The city of Pisco lies in the midst of a vast sandy desert on Peru's central coast 180 miles southeast of Lima. Beautiful pristine beaches line its Pacific shore and the city's proximity to natural and historic attractions have transformed it into a base of tourism. The Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands, right on Pisco's doorstep to the south, are replete with marine and bird life which visitors can view up close, including the Humboldt penguin and seals. In the reserve one can also get a glimpse of the mysterious geoglyph known as El Candelabro (The Candelabra). A short distance inland of Pisco you'll find the ruins of Tambo Colorado, an Incan urban center dating back to 1450 which affords panoramic views of the fertile coastal valley.
It's no accident that the city shares its name with Peru's national drink. Pisco, which lies within territory occupied by the prehispanic Paracas and Nazca cultures, was inhabited by a group of skilled ceramists who produced amphoras known as piskos. The piskos were used to store the grape brandy that, over time, came to be called by the same name. Pisco is also famous as the place where the famous liberator José de San Martín created Peru's first flag and in 2007 it suffered a devastating earthquake that leveled 70% of the city.