Sunset in Ica
Photo by: Aleks J Clark, Creative Commons

The word “cure” is a word that is often associated with the city of Ica. Known to many as a place to cure asthma and other ailments, Ica, Peru is also a good retreat for the weary traveler.

Located in Southern Peru, the city of Ica is the capital of the Ica Region and is best described as a rich agricultural area. Taking a bus from Lima through the Pan-American Highway, the road to Ica takes four and a half hours. On the way, travelers can have the chance to observe the beautiful landscape of lush grapevines and vegetation. Crops such as asparagus, olives and cottons are prominent in the fields of this city.

Ica has a warm, dry climate. That is why natives refer to their region as the “land of the sun”. Such warm weather was believed to be the cure to asthma and similar illnesses. A certain town in Ica called Cachiche is also famous for its folk healers.

The best way to be acquainted with the culture and traditions of Ica is to visit the Inca Regional Museum (Museo Regional de Ica). Impressive pre-Columbian artifacts such as ceramics and mummies are some of those that are on display. Spanish artifacts and paintings can also be found in the museum.

For those who want to flee from the usual goings-on in the city, there is the Huacachina Oasis located just 10 minutes outside the town. This palm-lined desert lagoon is one of the most celebrated spots in the Ica region, where one can relax and experience a tranquil vacation.
Further to the south of the city are the famous Nazca Lines. It was believed to have been around during the pre-colonial times. When viewed from above, tourists can have a spectacular sight of lines and drawings, usually of plants and animals. Most people find this network of lines greatly amusing yet intriguing because of its complexity. The fact that the Lines cover some 350 kilometers makes it a must-see in Ica, alongside the Paracas National Reserve that is located near Chincha.

Ica is not only rich in cultural heritage. In fact, the most notable thing about this city aside from the museums and natural wonders is its vast vineyards. Ica is a home to the great bodegas or wineries that manufacture Peru’s popular pisco brandy. The natives of Ica celebrate the bountiful harvest through the annual festivity called “Wine Festival”, which is observed during the month of March. This is a very good time of the year to experience the lovely city of Ica.

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