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Huacachina Oasis

Updated: May 25, 2023

Prices, activities, buggy tour, maracuya sour! Peru is known for its beaches and its good waves for surfing, but also for its sandboarding! Discover the Oasis of Huacachina near Ica, undoubtedly a Peruvian must-see.


Oasis de Huacachina, Ica, Pérou
Oasis of Huacachina, Ica, Peru



An Inca legend


An Inca princess named Huaca China tries to survive cruel criminals by running away in the Ica desert. On the verge of death, exhausted by the heat, she prays to the gods for help. Suddenly, under his feet, lush vegetation and a small lake began to spring up as if by magic… providence granted him life. To cool off, she dived into the lake and became a mermaid… such is the legend of this little oasis.



Sandboarding and buggy ride


On my first visit to Peru in 2014, I had heard of the oasis and how it was a must. If you're like me and you absolutely try to avoid touristy places as much as possible, I assure you that this one will be worth your energy, and you will even come out overflowing! In 2014 I didn't speak Spanish, and when I asked the hostel receptionist if we could book a sandboarding tour, she walked me through the activity and I nodded the head as if I had understood everything… like my compatriots of the time besides! So imagine, we had no idea what adventure we were going to embark on... all we knew was that we were going to end up sandboarding. What a surprise we had when the next morning we saw the buggies! I clearly remember asking if this was actually our mode of transportation! The buggies are manufactured in a very safe way (well... safe, we get along! We are in Peru, after all!) and in the event that the vehicle capsizes, the roof is designed to take the shocks and we protect. Don't worry, the drivers are professionals, that doesn't happen. What a joke! I don't think we've ever laughed so much in our entire life, it was really fun to speed around in the sand and down the very steep dunes! It was like a carousel without a track.



Les buggys, Huacachina, Pérou
Buggies, Huacachina, Peru


Les buggys, Huacachina, Pérou
Buggies, Huacachina, Peru


In 2019 I went back, and I was really looking forward to doing this activity a second time, even though I had done it before. It's really unique and it's really worth the money you'll put into it: I don't remember how much it cost in 2014, but on our last visit, we went directly to the agency that organized the tours and the all inclusive cost us as little as $9.36 Canadian! (30 soles). You will also have to pay the entrance to the Parc des dunes which costs $1.25.

All the tours do exactly the same thing, they take care of bringing the surfboards and the (candle) wax that they will put under your board for you so that it slides better on the sand. They will take you to the biggest dunes which you can either go down on your stomach to go faster, or, for those who are good at snowboarding, stand up. You can try it yourself, but having tested it, I would tell you that it is much more fun to go there like a sled. You will have time to test all kinds of descents.

You can't book at lunchtime, the sand is too hot and there are risks to your health, that's understandable. If the temperature is on your side and depending on the time you book (morning or evening), you can also observe the sunset in the desert.



Surf des sable, Huacachina, Pérou
Sandboarding, Huacachina, Peru

Surf des sable, Huacachina, Pérou
Sandboarding, Huacachina, Peru

Flip Flop mode


Mainly, we go to Huacachina to sandboard, but obviously, it's a party place! Several hostels have swimming pools (you can't swim in the oasis, and if you really wanted to, it's a bit disgusting, to be honest with you…) and be sure to order one of the local specialties : a maracuya sour. It is a mixture with Pisco, the national alcohol. It's like a Pisco Sour, but with passion fruit juice! A delight… and dangerous! ;)


You can obviously climb the sand dunes that protect the oasis from high winds for free. My advice: even if you're in a flip-flop mood, put on shoes to ride them! The sand is extremely hot, you will get burned (yes, that happened to me and I didn't feel very proud)! You will also need to be in good physical shape because from below the dunes seem easy to climb, but tell yourself that you are taking a step forward and half of it back in the sand. But how worth it! The view is amazing. I even did it twice because I wanted to have a shot of the sunrise for my credits of my movie AURORA, about South America.


Lever du soleil sur l'Oasis de Huacachina, Pérou
Sunrise over Huacachina Oasis, Peru

Au sommet des dunes, Huacachina, Pérou
On top of the dunes, Huacachina, Peru

Au sommet des dunes, Huacachina, Pérou
On top of the dunes, Huacachina, Peru


Around the oasis of Huacachina, you will also obviously find all kinds of small souvenir shops and it is pleasant to walk around the lake and stroll. Restaurants will offer you truly sublime ceviche (the ingredients do not come from the lagoon, no! Haha!). You can make a short stopover of just two days at this place or spend a week to relax, but really, do not pass by without having been there!






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