Sandboarding in Huacachina
Huacachina is located just a few minutes drive west of Ica in Peru’s south. The town itself is an idyllic lagoon surrounded by huge sand dunes. It is only four hours by bus from Lima to Ica (30 soles with Cruz Del Sur) and the taxi from Ica to Huacachina costs around 7 soles. There are attendants at the Ica bus terminal ready to help you with taxis.
Climb to the top of one of these nearby dunes (harder than it sounds in the soft sand!) and you’ll be confronted with not just great views of the Huacachina lagoon below, but amazing cityscapes to your east and endless, endless desert to the west – a very surreal shift.
Huacachina’s main attraction, apart from its tranquil beauty, is sandboarding. Many hostels in town include sandboarding as a part of your stay. The hostel that I stayed at charged around 60 soles for a night’s accommodation and sandboarding, meaning that sandboarding costed around 20-25 soles (going off Pariwana Hostel’s dorm prices).
Every hostel/company in Huacachina departs for sandboarding at 4pm, once the sun has eased a bit. This confused me at the start, but when you see the massive playground on offer, you know there is going to be enough sand for everyone.
The transports of choice for Huacachina sandboarding are dune buggies of varying size. These ferry you from one dune to another, detouring in between to find some drops and hill climbs. The buggy rides are half the run, but remember to wear sunglasses as the sand attacks your face!
Our group completed about 4-5 rides in the two hours of sandboarding. Lying down was as much fun as standing up, especially on the longer runs where you can get some serious speed.
Safety Tip: Keep your face away form the board when lying down – we had some chipped teeth!