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Huacachina / Ica, Peru - Sandboarding The Sand Dunes In An Oasis

Peru travel blog by Mark Berman - April 2009   » View Photoset (27 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
I travelled from Pisco to Ica by bus and took a short taxi ride to Huacachina to stay by the oasis and go sandboarding on the
Peru Photo - Man waits his turn to sandboard near the sand buggy at Huacachina.
Man waits his turn to sandboard near the sand buggy at Huacachina.
huge sand dunes. I found a great hostel with a pool and bar and outside area with a bunch of macaw as pets that sat and flew around the garden. It had a restuarant that makes great breakfasts and other food. The oasis surrounded by palm trees and enclosed in huge sand dunes at Huacachina is a magical place to spend a couple of nights. There are good restaurants here and you can hire small pedal boats to cruise around the lagoon.

Sandboarding on Huge Sand Dunes

The next day I paid about 50 Soles to go sandboarding for a few hours in a group of about 6. We headed up the dunes in these sand buggies at about 9am before it got too hot, the journey up was a very bouncy and breezy ride. It's a good idea to keep your camera in a plastic bag when around the sand. The mass of sand here is hard to comprehend, mountains and mountains of it for miles. It pays to wear some shoes up here for the
Peru Photo - A park with monument and statue in Ica.
A park with monument and statue in Ica.
sandboarding so that the board is secure to your feet. Flip-flops can easily break and the temperature of the sand is too hot for unprotected feet. I hadn't ever been on a board before. I have snow and water skied a lot but boards were new to me. It was fun but hard to stay upright for long as the sand is very heavy, but with various degrees of success people in the group got down the slopes one way or another. We progressed to some giant slopes that were seriously steep. Most people opting to go down on their stomachs for maximum speed, including myself. It was the most fun
Peru Photo - Monument and fountain at the plaza in Ica.
Monument and fountain at the plaza in Ica.
thing all day, that last ride. While going from slope to slope in the buggy, we had amazing rides up and down the sides of sand dunes and canyons. The 9 seat buggies are so small when you see them with a huge mountain of sand behind them. We viewed another oasis surrounded by dunes and wondered how such a thing can exist and why the sand doesn't blow into the oasis and fill it up.

Relax with a Drink and Pizza

After several exhilarating rides down some very steep and long slopes I was ready to head back to swim in the pool at my hostel at Huacachina and have a nice cold drink at the bar. That night I enjoyed eating great pizza at a local restaurant by the oasis. Everyone who was hanging out at Huacachina was happy and in good spirits, its a relaxing place.

Ica for Chicken Foot Soup & Bus to Nazca

Next morning it was time to head to Ica for some quick shopping, lunch and to get a bus to Nazca. I had a look around a few shops and bought an 8GB flash drive for 79 Soles. I spent some time in the main plaza and had chicken foot soup for lunch and walked a few blocks to the bus terminal. Beside the bus terminal a man was selling pacay or ice cream beans as they are known, they look like giant green beans, sometimes as long as half your arm. You open them up and there is a white cotton wool like substance containing a big black bean. You eat the white wooly stuff but not the bean, they are so refreshing!

     

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Distances & times (if available) from Huacachina / Ica (Peru) to:


Map location: Huacachina / Ica, Peru. People come to Huacachina to stay beside the lagoon surrounded by huge sand dunes. It's peaceful here indeed! At least until you go sand-boarding on those dunes! Ica was good for a bowl of chicken-foot soup!
 A : Nazca to Pisco - Peru 29 kms 29 kms straight distance | 55mins 55mins by car (43 kms) | 1hr 6mins 1hr 6mins by bus (43 kms) (43 kms)
 B : Pisco, Islas Ballestas & Paracas - Peru 64 kms 64 kms straight distance | 1hr 29mins 1hr 29mins by car (86 kms) | 1hr 46mins 1hr 46mins by bus (86 kms) (86 kms)
 C : Chiclayo to Piura - Peru 83 kms 83 kms straight distance | 1hr 57mins 1hr 57mins by car (111 kms) | 2hrs 20mins 2hrs 20mins by bus (111 kms) (111 kms)
 D : Nazca - Peru 121 kms 121 kms straight distance | 2hrs 22mins 2hrs 22mins by car (145 kms) | 2hrs 50mins 2hrs 50mins by bus (145 kms) (145 kms)
 E : Ayacucho - Peru 194 kms 194 kms straight distance | 4hrs 58mins 4hrs 58mins by car (302 kms) | 5hrs 57mins 5hrs 57mins by bus (302 kms) (302 kms)
 F : Lima - Peru 266 kms 266 kms straight distance | 4hrs 41mins 4hrs 41mins by car (313 kms) | 5hrs 37mins 5hrs 37mins by bus (313 kms) (313 kms)
 G : Huancayo - Peru 233 kms 233 kms straight distance | 8hrs 13mins 8hrs 13mins by car (401 kms) | 9hrs 51mins 9hrs 51mins by bus (401 kms) (401 kms)
 H : Andahuaylas - Peru 261 kms 261 kms straight distance | 9hrs 29mins 9hrs 29mins by car (505 kms) | 11hrs 22mins 11hrs 22mins by bus (505 kms) (505 kms)
 I : Camana - Peru 431 kms 431 kms straight distance | 8hrs 14mins 8hrs 14mins by car (536 kms) | 9hrs 52mins 9hrs 52mins by bus (536 kms) (536 kms)
 J : Abancay - Peru 314 kms 314 kms straight distance | 10hrs 21mins 10hrs 21mins by car (610 kms) | 12hrs 25mins 12hrs 25mins by bus (610 kms) (610 kms)
 K : Huanuco - Peru 471 kms 471 kms straight distance | 11hrs 28mins 11hrs 28mins by car (698 kms) | 13hrs 45mins 13hrs 45mins by bus (698 kms) (698 kms)
 L : Arequipa - Peru 518 kms 518 kms straight distance | 10hrs 54mins 10hrs 54mins by car (705 kms) | 13hrs 4mins 13hrs 4mins by bus (705 kms) (705 kms)
 M : Cusco - Peru 410 kms 410 kms straight distance | 14hrs 19mins 14hrs 19mins by car (797 kms) | 17hrs 10mins 17hrs 10mins by bus (797 kms) (797 kms)
 N : Tingo Maria - Peru 532 kms 532 kms straight distance | 14hrs 27mins 14hrs 27mins by car (811 kms) | 17hrs 20mins 17hrs 20mins by bus (811 kms) (811 kms)
 O : Machu Picchu - Peru 363 kms 363 kms straight distance
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Huacachina / Ica, Peru:

Hostal Rocha, Huacachina, Peru - Large Photo
Hostal Rocha, Huacachina, Peru (Apr 2009 - 2 nights) - Nice rooms with views, great garden area with swimming pool, bar and food to order. There are hammocks under trees to lay in and friendly big parrot birds live in the garden area, it's easy to organise a sandboarding excursion from here.

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Huacachina / Ica, Peru - Sandboarding The Sand Dunes In An Oasis. People come to Huacachina to stay beside the lagoon surrounded by huge sand dunes. It's peaceful here indeed! At least until you go sand-boarding on those dunes! Ica was good for a bowl of chicken-foot soup!

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