A great thing about countries in South America is they have such a diverse change in landscape, temperature and season. It allows for a whole range of activities. Peru is one which provides it all. You can lay at the beach in the north, Mancora foe example. You can hike glaciers such as Huarez, have the cosmopolitan lifestyle in electric Lima or in this case you can head to the scorching desert such as Huacachina.
Huacahinca is the Oasis. Its 10 mins away from Ica. An Oasis, ceases to exist in most peoples mind. A creation of the mind normally depicted in movies or stories. Well this was no mirage, this was as real as you and me.
Surrounded by tons of sloping, circular rounded Sand Dunes being watched over glaringly by the relentless sun, Huacachina is a pretty unique place. The Oasis, consist of a Lake in the middle as you would expect, surrounded by home-stays, hostels, restaurants, houses, stores and some Oasis-like tree’s to go with. How this place was created I’m not sure, but I’m expecting it was taken advantage of given its huge centralized lake. As i mentioned on the intro, the change in scenery and land is quite incredible. One minute you are headed through the worn down streets of Inca, to then glorious golden sand mounts for kilometers ahead of you.
We, the three companions I like to say, Lena a bubbly hilarious backpacker from Germany, and Lawrence a easy going guy from Australia, had been on the road together for a few day, mostly in Lima. Arriving at different times to Huacachina from the 5 hour bus ride from Lima, we decided to go sand-boarding the next morning. Normally sand-boarding here is best to do it on the evening, inbetween the heat cooling down on the dunes, to the sun getting her head down for the night.
The next morning, we were ready. 45 Soles it cost for 2 hours including transport. That adds up to around 15 US Dollars each, 12.50 Aussie Dollars, 10 Euros, 8.50 English Pounds. The journey itself was actually my favourite. Being strapped in to these Dune Buggies which occupy 9 people, something you would see on Road Wars, Wacky Races or an Amusement Ride, we began our trip. Going fast up the hills of the dunes with only the tip of the sand in sight, followed by a steep incline plummet unexpectedly was definitely a thrill in itself. It was a like a mini roller-coaster but more of a Indian Jones, Nathan Drake feel to it. The passengers added with being in a vehicle that was used on the land, gave it a more personal experience than being on a roller-coaster. You could move freely (which sometimes gave you the odd slight bump or two), and there was a person in control, allowing for requests to go faster, higher or in some cases just shouting sheer non-offensive curses at him.
After the thrilling buggy ride, we headed to about 6 Sand Dunes in total, beginning with smaller slopes to get started. There was time to waste, or get nervous about. Me and Lawrence were the only guys, the female passengers were a bit nervous. I headed out first and I was fine. Firstly, waxing the bottom of our provided wooden boards enabled us to go faster and smoother down the dunes. Firstly, heading down on my front, which is recommended for more speed and safety, our guide/instructor/driver pushed me down the dune under his legs which him facing the other way, for leverage on his push. I dragged my feet a beet which slowed my speed down, but it was so much fun. As we boarded down more dunes, they got steeper. I tried boarding on my feet one time which I managed without a slip, however I couldn’t pick alot of speed up so decided after that to head down on my stomach for the remainder of the dunes.
My favourite dune was a double in one. If picked up enough speed, a double dune could be achieved. I asked Lawrence to push me as hard as he could. I swooped down the first dune, and thought i was slowing down before I could reach the second dune in one go. However, the dune sloped earlier than I imagined and for a second when the dune curved over I had no idea how steep or far the second dune was. It was one of them moments that I could do nothing but just see. I then slammed down the second dune with no mercy landing at the bottom.
The fastest dune was the last one. Before that though us three went down together and got it on video, with us landing as a fairly perfect triangle shape at the bottom. The shrieks of frightened laughter echoed out. That really was a cool moment to share an experience like that together. The last dune was steep and by far the fastest. I went first without any hesitation, getting bumped towards the end but surviving of course.
We headed back for some more buggy thrills before leaving Huacachina for Nasca. A great place for a quick experience and something different. Before heading back to Huacahcina, we took some photos. I overlooked the Oasis infront of me and just thinking It was a mirage. It’s not a mirage its definitely for one to see, a must see.