One of the funniest excursions I did in Peru was to visit the Paracas desert aboard a buggy, sandboard in the dunes and finish the visit contemplating the Oasis of Huacachina in the middle of the desert.
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Touring the Paracas Desert in Buggie
I arrived in Ica after being hiking in Paracas. Visiting the Ballestas Islands, seeing a lot of birds and even penguins! I arrived in Huacachina, about 3 pm, after lunch and waited until about four o’clock to start the buggy tour through the desert.
The buggy is a vehicle that is ready to travel the desert dunes without problems. The drivers make it very fun and you feel the adrenaline flow!
Before I got on the buggy I asked what was the best place to sit. I was told that if I wanted to feel more adrenaline I would sit in front. And that’s what I did, I sat in front and at the “door”. There was another place in the middle, but in the door it’s cooler! Especially when the driver turned right.
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The driver/guide made the tour of the dunes of the Ica desert a lot of fun. We climbed quite high dunes, made turns that looked like the buggy was going to flip over, especially when it was turning to the right, it looked like it was going to stamp me against a dune! He even told us that all the drivers, including him, had ever overturned!
In the buggy we would go about 10 people (I think) almost all couples and the truth that I think I was lucky, because they were all very nice, until I stayed to eat the next day in Nasca (Nazca) with the three who the next day made the Nasca lines.
What surprised me, but in a negative way, was to see how much rubbish there was in the desert. I couldn’t believe the desert was dirty! There’s only supposed to be sand, but there was too much of the people who travel, there were a lot of bottles, bags, plastics, I felt quite sorry.
Sandboarding in the dunes of Ica
After a while of spinning up and down the dunes. We made a stop to make our first sand-board descent. I’m going to be honest, at first I was a little scared, I was feeling like I was going to end up with my head buried in the sand. But because the guide was quite insistent and to see that everyone was thrown and nothing happened, but quite the opposite, they loved it, I threw myself and it was great.
The first dune was like with waves and, of course, being the first seemed difficult, it gave the feeling that you were going to overturn and end up eating sand. As those in my group didn’t have much experience in snowboarding or snowboarding, we threw ourselves with our chests leaning on the board and head down.
When you caught the trick, you could pick up a lot of speed. When you were already scared and it seemed easier, we encouraged ourselves to stand on smaller dunes, but there I finished my ass and the sand is pretty hard! But anyway, it was a lot of fun for me.
Of all that we were, in the end, the last dune, the highest of all, there were three of us who threw ourselves. They made me this video where you can see a little how high the dune was and the speed that is reached.
Visit the Huacachina oasis in the middle of the desert
When the tour is over, the icing on the cake is to see the huacachina oasis from the top of a dune. It’s like in the movies, that oasis idea they sell you. A place full of vegetation with a small lake and surrounded by sand everywhere, but with some constructions.
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When I arrived in Huacachina I visited the oasis, but from there, being in the oasis does not appreciate as from above, although you can cool off or have a drink in the beach bars around it or buy something from one of the street vendors in the area. The truth is that it’s much more impressive to see it from above, especially if you’ve never seen one. And if you stay to sleep there or if your bus leaves later, you can take advantage and watch the sunset in the desert.
How to get Ica
To get to the huacachina oasis there are several options, as I did, hiring an excursion that included Paracas and Ica, by bus or rental car (this is the option I would least recommend). Or hiring the tours separately.
Here are the excursions of Civitatis, which are the ones I always use, but they were not at the time that I made my trip, so if you hire with them tell me your experience!
If you want to do everything for free, it is your thing to go by bus from Lima or Paracas if you are going to make your tour of Peru in a southerly direction. Buses are pretty cheap and good usually. And once you arrive at the oasis of Huacachina you hire the buggy tour with sand-board. When you are going to hire an excursion ALWAYS ask in various places!
Where to sleep in Ica
If you liked it very much and want to sleep in Ica, you have these options.
What I did was take the bus from 7.20pm and go to Nasca (Nazca), because the next day I wanted to fly over the famous lines of Nasca early, but that’s another story and I tell you in the next chapter 😉
Prepare your Trip to Peru
- 12-day Peru Itinerary
- Best things to do in Cuzco
- How to get to Machu Picchu on your own
- Best Travel Insurance for your trips
- Visit Loreto and the Amazonas
- How to Prevent Altitude Sickness
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