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Ica Nazca Travel and Tours Peru

Nazca, Paraca, Ica Tours, Travel and Adventures
Tourism in Peru

VISIT ICA - NASCA - PARACAS

Ica, Paracas and Nazca: In this desert area of Peru we can find traces of the Paracas (700 - 200. BC) and Nazca (200. BC - 700 AD) cultures, Inca ruins and Spanish architecture as well as the desolate beauty of the desert running into the sea.

Ica Nazca Parcas  - Ica Peru

Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

Places to visit in Paracas:

• Paracas National Reserve. An stunning coastal ecosystem,covering an area of 828 acre and including deserts, beaches, islands, cliffs and coastal waters, all of which are natural habitats to a variety of species such as pelicans, flamingos, penguins, dolphins, sea lions and an infinite number of fish and crustaceans. A one hour boat ride to the northwest is the lovely scene of the Ballestas Islands, home to a huge number of guano birds and sea lions.

• Ballestas Islands. Located outside the confines of the Paracas National Reserve, it is a habitat for a large number of birds and sea lions, all in easy sight from a boat.
This is one of the more common excursions from Paracas.

• Tambo Colorado Archeological Site. A very well preserved Incan community, it might have been built during the time of the Inca Emperor Pachacútec as temporary lodgings for soldiers and home for local authorities. Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

 

Places to visit in Ica:

• Wine and pisco brandy sellars and the Huacachina Oasis. The city of Ica is also very appealing on account of its festivals and fragrant alcoholic beverages. You just have to try some of its fantastic pisco brandies, Peru’s banner drink, at one of the sellars in the surrounding area. Huacachina is an important center for fun and recreation, an old resort around an oasis just 5 Km from the city of Ica. You will find comfortable hotels there, as well.

Places to visit in Palpa:

• In Palpa. Llipata geoglyphs. These are enormous geometric figures and drawings that represent deities from the Nasca culture. They can be seen from atop a tower stationed in the district of Llipata (Km 407 of the Pan-American Highway South). Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

Places to visit in Nasca:

• Nasca and Palpa Lines. An enormous network of lines and drawings of animals and plants, attributed to the Nasca culture. They cover an approximate area of 135 miles and their age has been traced back to the 6th century A.D. Some of the best drawn figures are the hummingbird, the dog and the monkey. You can see the images of the hand and the tree from a 39 feet tall lookout tower. However, to appreciate the sheer immensity of these drawings, you have to fly over the desert plain, on which they are drawn, in a small plane.

• Cantayoc Aqueduct. An underground aqueduct that was built by the Nasca culture and that is still in use today. Flagstone and carob tree trunks were used in its construction, materials that have resisted the test of time.

• Cahuachi Ceremonial Center. It is the world’s largest mud ceremonial center, featuring a group of truncated adobe pyramids, built by the Nasca, and a patio and wide terrace with roofed chambers.

• Antonini Teaching Museum. Featured there is a collection of archeological relics from different time periods of the Nasca culture: trophy heads, musical instruments like antaras (panpipes), textiles, funeral bundles and one part of the Visambra aqueduct.

Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

WHEN?

Black Summer Fest. Last week of February. Many activities take place during this celebration, such as an Afro-Peruvian dance contest as well as pisco brandy and wine tasting events, gastronomic fairs and handicraft expositions.

International Grape Harvest Festival. First 2 weeks of March. In Ica, wine grape harvesting is celebrated with wine, pisco brandy and cachina (mature grape juice, fermented for about eight days) tasting, events that mainly take place on the premises of the wine and pisco brandy producing enterprises around the countryside of Ica. There are also gastronomic fairs, parades featuring allegorical characters and floats, the crowning of the queen of the festival and live music fests.

Lord of Luren religious festival. Holy Week and third Monday of October. The procession of the city of Ica’s patron saint is very popular among the faithful, along with the various fairs, games and other activities held during the festival. Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

ICA - Nasca and Paracas

“Delve into the mystery of ancient desert dwellers and discover how their culture have resisted the test of time.”

The deserts of the department of Ica are treasure chests filled with surprises. Take for example the Nasca Lines, an enigma of immense proportions.

Even though German researcher Maria Reiche spent 50 years studying them and other researchers still continue in her wake, nobody has ever been able to give a clear reason why the ancient Peruvians drew figures of animals and plants (birds, a monkey, a spider, a whale and many others) on the desert soil that were so big you could only see them from the air. The interesting thing about this ancient wonder is that it is not isolated to Nasca since other sites feature similar geoglyphs, like those of nearby Palpa.

The sands hide even more surprises; fossils of huge prehistoric sharks and penguins have been uncovered near Ocucaje. Then there is the Candelabro (Candelabrum), an immense sculpture dug in the sands that looks out upon the Pacific Ocean – another unsolved mystery. More telling signs of pre-Hispanic legacy are also found in two archeological complexes nearby Nasca: Cahuachi, which features a series of pyramids where archeologists have excavated hand painted cloths, and Cantayoc, a series of subterranean stone canals that people still use.

Ica is the capital of the department of the same name and also has its share of elegance expressed in its tradition of delicious wines and pisco brandies.

And if that were not enough, there is the Paracas National Reserve, one of the best wildlife refuges on the Peruvian coast. This is habitat of sea lions, Humboldt penguins, and flamingos as well as site of heavenly beaches. Paracas is synonymous of natural and scenic beauty. In short, Ica is a treasure chest full of surprises.

These arid southern lands spill over with lively traditions, fascinating wilderness scenes and traces of key cultures from Peru’s past, like Nasca and Paracas. Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

Routes & length of stay

Paracas National Reserve, Ballestas Islands.
Wineries (for both wines and pisco brandies), Huacachina Oasis.
Cantalloc, Antonini Museum, Cahuachi, and the Nasca Lines flyover.
Afro-Peruvian traditions: Chincha and village of El Carmen. 1 Nasca Lines
2 Palpa
3 Ica
4 Paracas National Reserve

Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

Accommodation and tourist services

Comfortable hotels and hostels are found in the cities of Chincha, Ica, Paracas and Nasca.

There are guided visits, Nasca and Palpa Lines flyovers taking off from either the city of Ica or Nasca (lasting 45 minutes), full service treks and camping adventures, dune buggy rides through the desert and in Paracas, boat rides to the Ballestas Islands. Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

Recommended for visit in Ica

People interested in archeology, who cannot miss out on the Nasca Lines and the Temple of Cahuachi.
Wine and wine tradition connoisseurs, who must visit the many wineries near the city of Ica to taste the incomparable Peruvian pisco brandies and superb quality wines.

Wildlife watchers, who will heartily enjoy the trip to the Paracas National Reserve and to San Fernando.
Extreme sports aficionados, who will get their adrenaline rush sandboarding (at Cerro Blanco) and driving dune buggies at Huacachina (Ica).

Boat and water sports lovers, who can enjoy windsurfing and water skiing in Paracas.

We recommend taking the flight over the Nasca Lines and the boat ride to the Ballestas Islands in the morning since the weather conditions are normally better at that time.

Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

What to eat?

The cuisine of Ica is highly influenced by the African heritage as seen in savory dishes like carapulcra (chicken, pork and freeze dried potatoes in a peanut sauce) and the sopa seca (a dry vermicelli soup with onions, garlic and pork fat). Also included on the list is one of the most favorite dishes to grace the tables of Ica, picante de pallares, a thick concoction of hearty butter beans seasoned with chili peppers, milk, cheese and eggs. Among its many delicious desserts, you will find the tasty tejas, a treat with a center of dried limes, figs or pecans, filled with milk jam and covered with caramelized sugar. As for quality restaurants, there are very fine establishments in Chincha, Paracas, Ica, Palpa and Nasca.

Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

ICA PERU

The Ica region was the location of various ancient civilizations that literally left their mark. One of the most popular attractions of this area are the Nazca lines, an enigma that modern archeologists have not been able to figure out. These lines stretch for miles in the desert and form pictures of animals and figures only viewable from the air. The Paracas National Reservation is another point on this circuit which attracts many ecological and cultural tourists alike as it is a refuge to sea lions, otters, penguins, dolphins, more than 200 species of birds from flamingos, waders, and guano birds. Additionally in the preserve, there are magnificent beaches, like La Mina, La Catedral and Mendieta beaches, and beautiful rock formations. Elsewhere in the department there are a variety of vineyards which produce pisco and wines. Wine tasting in this area is among the best in Peru. Another popular destination is the oasis of Huacachina which is visited by tourists on behalf of its beauty and for the fact that it was the birthplace of Afro-Peruvian music.

Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

Paracas National Reserve.

The Paracas National Reserve is located in Ica, Peru and consists of the Paracas Peninsula, coastal areas and tropical desert extending to the south slightly past Punta Caimán, a total of 335,000 ha (217,594 ha are marine waters and 117,406 are part of the mainland). It includes Bahía de la Independencia (Independence Bay) and miles of coastal waters. Its main purpose is to preserve the marine ecosystem and protect the historical cultural heritage related to ancient indigenous peoples, mostly of the Paracas culture. The oldest marine reserve in Peru, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its significance. The reserve is home to many species of wildlife, particularly birds (see Paracas Birds, which are largely concentrated at the water's edge. Near the entrance inside the reserve is the Muséo Sitio de Julio C. Tello. Named for the archeologist who made major discoveries about the ancient Paracas culture, it features artifacts and interpretation, as well as information about the flora and fauna of this unique region.

Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

Nasca Lines.

The Nasca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nasca Desert in southern Peru. They were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The high, arid plateau stretches more than 80 kilometres (50 mi) between the towns of Nasca and Palpa on the Pampas de Jumana about 400 km south of Lima. Although some local geoglyphs resemble Paracas motifs, scholars believe the Nasca Lines were created by the Nasca culture between 400 and 650 AD. The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks, orcas, llamas, and lizards.

Ica Travel and tours: Nazca travel - Paracas tours - Huacachina Oasis - Ballesta Island - Paracas National Reserve.Back to top

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