachacutec incorporated the territories of
Ica, Nazca and the Chincha valley.
Years later, in 1563, with the
arrival of the Spanish, Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera founded
the Villa de Valverde del Valle de Ica. Since then,
the area became an important vineyard and cotton center.
During the independence war,
General José de San Martín landed in Paracas
and fixed his headquarters in Pisco, to start the fight for
the independence of Perú.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE CAPITAL
Santuario del Señor de
Luren. A sanctuary
for the patron of the city whose venerated image is taken
out in procession during Holy Week and the third week of October.
Laguna de Huacachina.
Only 5 km (3 ml) from the center of the city, it is a perfect
oasis surrounded by dunes and palms in a unique landscape.
Bodegas Vista Alegre.
Founded in 1857 by the Picasso family, it is one of the biggest
wine cellars of the country, famous for its wine and pure
Ica pisco production.
Tacama. Wine production hacienda acknowledged internationally.
Regional Ica Museum. It
houses a great collection of fossils, mummies, Paracas mantles,
Nazca ceramics, and Colonial and Republican art pieces.
Museo Cabrera. This
museum holds a valuable series of engraved stones depicting
primitive life scenes. This collection makes a good summary
of the origin of the Peruvian civilization before the Inca
Iglesia de La Merced is
located in the main square. It is built in typical Colonial
architecture, and has a gorgeous carved altar decorated in
Casonas or Colonial Mansions.
Among the most beautiful are, the Marqués de Torre
in the Plaza de Armas and Casa Mendiola in Bolívar
La Achirana del Inca.
It is a 500 years old irrigation channel. Legend says
that Inca Pachacutec ordered to built it as a proof of love
to a young girl of the city.
is an old town of sorcerers and curanderos (healers),
which is part of the Ica folklore. It is surrounded by huarango
trees and date palms, giving a mysterious atmosphere to
Los Frailes Stone Forest.
At 5 km (3 ml) from the city, the strange forms of the
stones in Los Frailes are the result of the erosion produced
by the presence of permanent winds in this part of the country.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ICA
At 145 km (90 ml) south of Ica, it is an area of approximately
500 km (310 ml) of Pampa, where the mysterious lines were
discovered in 1927. The real dimension of these lines can
be fully appreciated by air. They represent diverse animal
figures, as a spider, a monkey, a dog, a lizard, a humming
bird, and a condor. The dimensions of these figures vary from
15 to 300 mt each (50 to 1,000 ft.) high.
National Reserve. Located in the province of Pisco,
this reserve covers 335,000 hectares with the objective of
housing and caring for several endangered species. Among these
species, the sea lion, sea cat, Humbolt penguin, parihuanas
or flamingos, turtles and an thousands of marine birds, as
well as fish and dolphins. To cross to the Ballestas islands,
a rocky formation containing a very important marine fauna,
visitors start off at the beautiful Paracas beach resort.
El Candelabro. Gigantic
chandelier in bas relief located at the north of Paracas.
It has an extension of 128 mt (420 ft) long, and 74 mt (240
Julio C. Tello Museum.
At 5 km (3 ml) from Paracas beach, it houses ceramics and
textiles depicting daily life scenes, pieces that show the
evolution of the Paracas culture. At a short distance, the
necropolis of the Cabezas Largas is found.
Tambo Colorado Fortress. It
is an Inca architectural complex, presumably used as a control
station of the Andean migration towards this area.
Chauchilla Cemetery. At
28 km (17 ml) from Nazca, it contains graves opened by huaqueros
(tomb-robbers), showing skeletons, skulls and other human
Cahuachi. It is an archaeological
area near Nazca. It is formed by several pyramids built with
mud walls and separated by open spaces or plazas. It was a
Chincha. A province located
at one hour from Ica. It dates from pre-Inca time and the
numerous existing huacas indicate it was a very active
center location. Chincha also has a distinct black culture
that emerged from the descendants of the cotton plantations
Casa Hacienda San José.
It was built by the Jesuits at the end of the seventeenth
century. The chapel has a typical Churrigueresque style altar.
DISHES AND BEVERAGES
Ica is also known by its varied
and exquisite cuisine. To Chincha belong dishes, such as,
carapulcra (dried potatoes, peanuts and pork meat),
and sopa seca or dry soup, a variation of the former
From Ica come the beans and chupe
de pallares verdes, based on a milk soup, fish, Chinese
shrimp, and, of course, green beans.
Among the most known desserts
and sweets are, the tejas, frijol colado, alcayote.
Visitors should try the different
varieties of wine and pisco (white grape brandy) and
during the due season, cachina.
de la Vendimia. Festivity of the great harvest and the
good vine. There are parades, floats, wine festivals, gait
horse competitions, cockfights, and handicrafts, commercial
and industrial fairs. National and foreign artists take part
in these events.
Holy Week. The churches
receive the people who go to show their grief for Christ on
the Calvary. The image of Señor de Luren goes
out in the dark in procession throughout the city.
June 10 through 20. Anniversary
of the founding of Ica.
August 15. Orange Festival
Last Week in June. The
Lemon Festival. Takes place in the district of Olmos,
with competitions among lemon producers, dances and popular
September 1 through 12. Nazca
Tourist Week. Handicrafts, commercial, farm and livestock
fairs take place.
First Week in September. Several
festivities commemorating the landing of the libertarian expedition,
guided by General San Martín.
October 6 through 20. Fiesta
del Señor de Luren. Religious celebration that
starts the first Thursday of the month and ends with a procession
on the third Monday of the month.
Last Week in October. Chincha
Tourist Week. The founding of the city of Chincha is celebrated
with handicrafts and commercial fairs, competitions and artistic