Huacachina is a small village in the middle of a green oasis with huge dunes around it, which makes it look like a desert landscape. In the 1960s, they thought that the water of the oasis had medicinal powers. Because of this, it becomes a popular destination among Peruvians and travelers. Huacachina is often called Huacachina oasis and this isn’t only because of the landscape or the healing powers of the water, but also because of the fun activities, you can do here. Huacachina Peru is a nice destination to visit. Read everything you need to know in this article.
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What to do in Huacachina Peru?
In and around Huacachina you can’t a lot, but the things you can do in Huacachina are awesome. You can read our 6 tips what you can do in and around Huacachina below.
#1 Huacachina sandboarding and buggy tour
The number 1 reason to go to Huacachina is without a doubt sandboarding and the buggy tour. From Huacachina you will depart in a buggy to the dunes. Only the ride itself is great because you drive at full speed over the hills. At arrival middle of the dessert, you get a board to go sandboarding. There are several ways to get down on a sandboard, namely lying with your stomach, sitting, or standing. They start with a small hill so you can practice several times and experience which position you prefer. At the bottom of the hill, the buggy will wait to go to the next hill.
We recommend lying on your stomach so that you can grab two ropes at the front with your hands so you have the best stability. If you want to reduce speed, you can simply put your feet in the ground.
The first hill you visit is small, the second is average and the third is gigantic. If you really liked it, you can ask the driver to do the last hill again. We asked for it and it wasn’t a problem.
You can take the tour anywhere in Huacachina. We booked this at our Banana’s Adventure Hostel accommodation and are very satisfied with it. If you want to register your spot in advance, you can easily do this via the below link.
Huacachina sandboarding and buggy tour | $27 per person
Tip: take the last buggy at 4 o’clock. The advantage is that it is less hot, you are in the desert landscape when the sun starts to set and the light conditions are also better for taking beautiful pictures. It is also important to put on closed shoes so that you can slow down in the sand without experience any pain. Bring sunscreen & water and don’t wear any jewelry.
#2 Hike over the sand dunes during sunset
Later in the afternoon when the temperature starts to drop, it is a good time to start hiking to the top of a sand dune. When you are in Huacachina you will see one very high sand dune, this is one of the highest in the area. If you climb this you have a beautiful view at the top. Leave about 1 hour before the sun sets, so you have enough time to see the sunset at the top. Also, don’t forget to bring some water with you.
#3 Fly over the greatest mystery from Peru: the Nazca Lines
Visiting the Nazca Lines is one of the highlights in Peru. The Nazca Lines have been a mystery to archaeologists, scientists, and researchers for decades. They were made roughly between 200 BC. to 600 AD. by the people who lived in the area. To get the best view of these drawings, you need to board an airplane.
You can combine the Nazca lines with a visit to the Ballestas Islands in Paracas. You can easily book via the below link. When making the reservation, ask if they pick you up in Huacachina.
Full Day Tour Nazca Lines & Ballestas Islands | $455 per person
#4 Day trip to Paracas: go wildlife spotting and visit the national reserve
In Paracas, there are many islands where you can spot wildlife, and next to Paracas is a national reserve that is definitely worth a visit. If you want to read more details about Paracas you can read it in this article. It is very easy to arrange this day trip. You can book a tour in Huacachina with transport or go independently to Paracas and buy your ticket in Paracas.
The boats leave at 8 am or 10 am to the Ballestas islands that are part of Paracas National Park. Keep in mind that the journey from Huacachina to Paracas is approximately 1.5 hours. Also, you must be present at the port 15 minutes before departure, so keep approximately 2 hours travel time to be sure.
If you want to book in advance and don’t want to worry about it during the holiday, you can book it via this link.
#5 go camping in the desert
If you want a unique experience, go camping in the desert. If you want to enjoy the peace and spend the night in a special place, this is for you. In the evening when the sun is down you can see the stars in the universe because you are far away from civilization there is little light so it is a very good place for looking at the stars. Book your spot via this link.
#6 Chill out by the pool
If you’ve been traveling for a few days and you’ve already done a lot, it is also wonderful to do nothing. In Huacachina you can relax at one of the accommodations. We stayed at Banana’s Adventure Hostel and recommend it. They have a great swimming pool, nice music in the background and a great atmosphere. Especially the food is really good at this place, we had our best lomo saltado at this hostel.
How do you get to Huacachina?
Getting to Huacachina is very easy. Regardless of where you are you should always go to Ica. From there you can take a taxi to Huacachina for $3 (7 soles). Assuming you are traveling from Lima or Paracas you need to do the following to arrive in Ica.
– Lima to Huacachina: go to the bus station (Javier Prado) and buy your bus ticket at one of the ticket offices to Ica. We recommend using Cruz del Sur. Travel time is 4 hours to 5 hours. Ticket costs are $6 (20 soles) per person.
– Paracas to Huacachina: buy your bus ticket at your hostel. Travel time is 1.5 hours. The ticket is $5 (15 soles) per person.
If you are departing from Huacachina you can buy your ticket for your next destination at the Cruz del Sur ticket office. A tip is to book your ticket at least one day in advance so that you still have enough options to choose from (seats + departing time). If you are too late you may have to take a bus that leaves at a bad time.
How many days do you need for Huacachina?
This of course depends on what you want to do. We recommend a minimum of two nights. On the first day, you can go sandboarding and do the buggy tour. On the second day, you can do one of the other activities and on the third day, you can continue your journey to, for example, Arequipa. If you want to do all the activities, it is recommended to stay 3 nights.
Where to stay in Huacachina?
There are 14 accommodations in Huacachina to stay. It is important given the temperature to select a hostel or hotel with a swimming pool given the temperatures in Huacachina. We stayed at Banana’s Adventure Hostel and highly recommend it. if you want to stay in Huacachina and Banana’s Adventure is fully booked we recommend La Casa de Bamboo. If you prefer to stay in a good accommodation and therefore you can not stay in Huacachina because everything is fully booked we recommend Hotel Boutique La Angostura located in Ica, the village next to Huacachina.
Tip: It is important to book your accommodation in Huacachina in time because there aren’t too many hostels and both hostels are very popular. Besides, these two hostels are still affordable, because Huacachina is so popular, other hotels are quickly expensive. If you book via our link you can adjust your reservation up to 2 days in advance.
Banana’s Adventure Hostel
We stayed at Banana’s Adventure Hostel and we were very pleased. The general area, pool, staff, and vibe in this hostel is really great. You can book the sandboarding and buggy tour at this hostel. Besides, the food here is really good, so you don’t have to eat anywhere. The rooms are nice and the bathroom is one of the best you will find in Peru. Highly recommended.
Price per night from:
$ 26 dormitory | $ 54 double room
La Casa de Bamboo
La Casa de Bamboo is a hostel without a swimming pool, this isn’t a big problem because you can make use of the swimming pool of Bananas Adventure for a small fee. The rooms at this hostel are nice and cool even during warm periods. A very popular place, it is rated with an 8 on Booking by a lot of travelers.
Price per night from:
$ 20 dormitory
If you follow our Peru itinerary your next destination will be Antigua. Open the article about Arequipa via the link.