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Things to do in

Ica

Our most recommended things to do in Ica

From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

1. From Lima: Full-Day Paracas and Huacachina Bus Tour

Your adventure begins with an early-morning pickup from your hostel or hotel. From here, travel to Paracas, a beautiful small town by the sea, on a spacious bus where you'll be able to relax for the 4-hour ride. Once in Paracas, begin a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, a smaller version of the Galapagos. Spot sea lions, penguins, and plenty of birds up close and all in their natural habitats. You may even get the chance to see a dolphin or two. Around lunchtime, it's time to move on from Paracas to Huacachina, a natural oasis located in the Ica Desert, home to the biggest sand dunes in South America. Enjoy some free time here. Explore and have lunch at one of the local restaurants around the oasis. Following lunch, it will be time for 2 hours of exhilarating dune buggy rides and sandboarding. Dune buggy up the sand dunes and sandboard down these giant hills of sands, a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the only natural desert oasis in South America. In the evening, board your bus back to Lima. Once onboard, sit back and relax on the comfortable seats while you enjoy a movie on board. You will later be dropped off directly at your hotel/hostel upon arrival in Lima.

From Ica or Huacachina: Dune Buggy at Sunset & Sandboarding

2. From Ica or Huacachina: Dune Buggy at Sunset & Sandboarding

Explore Huacachina, the only oasis in Peru, in a truly thrilling way. Ride over the sand dunes in a 4x4 buggy before then taking part in a sandboarding session. Start with pickup from Ica or Huacachina. Head to the oasis, and get the adrenaline pumping with a dune buggy ride. Feel as if you’re on a rollercoaster as you go up and down dunes of up to 30 meters in height. Take stops to snap photos of the desert landscape and the small lake surrounded by palm trees. Next, try your hand at sandboarding down those same dunes. This experience is suitable for all skill levels, as you’ll be learning the best techniques from your driver. Afterward visit one of the highlights of Huacachinha, the sunset over the desert. Enjoy incredible views of the sun going down, and find the best spot to snap photos with the help of your driver. Choose the private option if you’d like to tailor the tour to your group’s preferences. Select a different route, explore other areas, and adjust the starting time.

From Huacachina: Ballestas Island and Paracas Reserve Tour

3. From Huacachina: Ballestas Island and Paracas Reserve Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel within Ica/Huacachina and drive towards the Marina Turistica to begin your adventure. Board a speedboat with your guide, and jet out onto the sea towards the stunning Ballestas. Stop at the Paracas Peninsula to see the Candelabro, an enigmatic glyph carved into the side of the island, whose purpose, and creator, remain a mystery to this day. Continue onwards towards the marine sanctuary of Ballestas. Gaze upon the rocky shores filled to the brim with sunbathing seals, and penguins diving into the turbid waters to hunt underneath the surface. See other beautiful specimens, like majestic pelicans, and colorful blue-footed boobies. Return to the Marina Turistica for a drive to Paracas National Reserve. Discover the almost alien landscape of the Paracas National Reserve, with vast sprawling deserts and high sandstone cliffs. Driving through the reserve, see the Cathedral, an area where a vast rock formation once stood before being destroyed by a cataclysmic earthquake. Visit the stunning maroon-sand beaches of Playa Roja and Lagunillas Beach. Having seen some of the world's most unique natural features, flora, and fauna, At the end of the tour drive back to your hotel in Ica/Huacachina or in Paracas.

Huacachina: Desert Buggy Tour and Sandboarding

4. Huacachina: Desert Buggy Tour and Sandboarding

Discover the desertic town of Huacachina, with a beautiful oasis surrounded by giant dunes. Take an adventurous ride on a 4WD vehicle through the desert and experience the thrill of sandboarding, then stop to watch the colorful sunset. Visit the oasis by yourself before heading into the desert, and snap great pictures of the landscape as you do. Hop on your buggy and feel like you are on a rollercoaster as you go up and down huge dunes. Feel the fresh air while your expert driver makes exhilarating turns. Test your sandboarding skills at every stop and start gaining some speed as you get better and better. Before your journey comes to an end, head over to a perfect spot to enjoy the sun setting over the desert and take in the beautiful colors.

From Ica or Huacachina: Wine and Pisco Vineyards Tour

5. From Ica or Huacachina: Wine and Pisco Vineyards Tour

Discover the wine region surrounding Ica, that is known as the most important wine region in Peru for red wine and the popular local drink pisco. Visit the oldest vineyard in Peru and a traditional pisco winery and learn about how the wine and Pisco are made and, of course, taste Pisco and wine at both wineries. Start with pickup from Ica or Huacachina. Head to your first stop, the Tacama vineyard, considered one of the oldest ones in South America and first in Peru, established in the 16th century. Visit the old hacienda and tower where you will get the best view and see acres of grapes. Then you will visit the old and new factory and see how Tacama produces wines and Piscos using the industrial process. Afterward, you will taste their Piscos and wines. Head to the second vineyard called El Catador, known for its pisco. Pisco is a strong liquor known as the national drink of Peru. Learn about the traditional process to make Pisco and the clay jars known as “botijas” where the juice of crushed grapes is fermenting during March month, (harvest time). Visit the distillery and learn about the last seps to produce the famous drink. After, time to taste the Pisco and wine made here. You will have the opportunity to have lunch (not included) at one of the wineries that prepare typical dishes from this region.

Lima: 2-Day Tour to Paracas, Pisco Vineyards, and Huacachina

6. Lima: 2-Day Tour to Paracas, Pisco Vineyards, and Huacachina

Day 1: Lima - Ballestas Islands - Huacachina Start with early pickup from your hotel in Lima or meeting point. Travel to Paracas, beautiful small town by the sea, on a 4-hour journey. Upon arrival in Paracas, begin a 2-hour boat tour of the Ballestas Islands. These islands are said to be a smaller version of the Galápagos. See sea lions, penguins, birds, and even dolphins up close in their natural habitats. After the boat tour, head to Huacachina, the only desert oasis in South America. Spend 2 hours getting your thrills with dune buggying and sandboarding on some of the highest sand dunes. Then, transfer to your accommodation in Huacachina. Use your free time to grab some food or maybe a beer. Relax after an adrenaline-filled evening and rest up for the next day. Day 2: Huacachina - Lima Leave Huacachina and head off to a 2-hour pisco vineyard tour. See how pisco, Peru's national drink, is made from the grape to the bottle and try lots of free samples. Spend the whole day enjoying Huacachina. Catch some sun by the pool or grab some lunch around the oasis for the perfect end to this trip. Travel by air-conditioned bus back to Lima, and get dropped off either at your hotel or the original meeting point.

From Lima: Paracas Full Day Guided Tour

7. From Lima: Paracas Full Day Guided Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in Lima at around 05:00 AM, all depents your location in Lima, where you will board the coach for a 03:30-hour journey to Paracas town. Before to get to Paracas, we will stop to have breakfast. On your arrival in Paracas, make your way to teh dock where you will board a speedboat to the Ballestas Islands. During your journey to Ballestas, see the enigmatic figure of the Candelabro, a stunning design drawn on the side of a hill in the Peninsula. There are many hypotheses regarding its origin, some believe it is related to the Nazca Lines but still found no proof or evidence that can define its creation. In the Ballestas Islands you will see a stunningly rugged world filled with birds and sea lions. You will navigate around the islands at a distance allowed, and depending on the sea conditions, visit nearby caves. Return to the port at 11am, and spend some time in Paracas where you will have free time for restrooms or short time to relax. Then, continue to the next destination, Huacachina oasis. Have a small break to prepare for your desert tour; then board a buggy for 1-hour adventure across the sand dunes that surround the water source. Return to Huacachina and have time for refreshment. Continue towards to traditional vineyard and taste the best of the local wine and Pisco or lunch at the wineyard restaurant, then Drive back to Lima arriving and drop off to your hotel. At around 21:30 or 22 pm In this one-day tour you will have an assistant guide on the trip and will help you with your concerns on your trip.

From Ica or Huacachina: Pisco and Wine Tour with Desert Trip

8. From Ica or Huacachina: Pisco and Wine Tour with Desert Trip

Truly discover Peru on a wine and pisco tour, with extra adventures including a dune buggy rise and a desert sunset. And of course, taste Peru’s national licor yourself as you learn all about it.  Start with your hotel pickup from Ica or Huacachina. Then head to your first stop, the Tacama Vineyard, considered one of the oldest in South America and the first in Peru. Visit the old hacienda and tower, where you will get the best views over acres of vines.  Then, visit the old and new factory to see how Tacama produces wines and piscos on an industrial scale. And, obviously, try some of their piscos and wines before your next stop. Head to the second vineyard, El Catador, famous for its pisco. Learn about how the licor is traditionally made in clay jars, known as “botijas”, where the juice of crushed grapes are left to ferment.  Visit the distillery next and learn about the last steps to produce the famous drink before trying some of the produce yourself.  Enjoy free time to try some food at one of the wineries that prepare typical dishes from this region, of your own volition. Next up, head to the Huacachina oasis and get your adrenaline pumping with a dune buggy ride, with dunes of up to 30 meters in height. Even try your hand at sandboarding down those same dunes. Learn the best techniques and tricks from your driver.  Last but not least, view an unforgettable sunset in the desert. Be transferred back to your accommodation at the end of the trip.

From Lima: Nazca Lines, Huacachina Oasis, & Dune Buggy Tour

9. From Lima: Nazca Lines, Huacachina Oasis, & Dune Buggy Tour

Join this trip from Lima and fly over the Nazca Lines, a collection of giant geoglyphs etched into desert sands attributed to the pre-Inca civilization. See the Huacachina Oasis and add explore the large dunes of Ica on a buggy. Relax in the lap of nature surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Enjoy your day in the desert, taking a dune buggy tour. Soak in the spectacular landscape formed by a lagoon of emerald green waters and large dunes. Then, head to Nazca city to fly around the famous and enigmatic Nazca Lines, an important archaeological site in Peru. The mysterious geoglyphs at the UNESCO World Heritage Site range from geometric shapes and swirls to a hummingbird and monkey.

From Lima: Nazca Lines and Ica Desert Day Trip with Lunch

10. From Lima: Nazca Lines and Ica Desert Day Trip with Lunch

Begin your journey of the Ica Desert with a bright and early hotel pickup, where you will be greeted by your guide who will take care of you throughout the day.  Head straight to Nazca, whereupon you'll stop at Kilometer 50 of the South Pan-American Highway to enjoy a breakfast consisting of juices or hot drinks, accompanied by artisan breads from the area. Next, head to the airfield in Nazca, where you'll pass through security before boarding a small plane to view the famous Nazca Lines from up above. Sit back and relax on your 45-minute flight, as you view the incredible collection of giant geoglyphs — designs or motifs etched into the ground — that were created by the ancient Nazca culture. Tuck into a delicious traditional lunch upon landing before heading to your final stop, the Huacachina Oasis. This natural lagoon is surrounded by palm trees and desert dunes, from where you can watch the sun setting over the sand. Pump up your adrenaline and hop into sand buggies, and sandboard down the perfect dunes before returning to Lima late in the evening.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ica

Want to discover all there is to do in Ica? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ica

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 408 reviews

Great experience. The guide Raul came and picked us up right in front of our hotel at 6:30am. We were alone with him the whole morning. He brought us to the canyon and gave us very cool insights and information about the region.

Great experience. I love history in the form of a story and Jordan delivered just that. Seamless experience. It was a lot of fun!

Incredible tour!! 100% recommended, incredible views, our tour guide was the best and also the best attention!!

A lot of fun and beautiful landscape. It's not for small children.

Excellent organization and very good guide and driver.