Located just three miles (5 km) west of Ica, the small charming villa of La Huacachina routinely draws international backpackers for two reasons: a heavy party scene overflowing with carefree adrenaline junkies (think “Point Break”) and KILLER sand surfing (again like “Point Break,” but with sand dunes instead of waves).
Let’s focus on the dunes.
Buggy and sandboarding tours are readily available year round. Tour operators will pick you up at your hotel in either Ica or La Huacachina. For three adrenaline-fueled hours you’ll tear through the desert on a dune buggy, plunge headfirst down steep sand slopes and ultimately enjoy an incredible sunset that only the desert can provide.
But what if you’re not an experienced sandboarder?
Who is? And frankly… who cares? After all, it’s only sand; you could spend the afternoon falling down (and you probably will) without getting a scratch.
So why not?
And instead of staying in a hotel, bring a sleeping bag and crash out under the stars. You’ll usually find a number of other travelers camped out by the lagoon.
After you’ve lived it up for a day or two, venture out to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Nazca Lines.
When To Go
Huacachina can be visited year round. However, the nicest time to visit is from May to November when the weather is not too hot.
From May to November, the average high temperatures range from 69 to 76°F (21 to 24°C) and low temperatures range from 57 to 61°F (14 to 16°C) with almost zero precipitation.
Getting There & Around
Huacachina is a desert oasis located in southern Peru near the Pacific Ocean.
The best way to get to Huacachina is to fly into Lima and take a 4-5 hour bus to Ica. From Ica, take a taxi to Huacachina which is located only 3.6 miles (5.8km) away.
- Mid-range accommodations: $50-75
- Meals: $10
- Bottle of beer: $2
- Bring toilet paper before arriving in Huacachina.
- Bring soles (not dollars) to pay for food, accommodations, and souvenirs.
- Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the daytime sun with high SPF sunscreen and a hat. Dehydration and sunburn are the biggest health dangers in the area.
- Leave your belongs beside the lagoon if you go for swim.
- Wear sandals or open toed shoes while on the sand dunes as the sand can get extremely hot.
- Just pack for the desert sun. Bring warm clothes for the night time and early mornings as the temperatures can drop significantly.
- From the 1920s on, Huacachina became a popular destination among the wealthy for relaxing in the oasis waters which were thought to contain medicinal properties.
- The sand dunes in Huacachina are large with faces up to 300 feet (90m) tall.
Feature Image Credit: kriswho