Huacachina in Peru is one of the many diverse landscapes the country has to offer. A small oasis in the middle of the Peruvian desert.
If you come to Peru this place is a must do!
Besides enjoying breathtaking sunsets from the top of the sand dunes, there are only a few activities to do here, so that 2-3 days within your travel itinerary will already be enough to discover this magic spot.
1. A desert oasis
2. How to get there
3. Things to do in Huacachina
4. Where to stay
A desert oasis
Huacachina, the desert oasis of Peru, is a lagoon located 4 hours south of Lima, close to the city of Ica. It’s surrounded by the highest sand dunes of South America!
It’s a very hot and sunny place with year-round temperatures of 25 – 30 degrees and especially famous for Dune Buggy and Sandboarding (which is loads of fun!)
➳ Tip: Drink enough water and use enough sunscreen!! 🙂
The lagoon is very small and within 10 minutes you surrounded the entire place!
Therefore, the restaurant options in Huacachina are not really great. You have many different ones, but you can expect more expensive prices than usual and the food quality is not the best.
➳ Good to know: There are no ATM’s in Huacachina! Make sure you have enough cash with you before entering the oasis.
How to get there
To get to Huacachina, Peru you need to take two transports:
1. Bus to Ica
There are several buses going from Cusco, Lima, Paracas and Arequipa to Ica.
From Lima it takes about 5 hours by bus.
➳ Tip: I mainly travelled through Peru by bus and booked with Cruz Del Sur and Civa.
The buses are really comfortable, safe and a reliable way to travel easily through Peru.
Traveling with “Cruz Del Sur”.
2. Taxi from Ica to Huacachina
There is no public transport going from Ica to Huacachina, but you can easily take a taxi for 10 soles. It only takes 10 minutes to arrive in the oasis.
Things to do in Huacachina
Huacachina is a very small place and there are only a few activities to do here.
You don’t need more than 2 nights to explore the area and have a good time.
Huacachina from the top.
If there is a place in this world, where you can watch magical sunsets, it’s Huacachina!
From the top of the dunes you have breathtaking views over the desert while the sun is going down drawing beautiful orange colours in the sky.
The way up the sand dunes to the top takes about 15 minutes walking, but is totally worth it.
➳ Tip: The best sand dune for watching the sunset is the one behind “Wild Olive Restaurant”, as the dune buggy tours are not allowed here.
Sand Buggy Tour
Sand Buggy Tours are departing every day and are a must do when in Huacachina!
The sand buggies depart from the town and fly over the large dune tops into a never ending desert of sand.
Full speed over the sand dunes!
It’s a lot of fun and kind of a roller coaster experience!
If that’s not enough adrenaline kick for you, you can mostly combine sand buggy tours with sandboarding tours.
Heading down massive sand dunes with full speed in the middle of the desert?
Huacachina is the place to do that in Peru!
Mostly sandboarding is already included in the Sand Buggy Tour.
When I was standing on the top of the first big sand dune, I was honestly super scared because it was so high! 😀
I couldn’t know that the following ones were even higher!
Overcoming my fear and just speeding down 30 seconds on my sandboard was an unforgettable experience & so worth it.
The landscape is absolutely stunning and beautiful!
➳ Tip: Bring something to cover your mouth (e.g bandana), you’ll get lots of sand in your face. 😀
Swimming in the lagoon is possible, but the water doesn’t look very inviting…
You can take a paddleboat instead and enjoy the views.
You can also walk around the lagoon (only takes about 10 minutes) and explore the few souvenir shops along the way or just enjoy the views.
The only 10 minute from Huacachina located city Ica is famous for its vineyards and national drink “Pisco”, which is a sweet vine.
From Huacachina you can do Pisco Tours, where you can learn everything about the process of making Pisco, the history and of course taste some.
Where to stay
You can find many hostels and guesthouses to stay in Huacachina!
During high season (June to August) they are booked out quickly, so you should make sure to book in advance if you go during that time.
I would recommend to book accommodation with a pool due to the hot weather- you’ll be happy if you can refresh yourself!
Banana’s Adventure Hostel (my favourite)
This hostel is amazing!!
At first sight the price is more expensive than other accommodations in Huacachina, but the advantage is that you get one activity included for FREE per booked night (2 nights = 2 activities).
That means, in the end you actually save money because you don’t pay for the activities.
You can choose between:
*Dune Buggy Tour & Sandboarding
*Pisco Wine Tasting Tour
*Barbecue Dinner & Social Night at hostel
*Ballestas Islands & National Reserve
Also, the breakfast is included in the price.
Banana’s Adventure Hostel.
Besides that the rooms are very clean, they have a pool, an amazing outdoor area for chilling out, a bar with great music and a rooftop where you can overlook the lagune and sand dunes.
From 65 soles per night
➳ Good to know: The food in this hostel is SO delicious! They also have many vegetarian and vegan options.
Click here to book your stay at Banana’s Adventure
Wild Rover Hostel
If you are up for crazy parties in Huacachina, this is the place to be.
Wild Rover Hostel is known as the party hostel in Huacachina offering wild parties every day.
➳ Click here to book your stay at Wild Rover
Wild Olive Guest House
Another accommodation that is recommendable is Wild Olive.
It’s a cozy guesthouse located right next to the lagoon, offering a kitchen, a social atmosphere and a restaurant.
This is a great option for couples or solo travellers who want to stay close to Huacachina’s nightlife, but still get a good night’s sleep.
➳ Read: Amazon Jungle Tour Peru.
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on visiting Huacachina, the desert of Peru! Would it be a place you want to visit one day? Leave your thoughts in the comments!