Surrounded by an immense desert and enormous dunes, the Huacachina Lagoon is a mandatory stop for those seeking fun and adventure.
Among the innumerable tourist attractions that Peru offers, one stands out for its natural charm and scenic beauty. The Huacachina Lagoon, just 20 minutes from the city of Ica, is an ideal place to disconnect from the routine, take a break and, why not, practice some adventure sports.
Known as the 'Oasis of America', here you will find a placid lake surrounded by vegetation, boardwalks and a wide range of hotels to stay and enjoy more than one day of this wonderful refuge. The scenic beauty that this place has to offer tourists is so great that, in 2017, the British media The Telegraph included the Huacachina oasis among the 21 most impressive destinations in the world to visit, the only one in Latin America on the prestigious list.
The stories about the origin of this oasis tell that a beautiful Inca princess known as Huacca China spent her days in this quiet place. This woman had the gift of making whoever crossed her path fall in love with the special sound of her beautiful voice.
On one occasion, when the princess was walking, a man observed her and was dazzled by her beauty, in such a way that she decided to approach her. The princess decided to run away from him. On the way, the lady's suit began to tear in the undergrowth until she finally fell off and became a sheet of sand. She also dropped the mirror that she always carried with her and, when it broke, she was transformed into a lagoon where she submerged and became a mermaid.
Another legend tells that this lagoon was born from the tears of the same princess who cried the death of her lover. From this story originates the name of Huacachina which means "woman who cries" in Quechua.
The access route to Huacachina is through a road of about 5 km. You can choose to take a motorcycle taxi, taxi or tourist bus service from the center of Ica, located 4 hours south of Lima.
It is recommended to visit this wonderful place between February and March, when the weather is hotter, although it is a perfect destination for any time of the year.
The main attractions that this town has, without including its beautiful lagoon, are the rides in buggies and sand boarding. Activities that are mostly carried out as part of an organized tour. However, it is important to look for accredited to carry out these tours.
The famous tour in a sand cart comes to be appreciated as the most exciting activity that can be done in Huacachina. An attraction that will be to the liking of lovers of adventure sports and roller coasters.
It is for this reason that almost all hotels and hostels in this city offer this tour to travelers. Generally, it has a cost of 30 to 45 soles. The duration of the journey is two hours and includes one hour of boarding on the sand.
The best time of the day to do this ride in buggies is between 4 and 4:30 in the afternoon. This is because the sun is bright enough to illuminate the landscape, without causing sunburn. An hour that will also allow you to glimpse the magical sunset of the Pacific desert.
A sport very similar to snowboarding, but that is practiced on the sand. Usually, the routes in buggies incorporate the possibility of going to places where you can practice Sandboarding. However, in case they do not offer it to you, you can change to another agency or rent a board in the streets of Huacachina; Only if you have experience in this sport.
This activity consists of sliding down the huge dunes on the sand. If you haven't done it before, it's recommended that you ride the sandboard as if it were a sled, that is, face down on your stomach. This will allow you to make an easier and faster descent.
The city of Huacachina also has a notable tourist recognition for its party atmosphere. Featuring some interesting clubs, bars and hostels that are perfectly suited to backpackers; who enjoy nightlife.
On many occasions, the inhabitants of Ica travel to Huacachina in order to go out at night. A place where there are several bars around the oasis and that lends itself to the enjoyment of a weekend.
Any season of the year is perfect to visit Huacachina due to its very sunny and warm weather during the day, with an average temperature of 25ºC. However, on winter nights you can feel a clear difference in the environment, since the temperature can be less than 14ºC. It is important to note that February and March are the hottest months in this place.