Have you ever witnessed the raw beauty of a desert oasis? We hadn’t. We figured the only way to experience such a unique eco-system would be to travel to Northern Africa or the Middle East.
You can imagine our surprise when a fellow traveller recommended we visit the giant sand dunes of Huacachina, located south of Lima on the Pacific coast of Peru.
“Sandboarding in Peru?” we replied. What was this guy talking about?
It turns out, the Huacachina sand dunes are the highest sand dunes in South America, reaching a height of up to 500 meters. What better way to experience these dunes, than to go sand boarding?
If you’ve never been sand boarding before and think you’d like to give it a try, read on to learn about our experience and how you can do this thrilling activity in Peru!
Where Can I Go Sandboarding Peru?
When we thought of Peru, images of Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest came to mind. Not sand dunes and dry barren desert.
It turns out that Huacachina is not only the best place to go sand boarding, but the only place. It’s the only known desert oasis in South America, and is located 4.5 hours away from Lima by bus.
We were told the sand boarding was excellent, but we weren’t convinced until our new friend reached into his pocket and pulled out his digital camera.
The photos didn’t lie.
There he was, standing in front of a placid desert lake with enormous sand dunes towering in the backdrop.
It didn’t take much further convincing. Sand boarding, dune buggy rides and poolside lounging was right up our alley.
How to Get to Huacachina
There are many ways to get to Huacachina, but you must first reach the nearby city of Ica, which is just a 10-minute taxi ride from Huacachina.
This is where you can base yourself in civilization before heading out for a day trip on the dunes.
Most people opt to take the 4.5 hour bus from Lima, Peru’s Capital, but you can also take an overnight bus from Arequipa, which is what we did.
From Cusco, you can take a 20 hour bus ride to Huacachina.
We opted for first class seating with Oltursa (tourist class bus company) but you can also take a public bus for a cheaper price.
The overnight bus arrived at the larger city of Ica (the hub for Huacachina) about 10 hours later.
Our Experience Sand Boarding in Huacachina
The village of Huacachina is built around a small natural lake in the Peruvian desert. It’s become an increasingly popular tourist attraction…
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