Riding the dunes in the coastal desert

Huacachina Travel Blog

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Laguna de Huacachina, an oasis in the middle of the coastal desert of Peru.

We came to Huacachina purely for the experience of sandboarding. Just like snowboarding, but on sand, and usually without proper bindings like on snowboards.

Huacachina is an oasis, with a small lagoon as the centre of town, with sand dunes rising steeply away from each side. There are just a handful of restaurants and hotels or hostels, and it is certainly not a place to keep one occupied for more than a day or two.

We decided on an afternoon tour to avoid the worst of the heat, which worked out well. Part of the sandboarding tour was the experience in the dune buggy and that was fun, with some very long and steep dunes that we climbed and descended.

When it came to the sandboarding itself, which I had experienced on a beach in Brazil, it was underwhelming to be honest. You donĀ“t get much speed up, there's little benefit from turning and of course you get sand all over you when you fall over. Worst of all, I got sand in my camera and as it wouldn't open or shut fully, I spent the rest of the time cursing sandboarding and deserts and not enjoying myself. That said, on some of the really big dunes, it was fun to descend lying down on my belly on the board. You really go very fast!

The dune buggy driver finished off with some spectacular runs through the dunes, including one or two descents where sand was blasted back at us, removing a layer or two of skin in the process.

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Huacachina
photo by: yadilitta