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Looking for a Super Fantastic Photo Opportunity for Instagram? This is the spot. Huacachina in Peru is a desert oasis and tiny village just west of the city of Ica in southwestern Peru. Set in the middle of sand dunes and central around a ‘lagoon’, this is also a world-famous sandboarding destination.
Huacachina is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are backpacking or hiking around Peru. This very small but unique travel destination will leave you with lasting memories and stunning photos of your trip.
Huacachina, also called the ‘Oasis of America’, was built around a small natural desert lake. According to local legends, the water of this lake as well as the mud of the area has therapeutic value. After a day of sandboarding or dune buggies, you can actually swim in the water. Although you might rather want to swim at your hotel’s swimming pool. There are paddle boats available for rent at the lake.
In my opinion, when I think of an oasis in a desert, this is probably the closest to the picture in my mind.
If you love sandboarding, going out for wild rides in dune buggies, this is definitely the place for you to go while in Peru.
Located on a natural oasis in the city of Ica, Hotel Mossone features an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, and a bar. The Sand Dunes are a 2-minute drive away. The rooms in Hotel Mossone feature air conditioning, minibar, cable TV, and a private bathroom.
If you want to stay at the desert oasis of Huacachina, you can book accommodation directly with Booking.Com.
To get from Ica to Huacachina, the easiest option would be to take a taxi, which is approx. a 7 min ride.
The village of Huacachina is 308 km (4 h 11 min by car) from Lima in Peru. This is also where you will find the Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM).
As Huacachina is in the middle of a desert, you can expect the weather to be hot all year round. With an average of between 23 and 25 degrees all year, you can visit any time of the year. But looking at possible rainfall, you might want to visit from May to October. The months from May to October usually have the least amount of rainy days.
“The enigmatic Nazca Lines (or Nasca Lines) are second only to Machu Picchu as the most famous archaeological site in Peru. The mysterious geoglyphs at the UNESCO World Heritage Site range from geometric shapes and swirls to a hummingbird and monkey. Theories on their purpose include astronomical markers, irrigation canals, and alien messages—an enigma that has spurred intrigue since their 1927 discovery. The spectacular etchings likely date from 500 BC and 500 AD.” – Viator
Ica is famous for its Pisco (the national drink of Peru) and wine vineyards. As it is often called ‘the home of Pisco’ you cannot leave without trying a glass of Pisco. Do a Pisco vineyard tour while in Ica.
As mentioned the fantastic sand dunes of the area is superb for sandboarding. You will find lots of young people on the dunes, enjoying a day of sandboarding.
Do a wild and wacky sand dune buggy trip.
Some of the buggy trips end with a spectacular sunset. But if you’re not doing that, make a point to experience the magical sunsets over the desert dunes of South America.
The natural beauty of this early makes for the best photo opportunities early morning and late evening.
Huacachina does have a few restaurants, but it can be quite expensive. Should you be traveling on a budget, you can visit the restaurant at Desert Night Youth Hostel, or bring your food for the day from Ica.
The city of Ica in Peru has a number of options for accommodation in all price ranges.