Explore the Nazca Lines in Ica, a small city located 4 hours south of Lima, is often overshadowed by its neighboring towns, namely Paracas and Huacachina. Stunning oasis, beautiful oceans, desolate deserts, those are just some of the best places to see in Ica. The town itself is also one of the best places to observe local Peruvian lives and culture, something that is hard to do if you stay on big cities.
Ica was first settled as early as 10,000 years ago and then inhabited by a succession of advanced cultures, including the Paracas, Nasca, Wari, and Ica civilizations. The Inca Pachacútec incorporated the Ica, Nazca, and Chincha valley territories in the 15th century, but by the mid–16th century, the Spaniards had arrived, and Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera founded the Villa de Valverde del Valle de Ica, which grew in importance as a commercial center for wine and cotton production.
Ica is a surprisingly large and bustling town, given the scorching desert sun its inhabitants have to contend with. The city itself is not worth much exploration, as most of the principal attractions are located beyond the town center. Ica is known primarily for its bodegas, wineries that produce a range of wines and pisco, the white-grape spirit that is the essential ingredient in the national drink, the ubiquitous pisco sour (served as a welcome drink at bars, hotels, and restaurants throughout Peru).
The vast Ica desert offers a wealth of experiences. Let’s begin with the most well-known: boat rides to the Ballestas Islands, a flight over the Nasca Lines, a lakeside afternoon at the Huacachina oasis, sandboarding, or a luxurious picnic in the desert. What do these experiences have in common? Nothing! Every experience in Ica is remarkable and unique. Ica, so close to Lima, a city of eternal sunshine and home to famous vineyards, is waiting for you!
The Nazca Lines are a collection of giant geoglyphs designs or motifs etched into the ground located in the Peruvian coastal plain about 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of Lima, Peru. Created by the ancient Nazca culture in South America, and depicting various plants, animals, and shapes, the 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines can only be fully appreciated when viewed from the air given their massive size. Despite being studied for over 80 years, the geoglyphs which were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 are still a mystery to researchers.
Visiting the Paracas National Reserve. It is a place unlike any other place in the world, a place where the turquoise ocean meets the orange, desolate desert. You can find many tours in the town of Paracas. These tours are usually the ones that drop you off at the viewpoints, give you 20 minutes, then you get on the bus, and they take you to the other viewpoints. If you are adventurous and reasonably fit, consider renting a bicycle and riding it across the desert.
Ballestas Islands, otherwise known as the “Poor Man’s Galapagos”, are a group of rocky islands located 24 km (15 mi) off the coast of Paracas. Home to many animals such as penguins, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and many more, the Ballestas Islands are some of the best places to catch a glimpse of the various species of wildlife in South America.
Huacachina oasis is the only desert oasis in South America and definitely one of the top things to do in Peru. Huacachina Lagoon, a pretty and unexpected oasis amid palm trees and dunes on the outskirts of Ica, connected only by one tiny road with the city of Ica, Huacachina feels like you are in the middle of the desert. You are completely surrounded by beautiful sand dunes on all sides. Some of the most popular activities in Huacachina include sandboarding and dune buggies. Tours for both can be found throughout the oasis.
Feel the magic and the energy of Cusco and Machu Picchu, then continue to where the legend began – Lake Titicaca, to get off the beaten path and immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the peace and tranquility on the shores of the Lake.
Sublime landscapes, wildlife, history, culture - Peru has more than its fair share. Its famed snow-capped Andean peaks shelter the temples and fortresses of the Inca and other pre-Columbian cultures, linked by a network of paved trails.
The wonders of Peru await you as you hike through the Manu Amazon rainforest, traverse the plains of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and stroll the cobbled streets of Cusco on this 15-day trip from Lima. Search for monkeys and medicinal plants in the Amazon, travel the ancient road to Machu Picchu, experience a stay in a traditional community on the shores of serene Lake Titicaca.
Peru is a multicultural country, and megadiverse, because it has different ecological floors, which have special microclimates, where ancient civilizations dominated the cold landscape of the Andes, and the hot coasts of the Pacific. It is also part of the great Amazon forest where a great variety of unique animals and plants coexist. This tour will take you to the most impressive landscapes in South America.
Enjoy the best vacations in Peru. Our Majestic Peru travel program will take you from the coast and its impressive Nazca lines, to the lodge in the Amazon forest surrounded by many wild fauna, you will travel the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, culminating your trip in Cusco.
Visit Peru and discover its highlights from Lima to Cusco on an exciting journey that encompasses modern cities and ancient worlds. From the depths of the Colca canyon to the heights of the Andes and on to the unique islands of Lake Titicaca, be immersed in fascinating Peruvian culture while discovering its history buried deep within the walls of lost cities.