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.