Peru keeps surprizing us with the versatility of the views, history and culture. After the capital vast red brick carpet of Lima it’s time again for an alteration on sights to an over-all sandy desert. Huacachina is by far one of the most amazing scenes ever engraved on our retinas. It is undeniably amazing finding tropical forest, high mountains and desert as close to each other as here in Peru. And as that isn’t plentiful, this desert is blessed by a special topography called Huacachina. A lake hidden by dry sand dunes is our new destiny and for us the first time we see an oasis.
An oasis with a legend that holds that the lagoon was created when a beautiful native princess was apprehended at her bath by a young hunter. She fled; leaving the pool of water she had been bathing in to become the lagoon. The fold of her mantle, streaming behind her as she ran, became the surrounding sand dunes. And the women herself is rumoured to still live in the oasis as a mermaid. Huacachina is Quechua for “The crying woman”, certainly a strange name for a desert oasis if it wasn’t because of this legend. The lake is a small Eden in this dry hostile environment, it is a green dot on an endless sand coloured infinity. There is one single street embracing the lake offering some commerce, restaurants, lodgement and lots of touristic activities. Because that’s what it is all about! There are buggies to drive you around and give you a trill as they go up and down the steep dune sides. Board lovers can try sandboarding and slide down the sandy slopes that stretch several hundred feet high.
Even a walk is a task here: it seems relax but reaching summit at the high dunes under the merciless sun is heavy duty and the view our irreplaceable reward. Especially by sunset the desert shows us an impressive play off colours and shades so beautiful you would stay forever on the top off this ever changing landscape.
– Sandboard-rental is very cheap but climbing several times the dunes is a very high price to pay some fun 😉 (to watch video click here)
– Hostel del Barco is a nice idea for a place to stay here, but the 25soles a person a night is far away from a 10 or 15soles lodgement and is too much for the service offered (which is none). Cheaper possibilities are to find in Ica, the closest and only city nearby, about 5km or 5min tuc-tuc ride which are just 4soles.
– For the hard-core traveller: walking about 30min into the dunes and pitch a tent is probably the most solitary and authentic experience!
– For more informations about transport, food, activities, and other services in Huacachinas’ Click here