how to get to Huacachina oasis

Lima is cold and foggy in September, but just four and a half hours south is a place where the sun heats the sand and the pisco flows freely, no matter what time of year. This oasis is called Huacachina.

I spent the weekend in Huacachina, and since I was planning to come back to Pariwana, the staff let me store my big suitcase in the luggage room. Very convenient.

I took a Cruz del Sur bus to Ica, then a 10-minute, 7-sol (aprox) taxi ride to Huacachina, nestled between sand dunes. I stayed at Desert Nights hostel, which doesn’t quite match up to the luxuries of Pariwana, but was comfortable enough for a couple of nights.

The main daytime activity in Huacachina is sandboarding. The main nighttime activity is happy hour, and at most bars and restaurants, it’s always happy hour.

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There’s also a pretty good price-setting cartel in place. A dune buggy and sandboard trip, no matter where you book it, is 40 soles. The menu del día is 15 soles, which is outrageous to anyone who’s traveled in rural Peru. And the drink specials, two-for-one deals on pisco sours, are almost all 15 soles. But even though it’s a little pricey, it’s a fun place to play in the sand all day and dance in the one discoteca in town all night. When you find a pocket of never-ending summer, you have to make the most of it.