ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HUACACHINA ICA – DESERT OASIS IN PERU

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Huacachina Ica is one of my favourite destinations in all of Peru! This incredible desert oasis truly is a remarkable vista which has recently become an internet legend thanks to everyone’s favourite app, Instagram!

I spent 24 hours at Huacachina Oasis and have put together this guide with everything you need to know about visiting this Peru oasis including how to get to Huacachina, things to do and best places to stay!

 

Wondering what Camera & Photography Gear I use while backpacking around the world? Click Here to view my gear list and essential travel items that I recommend for your next adventure!

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WHERE IS THE HUACAHINA OASIS

Hucachina is located in the southwestern region of Peru approximately 300km south of Lima, Peru’s capital city. Huacahina is the name of the village which is built around a small oasis surrounded by enormous sand dunes. Ica is the name of the nearby city that’s just 5kms away from the Huacahina Oasis.

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HOW TO GET TO HUACACHINA

The best way to reach Huacachina Ica is by bus. The most reputable bus company in Peru that I discovered to be the most comfortable and reliable is Peru Hop. They offer many different bus routes and itineraries throughout Peru and Bolivia and I highly recommend travelling with them.

For this particular trip, there is a bus from Lima to Huacachina that departs daily and the journey time is around 4-hours.

Another popular route for reaching Huacachina Ica is from Arequipa, a city in the south of Peru. There are daily buses from Arequipa to Huacachina and the journey time is around 14-hours, with a stop for lunch.

Click Here to visit the Peru Hop website for more information and to book your bus tickets online.

HUACACHINA ICA TOURS

If you decide you want to book a Huacachina Tour as opposed to a self-guided trip, you can check out what itineraries are available on the Get Your Guide website. 

Get Your Guide has many different Huacachina Tours on offer which includes transport, sandboarding and buggies in the Huacachina sand dunes and even a boat tour to nearby islands in Paracas.

Click Here to search for all Huacachina Tours and book online ahead of time!

Drone shot of Huacachina Ica – Peru Oasis

THINGS TO DO IN HUACACHINA

Depending on what time you arrive in Huacachina Ica, the first thing you’re going to want to do is head down to South America’s ONLY natural desert oasis which is just a short walk from anywhere inside the village. Peruvian legend has it that the Huacachina Oasis was created when a native princess stripped naked to bathe, but after looking in a mirror she spotted a male hunter approaching her from behind. She fled the area leaving her mirror behind which turned into a lake. It is rumoured that the princess still resides in the bottom of the Huacachina Oasis as a mermaid.

Swimming in the Huacachina Ica Oasis is definitely possible and locals believe the water and mud to be therapeutic, ridding those of arthritis, asthma and bronchitis.  If you’re not game for a swim or mud scrub, simply relax on the sandy shores of the oasis or rent one of the paddle boats to take out onto the lagoon.

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THINGS TO DO IN HUACACHINA ICA – CONTINUED…

Sandboarding down the mammoth Huacachina sand dunes is another one of the best things to do when visiting this amazing Peru oasis. Some accommodations offer complimentary sandboards for guests to use otherwise you can rent them from the locals in town. Grab a board, hike for around twenty minutes to the top of the highest dune and take the plunge!

Once you’re all done with sandboarding you can jump in one of the dune buggies with an experienced driver and zap around the desert dunes of Huacachina Ica. Be sure to pack your GoPro, or something of the like, to capture all the action. A Huacachina dune buggy tour will set you back around $25.

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Another one of the best things to do in Huacachina is watching the sunrise or sunset from the top of the nearest sand dunes. I was amazed at the amount of cloud movement going on when I hiked to the top for sunrise one morning, watching them sweeping in and around the oasis, up and over the dunes and into the oblivion. Watching the sunrise at Huacachina Ica was by far the best moments that I enjoyed most during my visit to this majestic desert oasis!

When the sun goes down at Hucachina Ica Peru the bars and restaurants come to life. Huacachina sure loves to party and almost every night of the week you can finding a cranking bar with good music and cheap drinks, usually kicking off at around 11pm. There is no shortage of restaurants dotted around the oasis offering just about everything from classic Peruvian dishes to pizza and pasta. Try getting into a restaurant in time for happy hour, kick back and reminisce on how epic your day just was!

Search All ∼ Huacachina Hotels & Hostels

Dune buggying at Huacachina Ica Peru

WHERE TO STAY IN HUACACHINA

Huacachina has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my favourite places to stay in Huacachina to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travellers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

Luxury: Hotel El Huacachinero

  • Located right in the heart of Huacachina Oasis close by to bars and restaurants. This hotel features a swimming pool, restaurant and free wifi. The rooms have private bathrooms, cable TV, air-conditioning and an American breakfast is included.

Click Here to check availability and rates at Hotel El Huacachinero.

Mid Range: Desert Nights Ecocamp

  • Desert Nights offer glamping at its finest! Located on the edge of the dunes and minutes walk to the town in Huacachina, this Ecocamp features a restaurant, shared kitchen, bar, garden, swimming pool and an outdoor terrace for guests to enjoy! Book a night in one of the luxury tents which also includes free wifi and a continental breakfast.

Click Here to check availability and rates at Desert Nights Ecocamp.

Budget: Wild Olive Guest House

  • Centrally located in the Huacachina Oasis, this guesthouse features a restaurant, shared kitchen, shared lounge and free wifi. Wild Olive has shared dorm rooms, private double rooms and family rooms available at an affordable price. Perfect for travellers on a budget!

Click Here to check availability and rates at Wild Olive Guest House.

For all other Huacachina accommodation, Click Here to search on Booking.com.


Booking.com

HUACACHINA ICA MAP

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Thanks for reading this article and if you have any questions at all about the Huacachina Oasis in Peru please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Happy Travels! ?

MORE PERU

If you are planning a trip to Peru, be sure to check out my other travel guides below that you might find useful while putting together your Peru Itinerary:

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