For a desert, the coastal region of Ica in Peru certainly has a lot to offer, including Humboldt penguin colonies, mummies, pyramid temples, the Nazca Lines, sandboarding around Huacachina Oasis, pisco distilleries, and Afro-Peruvian criollo music and food. Learn which activities in the Ica Region are most popular, how to get there, and what traditional dishes to eat while you’re there…
What to Do
The most popular attraction in the Ica Region is Paracas Bay and the Ballestas Islands, where one can take a boat to admire the large Humboldt Penguin and sea lion colonies- astoundingly, the cold Humboldt current allows these animals to flourish off of Peru’s desert coast! From Ica, most travelers continue to Huacachina Oasis (more for some thrill-seeking sand buggying and sand boarding along its surrounding dunes than for relaxation!) and then Nazca and the famous Nazca Lines.
To get to the city of Chincha, located in Chincha Province in the Ica Region, you need to take a bus from Lima. Chincha is located about 200km south of Peru’s capital city and the trip takes only a few hours. Although we don’t have a hostel in Chincha, we do have locations in Lima and in Nazca for those of you wishing to base your trip in these cities. You can also contact our travel agency department, Pirwa Travel Service, at firstname.lastname@example.org for information regarding buses and other transport as well as excursions. Happy travels!
What to Eat in Ica
While we don’t have dates yet on the ever-present food fairs for this year, there are lots of tasty options for the culinarily curious among you. The most iconic dishes to try would be Carapulcra, a spicy stewed dish whose main components are mixed meats, hot chile pepper, peanut and dried potatoes, and Taca Tacu, where lentils and rice are fried into a large patty. Because African slaves prepared meals for themselves based on the scraps available to them, much of the Creole food born of the colonial period is not for the faint of heart: Choncholi is made with intestines, Chanfainita with lungs, and the most traditional Anticuchos (Peruvian shish kabobs) are made with cow hearts.