Peru is known for its Inca culture, such as the ancient castle of Machu Picchu, but there is more to the country, and the road trip from Ica to Cusco will take many landscapes, allowing you to visit several very interesting areas. And you can observe a variety of indigenous cultures up close. We divide the trip and the article into two parts, and if you prefer, you can drive in two days. However, there are many interesting places along the way that you can explore further and see more route information.
Ica to Nascar – 2 hours, 95 miles
Our great road trip begins with Peru's main wines and Ica [Ica]. This provincial town is a 4-hour drive from Lima, but we did not include Lima in Ica in this route description because it was not very interesting. During your stay in Ica, you will be able to visit the vineyards in the area, perhaps Tacama or Vista Alegre, to learn about the production of wine and pisco. the way. The vineyards in Peru are not as good as the vineyards you found in Chile or Argentina, but they have many features. Ica is also home to the Huacachina oasis, with its vast sand dunes surrounding the natural lagoon. In the oasis, you can take a buggy into the desert and try to board a skateboard, you can go boating on the lagoon, or just relax and wander around.
Leaving Ica, you will travel along the famous Pan American Highway that extends from Colombia to Patagonia. In many places, this road has only one lane in all directions, so this is the case in most cases in Peru. This road takes you through the vines and cactus plantations on the outskirts of Ica and then into the desert. The desert in southern Peru is an extension of Atacama, the hometown of mothers on Earth, and its landscape is ridiculous for about two hours. There are gas stations along the Pan-American area, plus a toll road to Cusco, so there are also SOS posts for help. Obviously, basic Spanish will help, or at least learn some useful phrases, just in case.
About 45 minutes before arriving in Nazca, you will pass through some hills to reach the Parpa Valley, especially the oranges, famous for its fruit. Palpa also has its own version of the Nazca Lines, engraved on the hills around the town. Be careful when driving in towns, because there are many dangers, including serious hump, potholes, small animals, motorcycles, children and drunk villagers. Be alert when you are driving. About 10 miles before the drive to the town of Nazca, this road can climb to around 1600 feet, the Nazca Plain, home to the famous NASCAR line. These huge and ancient lines are etched into the desert. Due to their size, complex shape and the fact that they can only be seen correctly from the air, their origin and function are still being discussed enthusiastically. If you decide to stay in Nazca itself, you can choose to take a small plane to view the route from the air. There is also a viewing tower on the main road and a small hill where you can climb up the mountain to gain a partial view.
Nazca to Chalhuanca – 27 hours 210 miles
This part of the journey is a series of spectacular climbs and descents as you travel through the Andes. Before leaving Nascar, make sure to fill the tank with gasoline, which will give you enough fuel to go to Chalkavan. Leave Nascar on the road sign posted by Puquio / Abancay, which is easy to find because there are only two roads leaving Nasca, one to Arequipa and the other to be needed. If you have any questions, you can always ask the locals by saying “Abancay” in the voice of the inquiry!
The first climb will take you for about an hour and a half in the high desert, initially the world's largest sand dune, the "Cerro Blanco" on the right. When you get higher, you are behind civilization, only cactus and truck drivers can accompany you, the road conditions are usually good, but constant reentry will slow you down. You will then arrive at a high plain, or the well-known Altiplano, and a national nature reserve called Pampa Galera, which is located between 12,000 and 16,000 feet above sea level. This sanctuary is home to the shy vicuña, a small part of the camel family that is highly regarded for its very good wool. There are now thousands of such animals in the reserve, they can be seen on the road, and sometimes even on the road, so don't drive too fast, lest they run out. As a reminder, don't drive too fast, you will see many shrines on the side of the road. These are for those who have lost their lives on the road, usually a terrible bus driver driving off the road.
After leaving Pampa Galera, you will enter the valleys of the impressive small villages and farming communities. With the original farming techniques of crops, livestock and farmers on both sides of the road, after crossing the river at the bottom of the valley, you will start climbing again, seemingly an eternal journey through the changing landscape and the ugly town of Puccio. If you need to drive from the other end of Pu quio for a while, that's a good choice because of the amazing rock formations and beautiful scenery.
After Puquio, you will continue to climb until you reach the plateau at an altitude of 13,000 feet. The landscape became very barren and contemplative, and the views of the extinct volcanoes and glacial lakes and their flamingos were beautiful. The weather at this altitude varies greatly, it may be snowing or hot sun, but it will be cold anyway. You now have about 2 hours to cross the Altiplano, be broken by a grand canyon, and enjoy spectacular views, with thousands of camel and alpaca farms everywhere. The final part of the journey is to gradually descend to the subtropical valley, then gradually turn green and warm until you reach the town of Chalhuanca. This is an opportunity to provide you with enough petrol to refuel to Cusco.
After about 30 minutes from Chalhuanca, you will cross the river several times and you will come to our recommended right hand night stop, Tampumayu Hotel. If you have time, this is a great place to spend the night and rest and spend a few nights. You can visit traditional communities nearby and even fish in fast-moving rivers. Anyway, you will be able to rest here before taking the second part of the Cusco tour.