Huacachina Lagoon and Cachiche
he city of Ica is a difficult place to forget due to the
silence of its streets, its enchanting people and its lovely sunrises and sunsets. Consequently many travelers decide to come back before they even leave the city, so they can listen once again to the stories of the old Peruvians and visit the dunes, the desert and the sea.
If you visit Ica you must get to see the following places:
The Huacachina Lagoon
is surrounded by Royal Palms,
Date Palms, huarangos, and desert sand dunes. The Lagoon, with its emerald colored waters, is located five kilometers from the city. A local legend tells us that when there is a full moon you can hear a the sorrowful cry of a woman who decided to drown herself when she found out her fiancé was killed at war.
The Achirana del Inca is an irrigation channel built during the era of Inca expansion, around 500 years ago, which still provided water to the districts of Tate and its surrounding area.
is a settlement known for its "quacks and witches" who are capable of solving any kind of emotional problem. A quiet town located about four kilometers from the city, it has a famous chapel built in 1856 with some symbols related to "santeria" (witchcraft) to be seen on its façade.
Other interesting attractions:
We recommend to visit Ica
Cathedral, the Sanctuary of the Señor de Luren, Saint of the city, nor the Spanish-style-houses such as that of the Marqués de Torre Tagle, who was the author of the Peruvian National Anthem.
Finally don't forget to visit the wine and pisco cellars such as Vista Alegre, Tacama and Ocucaje.
NAZCA LINES PARACAS
NAZCA LINES AND GEOGLYPHS
Situated on the Pampas of San José, in Nazca
, near the mountains of the Río Grande Valley, past Peruvians drew out an enormous network of stylized lines and figures of plants and animals. Figures represented are birds, a monkey, an ant, a fish, amongst others, and the whole site covers a surface of about five hundred square meters.
Due to its unique characteristics, the Nazca lines
are one of the most interesting archaeological mysteries of the world. Some researchers, led by the late Maria Reiche, who studied the area for more than fifty years, consider the Nazca lines
to be the biggest astronomical observatory in the world; John Reinhard, on the other hand, believes that these lines were sacred paths. A new theory claims that the Lines are related to an underground water system.
about 17 kms from Nazca
, was a ceremonial, or perhaps an administrative center, where you can see two pyramids made out of adobe or mudbrick, as well as large plazas and cemeteries. It has a surface area of about 25 km². Most research indicates that this complex was the capital of the Nazca culture
. In the vicinity of Cahuachi there is a set of lines made from wooden stakes of "huarango" (a typical tree in the area) which probably indicates the presence of tombs, corresponding to the later periods of Nazca
The Cantayoc Aqueducts,
located 4 kilometers east of the city of Nazca, were built in stone by "hydraulic engineers" of the Nazca Culture. It consists of a network of irrigation channels and underground aqueducts, which still function, watering local crop fields. These Aqueducts are really filtering galleries which can reach down to around 12 meters in depth.
an Inca settlement from where you can see some lines called ´The Loom´ because they have the appearance of a needle wrapped in bundles of wool and thread.
an impressive Inca cemetery located about 28 kilometers southeast of Nazca
town. It is thought that these ruins were built about 1100 BC. Some researchers state that more than 400 tombs were built and that 1000 corpses are buried here. Nowadays you can visit 12 tombs, with mummies of both children and adults.
NAZCA LINES PARACAS
PARACAS NATIONAL RESERVE
he PARACAS NATIONAL RESERVE Park
has as its center the Ballestas Islands, teeming with wildlife; and clear, blue waters; paradisiacal beaches; rocky peaks; rocks sculptured by the sea and the wind, all in a place where the sea meets the sand dunes of the desert. The reserve has an extension of 335,000 square meters, and is the only protected reserve in the country that includes the sea.
Types of aquatic life to be seen here are seals (Otaria byronia et Arctocephalus australis), Humboldt penguins
(Spheniscus humboldt), the sea cat or chingungo (Lutra felina), dolphins and porpoises and more than 200 species of birds, both migratory as well as resident, such as the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) and flamingos or parihuanas (Phoenicopterus chilensis).
is a natural rock formation
caused by the erosion of a saltpeter cliff by the sea. A kind of "monument" it has the shape of a dome with a tower, inside which different aquatic birds live.
The "Candelabro" (Candelabrum),
next to Paracas National Reserve,
is located near the port of El Chaco, from where small boats set sail for the Ballestas Islands. Halfway out to sea we can see the famous "Candelabro",
a quite unusual figure etched into the desert which could be related to the Nazca hieroglyphics, although some people believe that it was made by pirates.