Experience Ica, Peru, Like Arie Luyendyk Jr. on 'The Bachelor'
Without a doubt, the oldest civilization in the Americas can be traced back to Peru in any number of ways. The country is thousands upon thousands of years old, and its ancient history remains prevalent when you walk down the streets. It’s the home of the Incan Empire, Machu Picchu, part of the Andes Mountains, and so much more. Whether you want the desert, the city, or the forest, Peru has it all.
Arie Luyendyk Jr. traveled to Ica, Peru, on Season 22 of “The Bachelor,” where he immersed himself in local culture and traditions. Here’s how you can do the same when you visit.
You can get to Ica either by a short flight from Lima or a five-hour bus ride from the capital. Peru’s topography changes all over the country — Ica is in the desert, so be sure to pack accordingly! Being in the desert, however, doesn’t mean you’ll be lacking green scenery. Book your romantic stay at Hacienda San Juan Resort and relax by the pool or hot tub and look out at all the trees around you.
Other hotel options include Hotel San Agustin Paracas, El Carmelo Hotel Hacienda, and Hotel Las Dunas.
One-on-one date: Party in Paracas
Now that you’re settled, it’s time to start dating! Make your way to Paracas, a coastal and desert city with rugged cliffs and turquoise waters. Once you arrive at AdrenArena, let the adventurous side in you take the reigns as you and your date rent dune buggies and ride them in the sand. When you find your ideal spot after driving around for a bit, whip out those sand surfboards and hang 10!
Hopefully, neither you nor your date wiped out, but you might be feeling that way after all that activity. If so, grab your backpack from the buggy, set out a blanket on the sand, and have a picnic in surroundings like never before. Toast with some champagne or pisco to your time ahead in Peru.
Continue the evening with a candlelit dinner and relive some of your favorite moments from earlier in the day.
One-on-one date: Gallop to the "Mini Galapagos"
You’ve seen the sand, so now it’s time for the sea! Venture over to Paracas Bay and take a boat to the Ballestas Islands, sometimes referred to as the mini Galapagos. Nestle yourself in your date’s arms and relax on the boat ride over. If you’re an animal lover, the Ballestas Islands are the perfect place to spot sea lions, penguins, pelicans, and more.
All that boating likely made you hungry, so walk up to Chalana restaurant located right at the end of the dock back in Paracas. Sharing is caring, so give your date a bite of that ceviche you ordered and cheers to your fun date!
Since you’re already in the desert in Ica, you might as well give glamping a try. Sleep under the stars and stare at the endless expanse of the sky while discussing the future of your relationship. You’re as lucky as a shooting star to be out on this date, and maybe you’ll even get to see one. Don’t forget to make a wish!
One-on-one date: An oasis of love
A body of water in the middle of the desert? That sight in front of you isn’t a mirage — it’s Huacachina Oasis. The oasis was once thought to have healing powers, so it quickly became a sought-after destination. Hotels line the oasis, but it’s also a popular spot for thrilling activities such as sand surfing and renting dune buggies.
After exploring Huacachina in awe, charter a flight to marvel over the Nazca Lines. These 2,000-year-old geoglyphs are tattooed in the ground and mainly depict animals and plants. The Nazca Lines embody how and why Peru is at the center of ancient civilization. As you and your date stare out over nature’s beauties, discuss how your love feels just as permanent.
When you’re back on land in Ica, freshen up for dinner and make your way to the popular bodega El Catador before walking up to La Olla de Juanita restaurant for a lovely dinner.
You’ll love your time in Ica and feel grateful you chose a spot off the beaten path. Will Peru accept this rose?