miércoles, 8 de noviembre de 2017

City of Ica

Advancing from Lima towards the south and after passing Pisco and Paracas, we will arrive at the desert coastal department of Ica. Precisely its elevated location and the sun that illuminates its valleys has made Ica - despite its remarkable water scarcity - one of the main centers of agroexport in Peru, highlighting the cultivation of grapes, asparagus, dates, pecans, cotton, avocados or mangoes, although above all it is known for its wine and pisco production.

In Ica, the first vineyards in South America that came from Spain were harvested, and later they were also taken to other countries in the region such as Chile and Argentina. As part of its leisure offer, there are several wineries in the city that arrange tastings and guided visits to learn about the process of making pisco.

Ica is located 303 km on Panamericana Sur (approximately 4.30 hours by bus / 4 by car) and there are several transport companies that travel daily. One of the safest and most comfortable options is Cruz del Sur for about S / 40 (US$ 12) at Av. Javier Prado 1109 (La Victoria). The arrival to Ica is at the corner of Calle Fray Ramón Rojas and Seba.

Another option is offered by the company Soyuz, which starts from Avenida México 333 (La Victoria) and costs about S / 40. * Highlight: Av. México is not a very safe place, so we recommend going by taxi to the entrance.

*It should be mentioned that robberies occur in Ica, so it is recommended to be alert especially at bus stations and in market areas. On Sundays the number of robberies towards tourists increases.

We recommend some points of interest and attractions to know what you can see in Ica.

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas of Ica was founded by Luis Jerónimo de Cabrera in 1563. A few years ago, one of Francisco Pizarro's men, Nicolás de Rivera, chose the Pisco area to be the capital of the new crown empire, founding the Villa de Sangallán, which would later be rejected by the Extremaduran conquistador in favor of the Rímac Valley.

The architecture of the square is composed of the Obelisk of two needles and a roundabout of lines framed by lush woody trees called ficus.

City of Ica, Ica Peru, Ica Pisco

Regional Museum of Ica

Adolfo Bermúdez Jenkins Regional Museum is one of the biggest attractions of the city and despite having suffered a robbery in 2004, it conserves one of the best collections of pieces from the Paracas, Nazca, Wari, Chincha and Ica cultures.

Among its rooms we can see fabrics and mantles Paracas, mummies of the same period, Nazca pottery and other republican and colonial pieces. In addition, there are beautiful pieces among which highlight domestic utensils, quipus (pre-Hispanic accounting method) or musical instruments.

In another anthropology room there are trepanated skulls, shrunken trophy heads, mummies of macaws, as well as food. On the outside, a model of the Nazca lines is shown on a scale of 1/500. The museum is 2.5 km southwest of the center of Ica, although it is not recommended to get there walking because there have been cases of robberies, alone and in groups. It is best to take a taxi from the city center for about S / 4.

SCHELUDE: Mar-Vier 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sun-Sun 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. General entry S / 7.50; students of higher education (S / 4); students basic education (S / 1). Telephone: +51 (056) 234383. museos.cultura.pe/museos/museo-regional-de-ica/

City of Ica, Ica Peru, Ica Pisco

Cabrera Stone Museum

This museum located in the Plaza de Armas and without signs was founded in 1966 by the Peruvian scientist Javier Cabrera. It has an exhibition of 11,000 engraved stones, found in the district of Ocucaje, 40 km from the city of Ica.

The stones are carved with pre-Columbian representations such as astronomy, surgical themes or sexual representations, Dr Cabrera, called them Gliptolitos.

Without wanting to enter into debates, there are theories that speak of falsification in these stones, because the native who found the first pieces left in writing that he had carved them himself (although he later retracted and said that such confession was taken out by pressure from officials state). Like the Chamber of Tourism of Peru, we leave in the hands of visitors the decision to believe or not in these theories. Some others say that one part is authentic, and some are not.

SCHEDULE: Mon-Sat 10.00 to 13.30 / 13.30 to 19.30. General entry S / 35; children under 11 years old S / 20; It is mandatory to call to make the reservation. Phone: +51 999437702. Guided tour of one hour in Spanish and English. museodepiedrasgrabadasdeica.com.pe/

City of Ica, Ica Peru, Ica Pisco

The Palm of the 7 Heads

In a country like Peru there are deep-rooted beliefs that have to do with the Andean cosmovision and the Christian superstitions that came along with the Spanish conquest. One of those places in which both realities were mixed is only 5 minutes away from the city of Ica and is known as the Cachiche farmhouse.

It is said that several witches lived in the place -they did not do evil, but rather that they could be considered as healers- and that one of them, named Julia Hernández Pecho, predicted that if the seventh head of the palm tree of the lagoon grew dry, floods would happen in the area.

Indeed, during the year 1998 the river overflowed and thousands of people were affected. Since then this seventh head is burned and mocha and the inhabitants of the area are very respectful of this tradition.

The former president of the Chamber of Deputies, Fernando Leon de Vivero built the image of the witch of the village, it is said that when he was 15 years one of the witches of Cachiche cured his stuttering and predicted a great future.

City of Ica, Ica Peru, Ica Pisco

The Cathedral of Ica

Located on the side of the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral was part of the monumental complex of the Order of the Jesuits. Although it was built in 1759, it was damaged in the earthquakes of 1813 and 1942, so it was rebuilt several times. In the last earthquake of 2007 it suffered considerable damages that can be seen in its bell tower and in the main and lateral vaults.

City of Ica, Ica Peru, Ica Pisco

Now we know the main tourist attractions of Ica we will recommend you in next post where you can rest and eat some of typical dishes of the area. And of course... main pisco wineries! Cheers!

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
November 2017

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