Part 5 of Peru Travel Blog Series: Huacachina, Sandboarding and Buggy Rides. Utmost fun is guaranteed in this tiny oasis in South America
Blog Part 2: Complete Peru Travel Itinerary for 2+ weeks
Part 4: Day Tour to Laguna Paron, Peru
If you are looking for a fun filled short getaway from Lima where you could experience adrenaline rushing activities, look nowhere and head to Huacachina. Huacachina is just 300km south of Lima and a location for some pure guaranteed fun. Home to the only desert oasis in the whole of South America, a great site to see from atop, this marvellous tiny village boasts of exotic palm trees lining the green waters of the lagoon. With monstrous sand dunes that enable thrilling dune buggy rides and sand-boarding activities, Huacachina is a must visit for those seeking an adventurous activity during their holidays.
How to get to Huacachina:
Huacachina is just a five hours drive from Lima but there are no direct buses to Huacachina. The nearest city is Ica and numerous buses go there everyday. A good place to book buses is Redbus, a reasonable, reliable and secure website that we used for booking all our bus rides in Peru. Once you get off at Ica terminal, there will be official taxis (inside the terminal) waiting to pick up passengers. You can trust these folks although their taxis look straight out of a 1970’s abandoned car in a futile desert. The ride to Huacachina just takes 15 mins and costs approximately 10 soles. As Huacachina is quite small, the drivers pretty much know all the hotels and the hostels.
Our ride was quite funny since the taxi looked in a dilapidated state, with broken handles, no AC or windows and the driver speaking broken English and playing some upbeat mariachi music to go with the flow. This experience surely felt as if we were in one of those Hollywood movies shot in rural South American towns. Once you are near Huacachina, you will be welcomed with the incredible sight of huge sand dunes.
Travel Tip: Even though a day trip to Huacachina is possible, we recommend staying overnight. This is because the evening Redbus back to Peru will drop you to an area in Lima which is not considered very safe. We felt safer to travel during daytime.
For more tips, read the caption on instagram post below.
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Looks like we are back to our routine but the holiday hangover lingers. Works been busy like hell but I want another break.. 🤭 Anyways here are some Huacachina travel tips. You can save this post for later.. . ▪️Huacachina is 5hours by bus from Lima. ▪️You can take Peru Hop bus from Lima to Ica and then a Taxi to Huacachina from INSIDE Ica bus stop for 5 USD. Taxis are bit unsafe in Lima and Ica, so better to be careful. ▪️It's possible to do Huacachina in one day and back to Lima including the sunset buggy tour, but we suggest staying overnight. ▪️Late evening busses from Huacachina, will drop you in Lima at a location that's slightly unsafe at night, so suggest taking a day bus back. ▪️Stay in Huacachina and not Ica. Ica is just another city and Huacachina is the main highlight. ▪️If you have more time in hand, you can do Paracas and Nazca lines as well. We highly regretted missing Paracas, but we could only do so much in those 18 odd days. ▪️Hike up the sand dunes because they are so worth it, especially during sunset or sunrise. ▪️For the buggy tour, we suggest getting it from your hotel. Most of the drivers are very rash and it felt so unsafe looking at the way they were driving. So, we careful about the tour you choose. But it's so much fun! ▪️Buggy tours can cost upto 40soles per person which is around 13 USD when booked directly from the hotel. Online rates are higher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #peru #peru🇵🇪 #ica #huacachina #huacachinaoasis #desert #southamerica #hike #sheisnotlost #passionpassport #girlslovetotravel #travelgirl #travelgoals #travel #indiantraveller #indiantravelblogger #travelgram #planetearth #wanderout #wanderlove #earthlove #beautifulplanet #beautifulplaces #photooftheday #girlsloveoutdoors #outdoorslife #wanderers #ohtheplacesyoullgo #makethemostoflife #placestotravel
Where to stay in Huacachina:
We recommend staying in Huacachina to enjoy the desert activities and catch that stupendous sunrise and sunset views. There are many reasonably priced hotels/hostels and we stayed at La Casa De Bamboo and the stay was quite pleasant and the food was extraordinary. Even if you don’t stay here, we highly recommend eating in their restaurant.
Huacachina, Sandboarding and Buggy Rides:
Adventure tours on the sand dunes:
The top activities are sunset dune buggy tours (typically 2 hours) where you will have the time of your life. Strapped to the seat of a noisy, beastly diesel 4×4 ascending and descending the mega sand dunes, soaking in the warm evening sun, sand-boarding (sit, on belly or stand, depending upon your experience) from the top of the sand dunes, snapping countless pictures of the vast desert and watch the sun go down behind one of the gigantic dunes.
Travel Tip: We recommend booking the buggy tours from the hotel in Huacachina itself, rather than booking one online. You would get much cheaper tour and the ones booked directly from the hotel would probably be safer and more reliable. Tours would typically cost around 40 soles per person.
There is more to Huacachina than sandboarding and buggy rides. Wake up early before sunrise and hike up away from the oasis to the highest vantage point in the desert. From here, you can catch the spectacular aerial views of the whole lagoon, the palm trees and the village. Perfect for drone shots to capture the vastness of this stunning location, the mesmerizing sunrise would make anyone go weak at their knees. Although the hike is strenuous, the resulting views are rewarding and worth the effort.
Other activities around Huacachina:
Wineries in Ica:
Although we did not have enough time to check the wineries in Ica, this link provides some info on the popular ones in Ica.
In the Nazca town, witness geoglyphs etched into the desert sand, in the form of animals and plants. You can view these 2000+ years shapes by taking an aerial tour of the desert. As we could not do this, you can find more info here.
Paracas lies on the way to Ica from Lima and is a must do destination. It offers the visitors to see pelicans, sea lions in the Isla Ballestas and also the Paracas National Reserve.
Check out our detailed itinerary to see all the other places you can visit around Huacachinna.
- Stunning martian landscape of Wadi Rum desert in Jordan
- This stunning canary island
- This amazing road trip through Iceland
- The drive through Giants Causeway and beyond
Top tips for your holiday in Huacachina:
- Although the dune buggy tours are quite fun, its still an adventure sport. Strap on your seat belts without fail as some drivers drive recklessly and risking the life of the passengers.
- We highly recommend staying longer in Huacachina. This way, that you could enjoy the tours and also venture around on your own to catch the beautiful sunrise and hike the magnificent Huacachina sand dunes.
- There is only a single ATM in Huacachina so make sure you have enough cash before you visit.