By Adam foote
When people think of Peru travel destinations, they tend to conjure images of blue waters, majestic mountains, vibrant jungles, or bustling cities. While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, picture what’s in the offing with Huacachina tours from Lima: sipping a refreshing pisco sour or cold beer beside a palm tree-ringed desert oasis, or sandboarding down the surrounding dunes. Or maybe paragliding, soaring high above them.
If you aren’t familiar with sandboarding, the concept is quite simple: it’s like snowboarding, but instead of racing down snow-covered slopes, you’re boarding down the side of an enormous sand dune. These aren’t just little hills made of sand, though; they’re towering dunes that will make you feel like you’re on another planet! Some people say that visiting the adventure playground of Huacachina is an otherworldly experience. No matter what, nobody can deny that adventure tours that have you zooming down a mountain of sand is an absolute blast.
Paragliding over the dunes is another adrenaline-pumping activity at Huacachina. It goes back to the seemingly extraterrestrial nature of the dunes; when you’re floating above them in a glider, their otherworldliness is amplified even more. It also gives you the fullest possible view of the rolling desert landscape that make Huacachina such a unique destination.
The other popular activity in Huacachina is the dune buggy rides. Dune buggies are all-terrain vehicles with no doors, so you get an unobstructed view of the natural beauty around you. This is no leisurely ride — dune buggies will get your adrenaline going. Though, unlike sandboarding, where an embarrassing spill or a bad sunburn are about the most sever dangers you’ll face, dune buggies do entail some risk.
These experiences together in one adventure package. Remember to bring plenty of sunscreen and water.
Maybe the best thing about Huacachina is that it’s very easy to work into a trip to Peru. Ica, the nearby city, has plenty of great restaurants and hotels. Tours to Ica from Lima is only a half-day drive, so you could easily make an overnight trip, or even a full-day journey of it. One thing’s for sure: if you visit Huacachina, you will not regret it.