10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Peru's Huacachina

Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Photo of Lucy Pierce
23 February 2018

Found amongst the rolling sand dunes of Peru is the little settlement of Huacachina, which is centred around an oasis and towering palm trees. Back in the 1960s, it was thought that bathing in the water had healing powers, and it became a very popular destination with rich Peruvians, with houses and hotels springing up all around it. Here are 10 great reasons to visit.

Discover the Legend of the Oasis

As legend has it, a young maiden named Huacay China fell in love with a warrior and on hearing of his death, started to weep. She went to their place of meeting and while looking in the mirror, saw her lover. She was terrified and started to run, but dropped the mirror. The mirror then took the form of this lagoon, and Huacay dived in and became a mermaid.

Mia Spingola / | © Culture Trip

Take a Pedalo or Boat out Around the Oasis

Why not cruise around this oasis in the middle of the barren desert and admire the outlines of the curving sand dunes surrounding you?

Mia Spingola / | © Culture Trip

Cruise Over the Dunes in a Dune Buggy

One of the most popular attractions in Huacachina is dune buggies, which you can either rent for around $50 dollars per hour. Alternatively, you can join in a group tour.

Dune buggies in Huacachina, Peru | Mia Spingola / © Culture trip

Go Sandboarding

If you fancy yourself a bit of a pro at boarding, why not use the dunes as your playing field? There are plenty of bumps and steep dunes to bomb down. However, if you’ve not tried it before, be warned – it’s not as easy as it looks!

Mia Spingola / | © Culture Trip

Go Bodyboarding

If you’ve landed on your behind a few more times than you’d have liked to while trying to sandboard, why not try bodyboarding? You can really pick up some speed going face-first down those dunes – just make sure you have sunglasses on and keep your mouth shut!

Mia Spingola / | © Culture Trip

Go on a Buggy Rollercoaster

Depending of the attitude to risk of your driver (some of them seem to have absolutely no fear), you may feel as though you are on a rollercoaster. Meanwhile, you will also hear the shrieks of other passengers in nearby buggies!

Mia Spingola / | © Culture Trip

Walk Over the Dunes

The dunes in Huacachina really are magnificent, and you can see them rolling off into the distance. If you fancy a hike, there are plenty of tall dunes to conquer, although be warned – climbing over sand is very hard work indeed.

Mia Spingola / | © Culture Trip

Watch the Sunset Over Huacachina

Watching the sunset over Huacachina seems to be a rite of passage for many visitors. People cluster on the dunes, with a beer in hand, and enjoys the stunning view as the sun dips down behind the dunes.

Mia Spingola / | © Culture Trip

Relax by the Hostel Pool

Wherever you stay, there’s plenty of basking in the sun to be done. Pictured below is Upcycled Hostel, where the owner, Lorenzo, will look after you very well. Alternatively, you can stay in the centre of Huacachina at Banana’s Adventure or Desert Nights Ecocamp.

Mia Spingola / | © Culture Trip

Visit the Nearby Wineries

You can visit both artisanal and industrial vineyards near to Huacachina, Tacama being the most popular. What’s more, as pisco is also made from grapes, you can also see how the famed national beverage of Peru is made.

Mia Spingola / | © Culture Trip

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