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Ica is a region in Perumarker. It borders the Pacific Oceanmarker on the west; the Lima Region on the north; the Huancavelica and Ayacucho regions on the east; and the Arequipa Region on the south. Its capital is the city of Icamarker.


The Ica Region has a remarkable geography. It is the only region of the southern coast formed by plains also called coast plains since the Andean Cordillera is erected inside. Some geological folds have determined the formation of lands moving forward the sea which form the Paracas Peninsulamarker while some isolated formations located at the southern part have determined the Marcona complex, a place where the biggest deposits of iron in the Pacificmarker coast have been formed. Ica's configuration is due to the geomorphology of its two big and unique fluvial watersheds: the Pasco watershed and Ica watershed. Also, it has an incomplete and continuous current inadequately called Rio Grande because its short waters do not even reach the sea; its waters are mainly used for agriculture in Pampamarker, Nazcamarker and Ingenio, its final watershed is dry since sand and dried lands absorb its short resources. There are extensive deserts in Ica like the Lancha Pampas before Pozo Santo and Villacuri Pampas which are extremely hot areas. Strong and persistent winds called "Paracas" are present and originate large clouds of sand.


Ica has a rich history. The first settlers are from 10,000 years ago, from which the Wari, Nazcamarker, Ica and Paracas cultures developed, the latter being the most important.

The Paracas culture developed from the seventh through the second century BC. It is distinguished by its matchless textile skills, trephinations, and the art of mummifying their dead.

The Nazca culture, on the contrary, well-known for its artistic pottery, in which colorful designs and representations excel over the form, the same as their famous lines and figures that have undergone implausible interpretations. This culture expanded from the second century BC through the seventh century AD. They have left us their wonderful aqueducts that made good use of underground water, of rivers and rain, showing a great knowledge of hydraulic engineering.

In the fifteenth century, during the Inca empire, Pachacuti incorporated the territories of Ica, Nazca and the Chincha valley.

Years later, in 1563, with the arrival of the Spanish, Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera founded the Villa de Valverde del Valle de Ica. Since then, the area became an important vineyard and cotton center.

During the independence war, General José de San Martín landed in Paracas and fixed his headquarters in Pisco, to start the fight for the independence of Peru.

Political division

Map of the Ica region showing its provinces
The region is divided into five provinces ( , singular: ), which are composed of 43 districts (distritos, singular: distrito).


The provinces, with their capitals in parenthesis, are:

Points of interest

City of Ica

Capital of the Ica Department. One of the most popular places to visit in Ica is La Huacachinamarker. The famous desert oasis is located 5km from Ica. It is a small lake with medicinal water, lying in the middle of a spectacular sand desert.


Piscomarker the most important port in Ica and a litoral province. The most important attractions are Paracas Bay and the Paracas museum. Pisco was home of an ancient pre-Hispanic culture, Paracas, who are known for their exquisite textiles.


The Nazca culture flourished along the southern coast of Peru from around 200 BCE to 600 CE. This area is extremely dry. The Nazca developed extensive irrigation systems, including underground canals, that allowed them to farm the land. The Nazca are known for their beautiful textiles and pottery which feature images of animals and mythological beings.

They are even more famous, however, for an extraordinary but puzzling set of creations known as the Nazca Lines. On a large, rock-strewn plain, the Nazca made huge drawings by scraping away stones to reveal the lighter soil underneath. The drawings depict various plants and animals, including a monkey, birds, and other creatures. These drawings are so huge, however, that they can be seen only from the sky. Scientists believe that the Nazca made these drawings for their gods.

Known for the Nazca Linesmarker, which are geoglyphs and geometric line clearings in the Atacamamarker desert, in the district of Nazcamarker. The Nazca lines are attributed to the Ica-Nazca culture, which existed there between 200 BCE and 600 CE. The area of the Nazca lines is called the Pampa Colorada (red plain). From the air, the Nazca Lines show humans, animals, plants, lines and geometric shapes.


A small village near Ica, Cachiche is well known for its history of witches. Doña Julia, Cachiche's first witch, was known to practice "good magic," curing and helping villagers with her spells. Near the entrance to the town, a carving from a single huarango tree depicts this first "bruja de Cachiche" (witch of Cachiche).


Ica has significant wine and pisco industries, annual fiestas, a museum and historic colonial churches. The climate is generally sunny and dry due to its elevation above coastal fog and mist.

See also


  1. Peru Tours information
  2. Ica Region from Lonely Planet Travel Guides and Information. Retrieved August 2009.

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