Adrenaline junkies and sandboarders of the world have been a closely kept secret for many years. Located four hours south of Lima, fairly close to the city of Ica, Huacachina is South America’s only natural desert Oasis. Boasting the largest sand dunes in South America and home to some of the world’s most amazing dune buggy and sand boarding tours, Huacachina is every thrill seekers heaven.
The most sensible way to reach the Oasis is by bus. Peru Hop offers different routes and times between Peru and Bolivia. Most buses depart daily and take around four hours to arrive at their destination. For those wanting a guided tour Huacachina Tours offer complete boarding and buggie packages which include a trip to the nearby Paracas Islands.
What to Do
The Peruvian legend surrounding the Oasis is a beautiful tale. The legend goes that a native princess, stripped naked to bathe but saw a male hunter walking behind her when she looked in the mirror. She ran, leaving the mirror behind and through the magic of the area the mirror became a lake. It is said that the princess still lives at the bottom of the Oasis as a mermaid. Swimming in the lake is said to have healing properties but for those who don’t want to bath in the lake, paddle boats are available.
Boasting the largest dunes in South America, the Huacachina sand dunes are world famous amongst sand boarders. For those not wanting to travel with their boards, boards can be rented from the locals in town. It takes around twenty minutes to hike to the top of one of the mammoth dunes but the adrenaline rush on the way down is worth it!
Dune buggy tours with experienced drivers are aplenty. Remember to take your camera with to relive the unbelievable experience of tearing through the magnificent dunes.
Once the day is done and your adrenaline spent climbing to the top of one of the dunes to watch the sunset is a once in a life time opportunity. The sky is alive over Huacachina and the dunes seem to explode into reds and oranges as the sun sets for the day. Climbing or boarding down the dunes after the closing of the day, Huacachina offers some fantastic bars and eating spots to finish off your day.