Presentation of the destination
Chincha Alta is a city in the Ica region of Peru. It is located on the beautiful Pacific coastline of Peru and is home to approximately 56,000 people. Chincha Alta was first settled sometime in the 9th century by an unknown group whose culture focused on fishing and gathering shells. Around the 11th century, an indigenous group known as the Chincha moved into the area with more developed architectural and agricultural techniques than their predecessors. The Chincha believed that they had descended from jaguars and worshipped a jaguar god. Sometime in the mid-15th century, they were conquered by the Inca Empire, who valued their impressive agricultural and military skills.The primary official language of Peru is Spanish, though indigenous languages such as Quechua and Aymara also have official status in regions that have large numbers of speakers. The official currency of Peru is the nuevo sol and its time zone is UTC-5.
Points of interests / things to see
The Islas Ballestas are a group of small islands located in the Pacific Ocean near the town of Paracas on the coast of Peru. They are primarily composed of rock formations that are home to a diverse array of marine animal species. Its most interesting species include Humboldt penguins, fur seals, sea lions, and blue-footed boobys, a distinctive marine bird that is known for its fascinating bright blue feet. While visitors cannot travel to the Islas Ballestas on their own, a number of local companies provide boat tours of the island. Over the course of a few hours, visitors are able to explore the intriguing wildlife living in this area. It is quite common for sea lions to swim up to the tour boats, providing for a unique experience and the ability to hear their natural cries. If you’re interested in ecotourism, then don’t miss the chance to go on one of these tours, as the Islas Ballestas are considered to be one of the top ecotourism attractions on the Peruvian coast. As you depart for the islands, be sure to look back at the mainland to see El Candelabro, a prehistoric geoglyph depicting what appears to be a candelabra that was cut deep into the soil hundreds of years ago.
Huacachina is the place to visit if you’re interested in exploring Peru’s famous sand dunes. This small town was constructed in the desert around a small lake, making it a popular resort area. According to local legend, the lake was originally a bath used by a native princess. When she fled from a hunter, her bathwater became the lake and her clothing streaming behind her transformed into the area’s sand dunes. She is also said to still live in the lake as a mermaid, so be sure to keep an eye out for her as you relax near the lake. In recent years, Huacachina has also become a popular tourist attraction due to the many visitors who come to try out sand sports such sandboarding and dune buggy rides. Local companies such as Nazca Flights offer tourists the opportunity to try out both of these activities. Dune buggy rides consist of exploring the desert’s huge sand dunes in a 4-wheel drive vehicle, while sandboarding is a modified form of snowboarding done on sand. The Nazca Flights tour combines both activities, so you can fly through the dunes at high speed in a dune buggy and then try out sandboarding. If you don’t have great balance, don’t worry, as you can always use your board as a sled instead.Location: Huacachina (approximately 100 km from Chincha Alta)Website: http://www.huacachina.com/en/tours/dunebuggysandboarding/dunebuggy-and-sandboarding.htm
Some of the most fascinating sights in southern Peru are the Nazca Lines, a series of ancient designs called geoglyphs that are located in the Nazca Desert. There are hundreds of these designs located in the region that can be seen from above, either by plane or atop high hills, that depict figures as simple as lines and as complex as animals. Some of the many animal figures include hummingbirds, monkeys, sharks, llamas, lizards, fish, spiders, jaguars, and killer whales. It is thought that these mysterious motifs were created by the Nazca culture sometime between the years 400 and 650. They were created by removing red pebbles from the surface of the desert in order to uncover the white ground below, with some stretching across over 200 m of land. Their exact purpose is unknown, with scholars believing that they were religious designs or that they served some sort of astronomical or cosmological purpose. These impressive geoglyphs have survived for so long because of the dry, windless climate of the region which has largely preserved their original forms. One of the best ways to see the Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994, is by plane. Tour companies such as Nazca Flights provide fascinating airborne views of these unique cultural artifacts.Website: http://www.nazcaflights.com/nazca-lines-flights/nazcalinesflights.htm
If you’re looking for a city to visit on a short day trip, you may want to travel to Pisco, just a short drive from Chincha Alta. Pisco was founded in 1640 and its name comes from the Quechua word for “bird”. Pisco is famous throughout Peru because of its namesake grape brandy which it used to export in large quantities from its port. The drink called pisco was first developed by Spanish settlers in the 16th century in order to create a concentrated alcohol that could be transported to distant areas. There are still many wineries and factories that produce pisco in the region that can visited. If you’re interested in this unique local drink, then be sure to go on a local winery tour. The best local winery tours teach visitors all about the history of pisco, how it is made, and provide a small sample for those who want to taste the strong drink.The Pisco area is also popular due to the extensive natural beauty that surrounds it. It is home to many marine animals and birds due to its location by Paracas National Reserve as well as the nearby Islas Ballestas and Islas Chincha, which are home to birds such as penguins, pelicans, and Inca terns.Location: Pisco (approximately 35 km from Chincha Alta)
The Monastery of San Francisco, known as Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima in Spanish, is one of the most intriguing historical sites located in Lima, the capital of Peru. The monastery and its church were constructed in the mid-16th century and have been part of the Historic Center of Lima UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. The church is known for its remarkable architecture, which is an excellent example of the Spanish Baroque style with its carved granite doors and naves painted in the Mudéjar style, which combines elements of Spanish and Moorish techniques. Elsewhere in the monastery, the cloister floors are decorated in beautiful glazed tiles that were created in Seville, Spain in the early 17th century. The Monastery of San Francisco is also famous for its library, which contains approximately 25,000 old texts, including the first Spanish dictionary to be published and a Bible that was printed in the 1570s. It also contains several interesting paintings by renowned Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbarán depicting Jacob and his twelve sons, as well as a work by Diego de la Puente that portrays the Last Supper with traditional Peruvian foods such as guinea pig on the table.Location: Jirón Lampa y Ancash, Lima (approximately 200 km from Chincha Alta)
Paracas National Reserve, known as Reserva Nacional de Paracas in Spanish, is one of the most beautiful natural attractions located near Chincha Alta. The reserve is located along the Peru’s Pacific coastline and was designed to protect this important marine ecosystem and its extensive wildlife. Don’t miss the small museum located near the reserve’s entrance, which contains a number of interesting displays and artifacts related to the ancient Paracas culture that lived in the region. It also features exhibits dedicated to the plants and animals that live in the reserve, including sharks, foxes, dolphins, sea lions, octopuses, and squid. There are also plenty of cycling paths you can used to explore this tropical desert area.Location: Paracas National Reserve (approximately 60 km from Chincha Alta)
The Museo Regional de Ica is a fascinating museum focusing on the anthropological history of the Ica region of Peru. It was first opened in 1947 and contains a large collection of artifacts that date from the prehistoric era through Peru’s Spanish colonial era. Much of the museum’s collection focuses on artifacts from the Paracas culture, an Andean society that lived in the area between 800 and 100 BC. It features several elongated skulls from the Paracas and other early cultures that may signal that ritual deformation was practiced by these early societies. Other interesting items include pre-Columbian mummies and furniture and paintings from colonial times.Location: Ayabaca, Ica (approximately 100 km from Chincha Alta)
The Cathedral of Lima is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to St. John the Apostle. It was constructed in 1535, and is known for its impressive architectural design. Its most prominent features include its two Neo-Classical style towers, its fourteen chapels, and its beautiful religious sculptures. Inside the cathedral, make sure to take some time to look at the spectacular collection of paintings lining the aisles that depict the Stations of the Cross. The cathedral is also famous as the final resting place of conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who in fact laid the cathedral’s first stone in 1535. Visitors are still able to see his tomb in the cathedral.Location: Jirón Carabaya, Lima (approximately 200 km from Chincha Alta)
Park of the Reserve, known as Parque de la Reserva in Spanish, is one of the most famous urban parks in the city of Lima. It was named in honor of a group of soldiers who fought in two key battles in the War of the Pacific between Chile, Bolivia and Peru. The park is home to several exquisite sculptures created by Peruvian artists as well as a fascinating fountain complex known as the Magic Water Tour. It is one of the largest fountain complexes in the world, with a 80 m high fountain called the “Magic Fountain”, a tunnel fountain you can walk through, and a fountain that is used for laser and picture shows synchronized to music. Location: Parque de la Reserva, Lima (approximately 200 km from Chincha Alta)
Vacation rentals in Chincha alta (Ica)
How to get there ?
By plane: The nearest airport to Chincha Alta is Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM), the busiest airport in Peru. It is located in the city of Callao, just a few miles from the center of Lima, the capital of Peru. It is approximately 215 km from Chincha Alta and provides domestic flights within Peru as well as services to international destinations throughout North America, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.Website: http://www.lap.com.pe/lap_portal/ingles/index.aspBy car: Chincha Alta is easily reached by car from other cities in Peru and South America via a number of different roads and motorways. If you’re interested in taking a long road trip, consider going for a drive on the Pan-American Highway which traverses the entirety of the Americas over approximately 30,000 miles of road. The Pan-American Highway runs north through Chincha Alta to Lima, which is just over 2.5 hours by car. Travelling south from Chincha on Panamericana Sur, as it is known in Spanish, travellers can reach the fascinating nearby cities of Pisco, Ica, and Nazca.By bus: One of the simplest ways to travel around Peru is by bus. Direct services are provided between Lima and other cities such as Chincha Alta, Nazca, Pisco, and Ica.
Hotels in Chincha alta (Ica)