One hundred ninety four kilometres south of Lima, in the department of Ica, lies Chincha (“Rejoicing” in Quechua), the cradle of Afro-Peruvian culture. Chincha’s inhabitants have kept their music, dances, and other traditions and customs alive over generations. Typical afro-Peruvian instruments are the guitar, and percussion instruments such as the cajon and the quijada. Chinchanos welcome visitors with open arms and make them feel at home.
Stroll through one of the many vineyards in the area and sip one of the varieties of pisco distilled locally. Be sure to try the tejas, chocolates stuffed with cream and nuts. You may also visit Chincha’s pre-Hispanic archaeological sites. In December, become part of Chincha’s memorable lively festivities in honour of the Virgen del Carmen.
Eleven kilometres from Chincha is Tambo de Mora, a major administrative center in pre-Hispanic times. Tambo de Mora was part of the Chinchaycamac Inca complex which covered an area of approximately 500 hectares. Northwest of Tambo de Mora is the temple of the Huaca Centinela, part of the Chinchaycamac complex.
Another must see is the Hacienda San Jose (the San Jose Plantation). Its seventeenth century manor conserves its stout walls, witness to a history of Dominicans and Jesuits, Spanish masters and African slaves. Also standing are the manor’s superb gateways, elegant chambers, and the layrinthine passages beneath it through which slaves were smuggled.