Museo Regional de Ica


In the suburban neighborhood of San Isidro, Ica pulls out its trump card: a museum befitting a city three times the size. While it might not be the Smithsonian in terms of layout and design, this understated gem catalogs the two key pre-Inca civilizations on Peru’s southern coast, namely the Paracas and Nazca cultures, the former famed for its intricate textiles and the latter for its instantly recognizable ceramics.

Any attempt to understand the region’s ancient history should begin here where a whole gamut of locally excavated artifacts is on display.

Unfortunately, the museum’s famous riches have attracted malign as well as benign interest. In 2004, the building was robbed, with thieves making off with three priceless textiles.

The museum is 2.5km southwest of the city center. Take a taxi from the Plaza de Armas (S5). You could walk, but it’s usually not safe to do so alone.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ica attractions

1. Santuario de El Señor de Luren


The original republican-era church on this site was badly hit by the 2007 earthquake when the tower fell onto the nave. It was famed for the image of the…

2. Iglesia de San Francisco

0.51 MILES

This hulking church withstood the 2007 earthquake and continues to show off its fine stained-glass windows.

3. Iglesia de La Merced

0.52 MILES

Ica’s cathedral was the last church the Jesuits built in Peru before their expulsion. It was rebuilt in the late 19th century and contains a finely carved…

4. Museo Cabrera Piedra

0.55 MILES

On the Plaza de Armas, this unsigned museum has an oddball collection of thousands of carved stones and boulders graphically depicting diverse pre…

5. Tambo Colorado

26.34 MILES

This early-Inca lowland outpost, about 45km northeast of Pisco, was named for the red paint that once completely covered its adobe walls. It’s one of the…