Pisco is a port city and capital of Peru's Pisco province, with population around 135,000. The town was established in 1640, and originally prospered due to its vineyards (producing pisco brandy) exported out of the port. Large cruise liners are berthed at Portuario General San Martin (passenger and cargo terminal).
"Pisco" in Quechua language means "bird." The region is often visited due to the concentration of birds and marine animals at Paracas National Reserve (Peruvian Galapagos). There are a collection of islands at the reserve, Islas Ballestas, which are off limits to people. However, boat tours get close to. Chincha Islands are also situated near the coast. Plenty of bird species can be seen in these islands including cormorants, pelicans, penguins, Inca terns and Peruvian boobies, as well as dolphins, turtles, sea lions and whales.
Another attraction in the region is El Candelabro, a mammoth lamp dug in the sand in the method used by the creators of Nazca Lines (pre-Columbian geoglyphs that are etched into desert sands).
In the area of Pisco flourished one of the most important Peruvian civilizations - the Paracas culture. Due to easy access and crossroads to Andes, the Spaniards considered making Pisco Peru's capital, before they chose Lima.
Plaza de Armas is located in the city. People buy assorted dried fruits and little sweets made from pecans there. The Municipal Palace, The statue of Jose de San Martin and the mansion he lived in, surround the Plaza. Other major building in Pisco is the baroque Iglesia de la Compania, begun in 1689. It features a gold-leaf altarpiece and carved pulpit. Close to the town, off the road to Ayacucho, is the large, well-preserved Tambo Colorado (famous Inca site).
The city was very close the epicentre of an 8-magnitude earthquake that struck south-central Peru in August 2007. Local media reported 80% of Pisco's buildings were destroyed (including 58581 houses). The dead toll was 519, plus 1366 injured.
Pisco cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Pisco dock at Terminal Portuario General San Martín, which is the seaport serving the city.
Port Pisco currently doesn't serve marine shipping traffic, as it was replaced by Port San Martín (Paracas), located at approx 40-min drive distance from the city. The seaport has no passenger terminal at the docking pier.
Pisco tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Nazca Lines