Ica Tourist Attractions
The desert town of Ica, along the coast just north of Nazca, is slightly higher than the coast and consequently is not affected by coastal mist. While the coast along this stretch is foggy and misty for half of the year, Ica has a year round sunny and dry climate. The main attractions in Ica are the oasis resort of Huacachina, the colonial churches, the Museo Regional de Ica, and the Museo Cabrera.
The Museo Cabrera (Cabrera Museum) hardly deserves the title of museum. Created by the eccentric Dr. Javier Cabrera, the Museo Cabrera displays more than 17,000 stone pieces, which he claimed proved various theories related to pre-Inca culture. However, most of the collection, which ranges from small stones to large boulders, are generally considered to be fakes. Locals have admitted to doing some of the carvings themselves. None of them have been carbon dated.Nonetheless, the museum puts forth some unique and interesting, if not comical theories and can be amusing. It is a unique place to spend a few hours if you have time to kill while staying in Ica.
Huacachina is a small oasis village just west of Ica and technically still part of the municipality of Ica. This picture perfect palm-fringed resort town is situated around a lagoon and surrounded by huge sand dunes. The dunes in this area reach 1000m / .6mi high. Adding to the beauty are a number of gardens scattered about the village.One of the popular activities around Huacachina is sandboarding. Similar in some ways to snowboarding, this sport involves surfing down the sand dunes. Sand-boards can be rented in the area. It's also possible to rent dune buggies (areneros) from some of the local resorts.
The Museo Regional de Ica (Ica Regional Museum) is an interesting place to spend a couple of hours. On display are a variety of artifacts from the Paracas, Nazca, and Ica cultures. In addition to Paracas weaving and unique Nazca ceramics, are some well preserved mummies, including children and wildlife. Skulls on display show indications that trepanning, a form of surgery, was practiced by the Nazca. There are also small trophy heads, as well as wigs and hair-pieces.The Museo Regional de Ica is located in an Ica suburb outside the city center. It is easily reach by collectivo or taxi.
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