HUACACHINA ICA – COMPLETE GUIDE TO PERU’S DESERT OASIS

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Huacachina Ica is one of my favorite 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 favorite app, Instagram!

I have put together this complete guide of Huacachina Ica Oasis with everything you need to know including how to get to Huacachina, things to do at Huacachina Ica and where to stay!

 

Have you got travel insurance for Peru? I know that nobody likes to talk about this stuff but accidents can happen and having World Nomads Insurance can save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. 

 

WHERE IS HUACAHINA ICA

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.

Search All ∼ Huacachina Hotels & Hostels

 

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 traveling 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 ICA

Depending on what time you arrive in Huacachina Ica, the first thing you’re going to want to do is head over to South America’s ONLY natural desert oasis which is just a short walk from anywhere inside the village.

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 camera to capture all the action. A Huacachina dune buggy tour will set you back around $25.

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Dune buggying at Huacachina Ica

HUACACHINA ICA – CONTINUED

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

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THE LEGEND OF HUACACHINA ICA

Peruvian legend has it that the Huacachina Ica 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 rumored that the princess still resides in the bottom of the Huacachina Oasis as a mermaid.

Swimming at Huacachina Ica 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.

Book Now → Huacachina Ica Tour

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WHERE TO STAY IN HUACACHINA

Huacachina has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Huacachina to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. 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.

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.

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 travelers on a budget!

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

 

HUACACHINA ICA MAP

Want to travel full-time? ∼ Click Here To Learn How!

 

AIRBNB PERU

Another option for accommodation in Peru is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals in Peru.

Get your $40 Airbnb discount here!

 

MORE PERU TRAVEL GUIDES

Peru Travel Guide: 3 Weeks Peru Itinerary

Cusco Travel Guide: 10 Things To Do In Cusco

Rainbow Mountain Guide: Rainbow Mountain Trek

Machu Picchu Guide: Machu Picchu Mountain

Ausangate Guide: 9 Day Ausangate Trek

Huacachina Guide: Huacachina Oasis

Colca Canyon Guide: Colca Canyon Tour

Lake Titicaca Guide: Lake Titicaca Tour

 

MY CAMERA GEAR

• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii 

• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2

• GoPro: GoPro Hero 8 Black

• Everyday Lens: Sony F2.8 24/70mm

• Camera Bag: Lowepro Protactic 31L

• Selfie Stick: Sandmarc Metal Edition 1.2m 

• Tripod: Joby Flexible GorillaPod

• GoPro Dome: Underwater GoPro Dome

• Power Bank: Anker Powerbank

• External Hardrive: WD Elements 4TB

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR PERU?

• Waterproof Phone Case: Universal Waterproof Case

• Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle

• Rain Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket

• Water Shoes: Slip-on Water Shoes

• Day Bag: Nomatic 20L Day Bag

• Power Adapter: Universal Power Adapter

• Packing Cubes: 4 Set Packing Cubes

• Microfibre Towel: Quick Dry Travel Towel

• Travel Insurance: World Nomads Travel Insurance

• Money Belt: Hidden Money Belt

 

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

Happy Travels!

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