A day at Canyon de los Perdidos, Ica

Have you ever heard about Canyon de los Perdidos ? In general, when we talk about Ica, we think of the Huacachina lagoon, which personally surprised me in terms of its size (small) and its touristy environment. If you want to see a lagoon surrounded by dunes and experience an authentic and peaceful environment, I highly recommend the Laguna Moron, near Paracas.

But what is truly incredible to visit near Ica is the Canyon de los Perdidos. I spent a whole day there, and it was magical!

Canyon de los Perdidos

The Canyon de los Perdidos, located near Ica in Peru, is indeed a beautiful and isolated destination. This canyon is in the desert, offering spectacular and unique views. If you want to feel like you’re alone in the world, this is the perfect place.

In fact, we talk about the “Canyon de los Perdidos” site, but in reality, the Canyon is just a part of this desert that stretches to the horizon. The site is known for its impressive rock formations, steep cliffs, and endless desert landscapes. You can explore the canyon on foot or take a 4×4 vehicle excursion to fully enjoy this experience.

I explored the Canyon with my guide, Luis, in a 4×4 vehicle. It’s essential to have a guide who knows the area, as it’s easy to get lost, and you won’t have the opportunity to see the different colors and rock formations without one. It really varies from one place to another. With a guide who knows this region well, you’ll find all the hidden gems!

Let the day begin

We left in the morning around 9:30 am from Ica, heading to Ocucaje. Since there was quite a bit of traffic on the road, we arrived in the desert about 45 minutes later. Our first stop was a reddish mountain desert. A short 40-minute walk, and I’m at the top – with a magnificent view! I’m all alone in the world!

All alone Canyon de los Perdidos
Canyon de los Perdidos, Ica

After this walk, we continued by car to what looks like a whale fossil skeleton, but nothing concrete is known about it. What is certain is that millions of years ago, this canyon was a sea. In this desert region, the sand is white, nothing like the red color of the first stop. The wind starts to pick up…

Canyon de los Perdidos
Canyon de los Perdidos

We continued our 4×4 tour through lunar landscapes; it’s truly exceptional until Luis stopped in a shaded riverbed. It’s time for a picnic – and what a picnic!

Picnic at Canyon de los Perdidos

Luis sent me for a walk, and in the meantime, he set up a table and two chairs. When I returned, he first invited me to wash my hands. He had set up a container with water and soap. On the table, there was equipment: Pisco, a shot glass, a mixer. First, Luis told me a bit about the history of Pisco before having me taste a straight shot of Pisco to fully savor and smell the aromas. Then he prepared a Pisco Chilcano with lime. We sat on the chairs to eat native potatoes with huancaina sauce (potatoes with a slightly spicy sauce). It was truly a magical moment!

Snack Papas a la Huanaina in the middle of the desert !
Pisco preparation, Luis thought of everything !

The actual Canyon

We then continued to the edge of the Canyon, where this whole region ultimately gets its name. First, we approached it from above, and I didn’t see it until we were almost on top of it. It’s a fissure in the earth, and when you lean over (be careful if you’re afraid of heights!), you can see rounded shapes and even water in the pools because it rained the day before.

With the car, we made our way around to arrive at the bottom of the Canyon. And here, the landscapes are even different! You can enter the canyon by doing a bit of climbing, and we advanced to see the water basins. Unfortunately, the colors don’t show well in the photo. The water is very blue!

Incredible Canyon de los Perdidos
Within the Canyon itself

When we left the canyon, it was already getting late. We hurried to get to the place to watch the sunset. Louis knows the terrain perfectly. There’s a lot of wind now; we put on our vests again, and Luis regrets not bringing hot coffee in a thermos. I don’t know how he navigates; there are no signs anywhere.

Canyon de los Perdidos
Street leading nowhere Canyon de los Perdidos

Awaiting the sunset

We arrive at the spot he had planned, and Luis sets up the table again. This time, he’s prepared everything to make sandwiches and even a beer if I wanted one. It’s really cold now, and the wind has strengthened even more. The clouds are moving very quickly, and unfortunately, we won’t have a clear sunset. But it doesn’t matter; the desert experience is absolutely unique!

Sunset Canyon de los Perdidos
Sunset Canyon de los Perdidos

We drive back in the darkness, and once again, I’m grateful for Luis’s good knowledge of the terrain. He confidently and safely crosses the desert. We won’t return until 7:30 in the evening.

As you’ve understood, by venturing into the Canyon de los Perdidos, you can immerse yourself in the natural beauty and tranquility of this isolated place. You’ll feel cut off from the rest of the world, surrounded only by majestic rock formations and vast desert expanses.

Some tips for your visit

Don’t forget to take necessary safety precautions during your excursion, such as staying hydrated and protecting yourself from the sun, as the desert can be very hot and arid.

It’s also recommended to bring provisions and let someone know your itinerary, as the region can be rugged and sparsely populated.

I can only recommend going with an experienced guide to truly have a unique experience in this extraordinary place.

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