Haciendas are something characteristic of Peru’s countryside. Haciendas were not only the residence of the owner, but an administrative centres and deposits. Haciendas were always built in grand style, they were large but functional. They had chapels with gold-leaf alters, and galleries of arcs and patios that looked over the countryside.
Ica was considered the land of the Hacienda and dozens of them still exist today, although many now lay in ruin. The best preserved is that of San José in Chincha built in the 1600s, with additions and changes made in the early 1800s. The owners have turned it into an expensive hotel and tourist attraction. If you won’t to see it, you’ll have to pay $10.
Nearby, if you can find them, there are other abandoned haciendas. Rather than being beautifully restored they are left beautifully ruined. The one we visited, like many others, is now lived in by local people and make their living working in nearby fields.