Huacachina, pronounced as ‘Waka-Tjseena’, is a relaxing little town very close to Ica with year-round temperatures of 25 – 30 degrees. The wall of sand surrounding this town is jaw-dropping, to say the least, and also makes it extra hot during the day so it’s recommended to drink a lot of water and use enough sunscreen.
Swimming in the lagoon
Swimming in the lagoon is possible however, it doesn’t look very inviting, so you might want to take a paddleboat instead.
Restaurants in Huacachina
This desert oasis in Peru is not great when it comes to restaurants. There are basically two fine options; Casa de Bamboo and Wild Olive. Please note: there are no ATM’s in Huacachina.
Things to do in Huacachina
There is not much to do in this city. Plan to spend one or two nights here depending on if you can still see the sunset during your first night.
Buggy Tour in Huacachina
Every day at 4 PM, the dune buggy tours leave town to fly over the large dune tops into a never-ending desert of sand. If that wasn’t a big enough adrenaline rush for you, you will be given the option to sandboard down the dunes. Book your tour online.
Good to know: It is best to sit during sandboarding as injuries tend to happen often while standing.
Climb the dune for a magical sunset
Experience a memorable sunset in Huacachina on top of the highest sand dunes of South America. Make your way all the way to the top by foot in a 15-minute climb. The dune behind Wild Olive Restaurant is the best option to climb as the dune buggy tours are not allowed there.
If this sounds great to you, we recommend going for this more travel environmentally friendly option.
Ica in Peru is just 10 minutes from Huacachina and is very well-known for its vineyards and national drink; Pisco. Learn everything about the process of making Pisco and its history of it during a Pisco vineyard tour. Pisco is a sweet wine and therefore not that popular in countries like Italy or Spain. You have got to taste Pisco when you are in Peru. Spoiler alert: We were positively surprised!
How to get to Huacachina, Peru
Huacachina is around 5 hours by bus from Lima and from Paracas, it is just 45 minutes. There is no public transport going to Huacachina, but you can get there via a short taxi ride from Ica. Hop-on / Hop-off bus services in Peru are the easiest and best form of transport.
Where to stay Huacachina, Peru
There is a good selection of accommodations in Huacachina. During high-season (June to August) most hostels and hotels will be full. It’s recommended to book ahead or spend the night in Ica.
In Huacachina, get accommodation with a nice pool so you will be fully relaxed for the upcoming overnight night bus ride to Arequipa.