Huacachina

The Huacachina Lagoon is one of the most visited places in Peru and, despite its simplicity, it has an environment full of magic.

An oasis located in the middle of the Ica desert, which until now has become one of the most visited places in the country.

The Huacachina lagoon is located 5 kilometers (almost 10 minutes) from the center of the city of Ica, in the department of the same name in southern Peru. Considered the Oasis of America, the area where the lagoon is located is totally desert and the only existing vegetation is the one that surrounds the water.

The main attractions that this town has, not including its beautiful lagoon, are rides in sand carts and sandboarding. Activities that are mostly carried out as part of an organized tour. However, it is important to look for reputable ones to carry out these tours.

What is Huacachina?

It is a small oasis (the only one in South America) that has a lagoon with green water and that around it there is a great vegetation full of palm trees, huarangos and eucalyptus, etc.

Where is Huacachina located?

It is located 5 km west of the Peruvian city of Ica in the middle of the region’s desert and 350 km south of Lima.

How to get to Huacachina?

You must first arrive in Lima and then you can travel by bus to Ica during a journey that takes between 4 to 5 hours. To check prices and schedules of the buses, click here. Once in Ica, the journey to Huacachina takes 10 minutes by taxi. The drivers at the bus terminal will charge you around 10 soles.

What activities to do in Huacachina?

Practice adventure sports: In this place you can sandboard or ride in sand carts through the dunes, which begin to “spin” through the desert, as if it were a roller coaster.

Activities last approximately two hours and are best done as part of an organized tour. It is very fun to slide down the famous dunes of Huacachina! All agencies and hostels offer these activities. The last departure is recommended at 5pm. to see the sunset. Visit the dunes to see the sunset: You can walk up the dunes to contemplate the incredible view of the sunset or at the end of the buggy tour.

Stroll through the green water lagoon: Its waters have healing properties. There are pedal boat rides through the lagoon. Stroll through the city of Ica and take a tour of the vineyards: Ica is also famous for its Pisco (the national drink of Peru) and its vineyards. You can learn about the history of Pisco, discover how it is made, as well as try some samples of this drink. In addition, during the months of February and March, the International Harvest Festival is held here, where they celebrate the production of pisco.

Where to stay in Huacachina?

There are several hotels that surround the Oasis lagoon, ranging from the cheapest to some of a higher category. Some of the most popular places to stay in Huacachina are: Desert Nights Hostel, La Casa de Bamboo, Hotel Mossone, El Boulevard, Wild Olive Guest House, Banana’s Adventure Hostel, and Hotel El Huacachinero. Many travelers also prefer to stay in the city of Ica instead of Huacachina since the number of accommodations is greater.

Where to eat in Huacachina?

Many lodges have restaurants to eat. One of the best options is Desert Nights Youth, located on the Huacachina boulevard and with an incredible view of the lagoon. At La Casa de Bamboo (located next to the Hostería Suiza) they serve international food ranging from Arabic to Thai food and food suitable for vegetarians and vegans. At Wild Olive Trattoria, located in Mlc. Jose Picasso Perata 154 there are delicious pizzas and Italian food.

Tips for traveling to Huacachina

  • Bring cash as there are no ATMs.
  • Bring sunscreen because it is a very sunny and dry place, sunglasses and a hat to cover yourself. Also wear comfortable slippers to walk on the sand.
  • The oasis can be visited all year round as it rarely rains but if you prefer to avoid the hottest season, the best months are between April and October.
  • If you have enough time to travel to Peru, spending a few hours will give you enough time to enjoy this oasis and take the typical excursions. If your itinerary through the country, on the other hand, allows you, you can stay 2 or 3 days since the night lighting of the oasis is incredible and you can dedicate time to the attractions that are also in its surroundings, such as the Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands.
  • Huacachina is a small town around the lagoon with no more than 10 streets, so to move within there you can do it walking without problems. If for some reason you don’t want to walk there are dozens of motorcycle taxi drivers who will take you for a few soles. Take into account that the SAT (Tax Administration Service) charges $ 3.80 soles for each person’s entry to the Huacachina desert in Buggy.