Ica is a hot, busy and chaotic city at the Peruvian Coast. It's famous for its wine.
Peru Hop do buses here from Cusco, Lima, Paracas, Arequipa and Huacachina. This new service has brand new cama buses and allows you to get on or get off at any of these places. Peru Hop includes hotel/hostel pick-ups and drop-offs.
There is a scam on the buses between Ica and Lima (July 2013) with water being "spilled" on the floor so that your bags get wet. They tell you to put your bag on the shelf above you and then later distract you while they're getting off. While this is happening they steal your backpack. If someone puts water on the floor be extra cautious.
Lots of taxis and mototaxis to take you anywhere you want to go.
In Ica visitors may visit the Huacachina Lagoon surrounded by huge sand dunes where you can practice Sandboarding. There are several vineyards and wineries, which produce Pisco, the national beverage, and wine.
"The Who" is by far the most popular dance club (discoteca) in Ica, and on Friday and Saturday nights it is full of young and middle-aged people dancing and drinking the night away.
El Otro Peñoncito, located a block away from the Plaza de Armas, has tasty Peruvian and Italian cuisine in a small but upscale restaurant. The owner is friendly enough, and the prices are reasonable, although by Peruvian standards they are somewhat expensive.
Restaurant McGrill, on Avenida Geterbo, has cheap set-menu lunches for 7 soles from 12:30 to around 3:00 pm. The restaurant is very clean and hygiene is good. Meals are small but tasty.
Pisco Sour, the famous Peruvian cocktail, is for sale at numerous locations in Ica.
Pisco, the fermented liquer made from grapes, is also for sale although most tourists find it too potent to drink pure.
Cachina, a sweet wine-like drink that is the precursor to pisco, is also for sale.
At night the streets of Ica can be dangerous. Take taxis to get around or just stay at your hotel. On the route from Ica to Lima, beware of a scam that involves someone pouring water on the floor (if you have your bag there). They then put it on the storage above the seat and furtively slide it towards the exit at the middle of the bus. They get off the bus a short distance later with your bag.
Huacachina is an oasis and resort in the desert a few kilometers from Ica. Taxi costs around s./10 as of July 2014. Beware of non-licensed taxis - theft is prevalent.
Peru Hop have buses direct to Huacachina from Cusco, Lima, Paracas, Arequipa and Nazca. Peru Hop includes hotel/hostel pick-ups and drop-offs which is pretty neat from a safety/no taxi fare viewpoint. As of November 2014 it is the only company that goes to Huacachina itself.
Cruz del Sur have buses from Ica to many destinations. Bus from Ica to Arequipa is about 13 hours and can be taken as an overnight with 140 or 160 degree reclining seats.