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Visit the Huacachina Oasis. Buggies & Sand Boarding in Ica, Peru

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.

Touring the Paracas Desert in Buggy

huacachina oasis, peru

I arrived in Ica after hiking in Paracas. Then, visiting the Ballestas Islands, I saw a lot of birds and even penguins!

I arrived in Huacachina at 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 the best place to sit was. I was told to sit in front if I wanted to feel more adrenaline. And that’s what I did; I sat in front and at the “door.”

There was another place in the middle, but at the door, it was cooler! Especially when the driver turned right.

The driver/guide made the tour of the dunes of the Ica desert a lot of fun. We climbed quite high dunes and 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 never overturned!

In the buggy, we would go about 10 people (I think), almost all couples, and the truth is 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 Nazca lines.

But negatively, I was surprised to see how much rubbish there was in the desert.

I couldn’t believe the desert was dirty! Of course, there’s only supposed to be sand, but too many people traveled through the desert because there were many bottles, bags, and plastics. I felt quite sorry.

Sandboarding in the Dunes of Ica

sandboarding in huacachina peru oasis

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: I was a little scared at first. I felt like I would end up with my head buried in the sand, but because the guide was quite insistent and seeing that everyone was throwing themselves and nothing was happening, it was quite the opposite.

They loved it, so I threw myself, which was great!

The first dune looked like waves, and, of course, being the first time I ever sand boarded, it didn’t seem easy.

It gave the feeling that you would overturn and end up eating sand. As those in my group didn’t have much experience in snowboarding or sandboarding, we threw ourselves with our chests leaning on the board, and we had our heads down.

When you caught the trick, you could pick up a lot of speed. When we were already less scared, and it seemed easier, we encouraged ourselves to stand on smaller dunes, but that is where I ended up falling on my ass, and the sand was 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 this video to see how high the dune was and the speed you could reach.

Visit the Huacachina Oasis in the middle of the desert

When the tour was over, the icing on the cake was to see the Huacachina Oasis from the top of a dune. It’s just like in the movies. A place full of vegetation with a small lake and surrounded by sand everywhere, but with some constructions.

When I arrived in Huacachina, I definitely made sure I visited the oasis, but from there, being in the oasis is not as appreciated as from above, even though 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 to Ica

Hire excursion:

There are several options to get to the Huacachina Oasis, 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 I always use, but they were not when I made my trip, so if you hire them, tell me your experience!

By bus:

If you want to do everything for free, it is your thing to go by bus from Lima or Paracas. However, if you are going to make your tour of Peru in a southerly direction, buses are pretty cheap and usually good.

Once you arrive at the oasis of Huacachina, hire the buggy tour with the sand-board activity. When you are going to hire an excursion, ALWAYS ask in various places!

Where to Sleep in Ica

If you like it very much and want to sleep in Ica, you have these options.

What I did was take the bus from 7.20 pm 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’ll tell you in the next chapter 😉

Plan Your Trip to Peru

Last Updated on 21 October, 2023 by Veronica

Disclosure: Some of the links on this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Author: Veronica

Vero, a seasoned traveler, has explored 25 countries and lived in five, gaining a rich perspective and fostering an infectious passion for travel. With a heart full of wanderlust, Vero uncovers the world’s hidden gems and shares insights, tips, and planning advice to inspire and assist fellow adventurers. Join Vero and let the shared passion for travel create unforgettable memories.


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  1. Why do you not recommend renting a car to go to Paracas and Ica? Our group is 6 people and I was thinking of renting a car because of the bus schedule. I checked the tour prices and they would cost a lot for the group. And if I use public transportation I will not get to Ica on time for the boat tour

    1. Hi Eliane,
      If you are used to driving in this kind of crazy traffic, you can go by car. It can be a good option to go in a group with several drivers.
      Please, tell me about your experience when you return from your trip!

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