Ica is a hot, busy and chaotic city at the Peruvian Coast. It's famous for its wine.
In Ica visitors may visit the Huacachina Lagoon, the only oasis in South America, surrounded by huge sand dunes where you can practice sandboarding.
There are several vineyards and wineries, which produce Pisco, the national beverage, and wine. but the one that is of most interest to visitors is probably
- El Museo Regional de Ica, the archaeology museum, is full of clay pottery, mummies, trepanned human skulls (skulls that have had holes drilled into them for surgical reasons, while the person was alive), and textiles from the various indigenous groups that have lived in the Ica region for thousands of years. The dry sand from the desert preserves the bodies and fabrics in impressive condition. The museum costs S/10 (soles) , and is worth a visit although superior museums can be found in Lima, Arequipa, and the north of Peru.
- Museo de Piedras Grabadas, (Engraved Stones Museum) in Ica.. If you like the X Files, you will love this mystery. The museum is rarely open because the building and its exhibits, were heavily damaged during a 2007 earthquake. It is a large collection of round, smooth stones with images of fish, dinosaurs, and people carved on them. The creator of the museum claims they are thousands of years old, but virtually all scientists hold a skeptical opinion of the rocks and strongly suspect they are modern hoaxes.
- The Who is by far the most popular dance club (discoteca) in Ica, and on Friday and Saturday nights it is full of young and middle-aged people dancing and drinking the night away.
- El Otro Peñoncito, a block away from the Plaza de Armas, has tasty Peruvian and Italian cuisine in a small but upscale restaurant. The owner is friendly enough, and the prices are reasonable, although by Peruvian standards they are somewhat expensive.
- [formerly dead link] Restaurant McGrill, Av Cutervo y Brunias N° 300. 08:00-23:00. Has cheap set-menu lunches from 12:30 to around 15:00. The restaurant is very clean and hygiene is good. Meals are small but tasty.
- Valentino's Cafe-Bar, across the street from McGrille, has tasty fixed-price lunches and free Wi-Fi for customers.
- Eat with the Peruvian people in the Mercado Modelo.
- Pisco Sour, the famous Peruvian cocktail, is for sale at numerous locations in Ica.
- Pisco, the fermented liquer made from grapes, is also for sale although most tourists find it too potent to drink pure.
- Cachina, a sweet wine-like drink that is the precursor to pisco, is also for sale.
- Hotel La Arboleda, Independencia 165. Basic and fairly clean hotel with friendly staff. The neighboorhood is dangerous at night. A single with shared bathroom cost S/10.
- Hotel Ollanta. Urbanizacion Divino Maestro, G:22. Small family run hotel in a residential neighborhood. Close to the city centre and Huacachina oasis.
- The Las Dunas Hotel, a complete resort, is the most expensive hotel in the area. It is in 10 minutes away from downtown. Rooms cost between US$80 and $200 per night.
- Hotel Machu Picchu Avenida Tacna, two blocks from the Plaza de Armas, is a good deal. Rooms cost S/30 per night but have hot water, cable TV, and large comfortable beds. Like many hotels near the Plaza, caution should be exercised when walking around at night.
- Hotel Villa de Valverde.
- Hospedaje Bleenda near from the catedral, S/25 a room for 2 with bathroom separated but gas hot water (May 2013).
- Mc Hotel Ica [formerly dead link]: close to the Plaza de Armas of Ica and next to Plaza del Sol Mall Center.
- Huarango Hotel Ica Huarango Hotel Ica is the first hotel in Ica with a colonial style.
At night the streets of Ica can be dangerous. Take taxis to get around or just stay at your hotel room.
- Huacachina is an oasis and resort in the desert a few kilometers from Ica.