Sandboarding at Huacachina

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Huacachina, Peru

Sandboarding at Huacachina Reviews

Nana_gincin Nana_gin…
71 reviews
Buggies and Sanboarding at Huacachina Dec 22, 2013
Una vez con la barriguita llena y el corazón contento, nos dirigimos a la Huacachina, que es un oasis en medio del desierto iqueño, a 5 km del centro de la ciudad. De aguas color verde esmeralda, surgió debido al afloramiento de corrientes subterráneas y alrededor de ella hay una abundante vegetación compuesta de palmeras, eucaliptos (especies introducidas) y huarango (o algarrobo), la que sirve para el descanso de las aves migratorias que pasan por esta región. Se hizo muy famosa a partir de 1920 entre la aristocracia de la época, en 1940 se construyeron hoteles, el malecón y entre los años 70's hasta mediados de los 90's fue olvidado cayendo en un profundo deterioro. Felizmente ha sido recuperada, las casas reconstruidas y luce nuevamente su esplendor, contando con sol todo el año.

Qué significa Huacachina?, pues cuenta la leyenda que cerca de este lugar vivía una joven princesa incaica conocida por todos como Huacca-China (la que hace llorar). Era una princesa de ojos verdes, cabellera dorada y que cantaba de una manera extraordinaria hasta el punto que todo aquel que escuchaba su melodía lloraba, la princesa tenía un secreto y es que su corazón tenía dueño, un valeroso guerrero que falleció en batalla y por eso ella buscaba un rincón donde llorar y encontró un árbol de huarango al pie del que hizo un hueco donde hundir el dulce nombre de su amor. Cierta vez el hueco frente al árbol empezó a llenarse de agua tibia en la que la princesa sumergió su blanca desnudez. Cuando salió del baño, se envolvió en la sábana y al verse en su espejo, descubrió un espía, un cazador, que al ver su belleza, quedó prendado de sus encantos, viniéndose como un sátiro, hacia ella.

La princesa huyó seguida obstinadamente por el cazador entre las dunas y breñas en las cuales iba dejando trozos desgarrados de su manto, que por momentos dejaban ver su desnudez. La sábana quedó enredada en un zorzal y la princesa quedó desolada sin fijarse en nada. Entonces la sábana rota se convirtió en las dunas de arena. Siguió huyendo la princesa con su espejo en alto, cuando quiso dar un salto tropezó y de su puño falto de fuerzas, se escapó el espejo que al romperse se convirtió en laguna y la princesa se transformó en una sirena que en las noches de luna sale a cantar su antigua canción.

La Huacachina es un lugar de esparcimiento ahora, donde se puede disfrutar del recorrido en buggies por las dunas como si fuera una montaña rusa, y el deslizamiento en tabla por la arena. Créanme, si les gusta sentir la emoción, la adrenalina, se van a divertir plenamente.

Mi frustración en esta ocasión, de regreso a Lima el cielo estaba hermosamente limpio, sin nubes, lleno de estrellas ... y no pude hacer ninguna toma decente ... /&%//&$/&%$&$&% ventana grrrr.

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Once the tummy full and a happy heart, we headed to Huacachina, this place is an oasis in the desert of Ica to 5 km from the city center. Emerald-green water, arose due to upwelling and undercurrents around it, there is abundant vegetation composed of palms, eucalyptus (introduced species) and Huarango (or carob), which serves the rest of migratory birds passing through this region. It became very famous after 1920 among the aristocracy of the time, in 1940 were building hotels and the boardwalk, since the 70's until the mid 90's was forgotten falling into a deep decline. Fortunately it has been recovered, reconstructed houses and looks its best again. The sun brights all year.

What Huacachina?, Tells the legend that near it lived a young Incan princess known by all as Huacca-China (whom makes mourn). She was a princess with green eyes, golden hair and sang in an extraordinary way to the point that anyone who listened to his melody crying, Princess had a secret and was that her heart had an owner, a brave warrior who died in battle and then she was looking for a corner to mourn and found a huarango tree at the foot of which made a hole to sink the sweet name of her love. One time the gap against the tree began to fill with warm water in which the princess dipped her white nudity. When she left the bath, wrapped in a sheet and looking in her mirror, discovered a spy, a hunter who saw her beauty, fell in love with its charms, and like a satyr went to her.

The princess fled doggedly followed by the hunter in the dunes and brambles where was leaving her cloak torn pieces, which at times allowed to see her nakedness. The sheet was tangled in a thrush and the princess was devastated at nothing. Then the broken sheet became sand dunes. The princess continued running with her mirror up, when she wanted to jump stumbled and her lacking in strength fist, the mirror breaking became lagoon and the princess became a mermaid in moonlight nights goes escaped to sing her old song.

The Huacachina is now a recreation where you can enjoy the ride in buggies across the dunes like a roller coaster, and the slip in the sand board. Believe me, if you like to feel the excitement, adrenaline, will be fully entertained.

My frustration this time, back to Lima the sky was beautifully clean, no clouds, full of stars ... and I could not make any decent capture ... &/%/&%/$/&$&%$&$ window, grrrrr.
Coming back to Huacachina
Urb. Los Ficus, Ica.
Sand and more sand.
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Nana_gincin says:
And there are many more throughout the country. May!
Posted on: Aug 10, 2014
cotton_foam says:
fascinating story behind it, Nancy!
Posted on: Aug 10, 2014
Nana_gincin says:
Thanks Vikram and Jim, something I discover about my land is always there is a history behind the story :P
Posted on: Dec 26, 2013
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sepilokfui sepilokf…
47 reviews
Happiness from the Adrenaline Rush Jul 23, 2012
I took the Sandboarding package from the Desert Nights Hostel for 30Soles in May 2010. I have done sandboarding to Gobi desert in 2004, but nothing like in Huacachina, Peru.

The secret is the sand dunes. The sand dunes here are constantly changing with the strong wind and go as high up as 120M. The hostel took us on a buggy ride, very fun as you can see the desert so well. The driver and instructor will always start you off in a lower dune like 20M, then worked you up to 120M. They will take you upto 8 times sandboarding and instruct you exactly how you should post, grip and react to the sand, the downward glide and if you go on spinning.

This is the cheapest and funnest Epinephrine (adrenaline) generation you can get. ;-) don't miss it!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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yadilitta yadilitta
723 reviews
Sandboard & Buggy in Huacachina Mar 07, 2009
If you are in Lima and look for a closer place to enjoy and make something different, think about Huacachina.

It'd take just a few hours for you to arrive there. Don't worry about booking a tour in Lima, there are plenty of tour operators there. I'm writing a review of the one we took, which was very good and safe!

You can take a tour in the morning or in the afternoon. You are in the middle of the desert, so try to avoid going around noon. We went early in the morning, but would love to go for the sunset.

The dunes are amazing. You definitely feel in the middle of nowhere and very tiny...

Riding the buggy is an awesome experience, you'll enjoy it. And the sandboard is so much fun! You can do it either stand up or laying over your stomach, which is so easy...

Just expect to come back with tons of sand, hahaha.

One recommendation, wear pants or capris, since the sand might be hot. Also snickers are highly recommended. Don't forget your sunglasses and protect your camera from the sand.
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yadilitta says:
Yes, it is. Sure you have to try it when you are in Peru :)
Posted on: Mar 14, 2009
Flyinhigh says:
Also, had to bookmark this for my Peru trip!
Posted on: Mar 14, 2009
Flyinhigh says:
I have never heard of this but it sounds like tons of fun!!
Posted on: Mar 14, 2009
Raches Raches
25 reviews
Jun 03, 2006
The ¨thing¨ to do in Ica is go to Huacachina, a little oasis about 7 minutes outside of Ica, which is surrounded by sand dunes and where you can go sandboarding. I went in search of a tour agency because I wasn´t sure if you could just rock up to the dunes and pay for the sandboarding there. I found Angel Tours and spoke to Angel himself, who takes the tours. There are basically two tours: the standard US$15 2-hour tour which includes a dune buggy ride and sandboarding down various dunes, and a US$45 tour that includes the whole sandboarding experience plus lessons on the north side, and a tour of a local winery (bodega). I was tempted to do the latter tour, but thought getting drunk on my own with a slightly dubious tour guide would not be a good idea. I also didn´t want to go sandboarding by myself - even if that meant one-on-one lessons. It´s hard to explain, but I wanted to be part of that whole touristy gringo experience, at least for this experience. I ended up going to another travel agency recommended by the hostal.

When I turned up at the scheduled time, 4pm (so your sandboarding experience can include the sunset), I was the only one being shepherded into the taxi and I had a moment of mild panic – maybe I was going to be on my own. But as soon as we reached Huacachina, my tour guide (I think) flagged down a passing dune buggy full of gringos and ushered me on it. And then we were off.

The buggies, from what I saw, come in two varieties: a gigantic squarish monster of a vehicle and a sort of new-age helmet-shaped metal cage. Ours was the monster vehicle, but a lot of fun to ride in – and the ride really is like a rollercoaster, with the driver taking sharpish turns in the sand, and deliberately driving up big hills just to speed down them and make us scream. I felt sorry for the guys in the group, as the seatbelt that goes over the head clips to a belt that comes up between your legs. Ouch.

The dune buggies more or less go to the same places and it feels pretty planned out, ie. No risk of crashing into another buggy coming over the dune in the other direction. We stopped at certain lookout points to take photos – of Huacachina, of the oasis (no lagoon, as it´s dried out), of distant Ica, of the sun setting over the dunes. In between, we did our sandboarding – starting with a hill about 10m high. Now, I´ve never been skiing before, let alone snowboarding, so I have no experience going down steep hills on things meant to go fast. The boards are wooden with Velcro foot straps which were predictably too big for me. The guide waxed the back of the boards every time we went down; I´m not sure how much difference this makes.

I´m told snowboarding is very different, because some way or another you can get down the sand dune, and it´s easier to stop and fall on sand than it is on snow. After my first couple of runs on the 10m hill, I was ready to declare sandboarding my hidden talent, until we got to a hill more than twice the height and I managed to foot wrestle the dune and end up with sand in my mouth about 10 times. However, I had a nice run down a shorter but steeper hill which ended up in a spectacular stack, prompting the others to ask if I was ok (I was). You can go really fast on the boards, which usually provoked an instinctive reaction to slow down, which usually ended up in me falling. For people who are scared, it´s recommended to go on your stomach the first time, although you end up going a hell of a lot faster and straighter than everyone else and it´s not recommended on the really big or really steep hills.

As a ¨thing to do¨ in Ica/Huacachina, I highly recommend sandboarding, and at US$15 for the 2 hours, it´s worth doing again if you have the time. Just make sure you have access to a good shower afterwards, as you´ll end up with sand in places you didn´t even know you had. Sunglasses are essential. Also bring a camera, as the dunes are amazing and otherworldly, and if you go at sunset (recommended) you´ll get to see some lovely dusk colours over the dunes.
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