When planning a trip to Peru, sand boarding in the beautiful oasis of Huacachina should be at the top of your list! Huacachina is a small backpackers town, situated next to Ica, in the middle of the desert. It’s surrounded by huge sand dunes. Huacachina is a tourism destination consisting mainly of hostels, hotels, restaurants and bars. With Huacachina as point of departure, you can undertake a great adventures: Racing through the sand dunes and going sand boarding!
What: You hop into a beautifully painted dune buggy, together with 10 other passengers, to enjoy an adventures ride through the sand dunes. Bearing in mind that it’s much like a real rollercoaster ride, it is wise to be strapped in real tight. For starters, you get a ride through the small oasis before you reach the sand. From then on, the ride takes you through the dunes, up and down, with speeds up to 80 km/hour: it’s an amazing thrill ride! Needless to say that the driver picks out all the highest dunes! After about 20 minutes of fun, he comes to a halt on top of a high dune after which wooden sand boards are handed out. Right! Just lie down, and off you go! Adrenaline boost guaranteed 🙂 After sand boarding on another 3-4 dunes, time has come to return to the buggy… On the return trip you get a nice view of Huacachina from the top of a dune. Seeing the sunset is an extra bonus while heading back to the oasis.
How: In Huacachina, there are many tour organizations who offer the best sand experiences. Take the time to shop around for a good tour. A 2-hour tour will cost you about 40 – 50 Soles (€13). Some hostels also offer a sand tour: the cost of the tour then being included in the total price. Although 1-hour tours are available, we absolutely recommend the 2-hour tour. According to us, they should also offer 4-hour tours! 🙂
Handy tips: Although tours start at different times of the day, the best time to take a tour is at 4 in the afternoon. This allows you to enjoy the beautiful sunset while being out on the dunes.
The sand can become very hot during the day. It is therefore advisable to wear shoes rather than sandals. You could wear either shorts or jeans, depending on the weather. Taking sunscreen along is recommended, whether you get burnt easily or not.
By the end of the tour, you will find that everything is covered with sand. Therefore, leave your watch and jewelry at home and just take a small bag, containing water and your camera. While surfing, this can be left in the buggy.
What else: Huacachina is a small village with little else to do besides sand boarding. Finding a hostel with a swimming pool adds to the fun and enables you to relax completely. Sitting on a dune under the starry skies, is an experience never to be forgotten. Sand boarding on the dunes by yourself is also possible. The best time of day to do this is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. And of course, booking a second tour is also possible…
Nice hostels in Huacachina
Nice and cosy hostel. This hostel airs a very relaxed vibe. You’ll find many other travelers, a swimming pool, and a good breakfast. The sand tour is included in the price.
Prices range from: €24 p.p. dorm, €52 double (price per room)More information
Casa de Arena
Good hostel with many rooms. At this hostel, there’s time to party. There’s a great swimming pool and enough space to enjoy yourself. The beds are perfect as well 🙂
Prices range from: €6 (18 bed dorm.), €9 (4 bed dorm.), €17 double (price per room)More information
A cheap hostel with a great vibe. Friendly staff, with a good restaurant and situated perfectly within the oasis.
Prices range from: €8 for a dorm