The traditional gateway to the wild, windswept Paracas region, Pisco was crushed by the devastating 2007 earthquake that destroyed its infrastructure and some of its most attractive buildings – but not its spirit. Gritty resolve has seen the city rebound, but it's not a particularly traveler-friendly place and for visits to the Islas Ballestas and Reserva Nacional de Paracas, it has been surpassed by nearby El Chaco, which has a better location and choice of facilities.
Pisco shares its name with the national beverage, a brandy that is made throughout the region. The area is of historical and archaeological interest, having hosted one of the most highly developed pre-Inca civilizations – the Paracas culture from 700 BC until AD 400. Later it acted as a base for Peru’s revolutionary fever in the early 19th century.