A great excursion from Lima is a visit to the desert city of Ica and the nearby oasis, called Huacachina. There are numerous hotels around the oasis to suit different budgets, as well as several restaurants.
From Huacachina you can ride in a sand buggy over the dunes, or, my preferred activity, you can visit the local vineyards and pisco distilleries. Pisco is a kind of Peruvian non-aged brandy, which is something of a national icon.
Your hotel in Huacachina should be able to organise a tour to visit three or four local vineyards and distilleries where you can sample Peruvian wine (surprisingly delicious), pisco and pisco sour.
There are modern mechanised and artisan distilleries, you should visit one or two of each on the tour.
Ica is a four hour bus ride from Lima. From Ica, a taxi to Huacachina should take 15 mins and cost a few dollars.
Google map: bit.ly/i62C6l
A spectacular nature reserve for sea life, just a short half-day trip by boat from Paracas. We saw many sealions swimming and singing, penguins, pelicans and other birds. They call it the poor man's Galapagos!
Boat trips from the port in Paracas, near Pisco. Local bus to Pisco from Ica, taxi from Pisco to Paracas.
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