Desert and sea, dry golden dunes, crystal clear waters, mysterious and enigmatic markings; all this is Ica, an oasis of contrasts and contradictory landscapes, with myths and legends which relate the rise and fall of peoples who persevered against the hostility of the desert, to construct their towns and civilization.
Ica, land of cotton, wine and pisco, a liquor with a pleasant, aromatic, grape bouquet, is full of history. In its desert plains, ancient Peruvians wove splendid robes of varied colors; mummified their dead with singular skill; and drew lines and gigantic figures in the desert as a homage to water or to interpret the messages of the Sun, the Moon and the Stars.
In 1820, when cries for independence could be heard throughout the whole continent, it was on the coast of Ica that General Jose de San Martin chose to land to begin his expedition of liberation. Ica is a land full of history.
Capital city of the department of the same name – Ica is situated 303 kms. south of Lima. It was founded on June 17th, 1563 by the Spanish captain Jeronimo Luis de Cabrera, Count of Chinchón. 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.
To walk around an oasis surrounded by sand dunes and palm trees; to stroll along the paths of an Inca cemetery; to study the mysterious designs of the Nazca Lines, to enjoy the sea lions as they frolic on the Ballestas Islands; to feel the roughness of the sand and the beating of the wind in Paracas National Park, all are part of the same adventure: to come face to face with the land of cotton, wine and pisco.