History of Ica, Peru
The city of Ica (Spanish pronunciation:) (Quechua: Ika) is the capital of the Department of Ica in southern Peru. While the area was long inhabited by varying cultures of indigenous peoples, the Spanish conquistador Gerónimo Luis de Cabrera claimed its founding in 1563. As of the 2017 census, it had a population of over 282,407. The city suffered extensive damage and loss of life during the 2007 Peru earthquake. In 2007, researchers found the fossil remains of a prehistoric penguin, Icadyptessalasi, which inhabited the Atacama Desert about 30 million years ago. Scientists estimate it was about 4.5 or five feet tall, with a foot-long beak. Evidence of prehistoric indigenous civilizations has been found in the nearby deserts, such as that of Paracas. These included the Paracas and the Inca, the last of whom were a people who encountered the Spanish. Numerous pre-Columbian archeological artifacts are displayed in the Museo Regional Museum of Ica. The Spanish colonial city was founded on 17 June 1563 by Gerónimo Luis de Cabrera as Villa de Valverde. It was ruled by Spain under colonial rulers until Peru achieved independence. On 15 August 2007, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurred off the coast of Peru, severely damaging buildings, housesand infrastructure in Ica. Initially, 17 people died and 70 were killed when a church collapsed. Pisco was even more severely damaged than Ica, with many people buried under buildings which had fallen; 80% of the city’s buildings were destroyed. Ica and surrounding areas are the traditional sources of Pisco brandy. Ica is the site of the Museo Regional de Ica, a regional museum with exhibits ranging from prehistoric artifacts to the Spanish colonial era. On display are pre-Columbian funerary bundles and mummies, whose elongated skulls from the Paracas and pre-Inca cultures suggest ritual deformation, perhaps a mark of the elite. Some skulls also bear evidence of trepanning, a kind of early brain surgery to relieve internal pressure or remove damaged skull matter suffered in battle. There are also furniture, paintings and artifacts from the Spanish colonial era. Ica’s location in the desert provides unique opportunities for tourism, such as the nearby Huacachina oasis, located in the midst of sand dunes. It attracts international travelers, as well as resort seekers from Peru. Some young visitors try sand boarding; others travel the dunes in sand buggies.
THINGS TO DO IN ICA
Hacienda Bodega Tacama
Winery, vineyard, wine, and wine tasting. Hacienda Bodega Tacama is a winery in Peru.
Winery, vineyard, wine, and wine tasting
La Huacachina, oasis in Peru
Tiny village & lagoon in a desert oasis surrounded by sand dunes, this compact village & resort in a desert oasis feature a lagoon.
Cachiche is a community located just four kilometers from Ica, Peru that is known for a preoccupation with witchcraft.
Regional Museum of Ica Adolfo Bermúdez Jenkins
Exhibits on ancient Peruvian cultures, small museum with historical information & excavated artifacts related to ancient civilizations.
Desert and lake sand boarding, Dune buggies, Shops and Restaurants.
St. Jerome Cathedral, Ica
History and architecture. St. Jerome Cathedral, also known as Ica Cathedral, is a Catholic church in the city of Ica, Peru. It is located on Bolivar street and forms part of the monumental group of the Company of Jesus
- Ica Zoo
- Volcano Park Ica Extreme Park
- Plaza de Armas de Ica
February is the hottest month in Ica with an average temperature of 25°C (77°F) and the coldest is July at 17°C(63°F).