Altitude: 406 meters (1,320 ft) Population: 152,000 Phone Code: 056
Ica is a beautiful, palm-treed city in a green river valley surrounded by the Ica Desert. This wonderful city stands out, thanks to its warm climate, gorgeous white sand dunes. It is midways between the hot tourist spots Paracas, with a national reserve, Islas Ballestras and terrific birdwatching, and Nasca with its mysterious lines. Just a few kilometers out of the city is Huacachina Oasis, a born-again resort.
Ica has one of Peruâ€™s best archaeological museums, Museo Regional de Ica, which displays stunning relics and mummies from the Paracas, Nasca, Wari and Inca cultures that flourished in the south.
In addition, visitors may spend a great time at one of the traditional vineyards located in the countryside and learn how Peruvians prepare Pisco. The grape-harvest season runs from February to April. Early Spanish settlers planted grapes, which thrived in the arid conditions. Today, the Ica region is known as Peru's premier winemaking region, and there are more than 80 wineries in the area, many of which accept visitors.