Huacachina Oasis Peru: Our detailed 2017 guide from how to get there, where to stay, how to sandboard on the sand dunes and more!
Huacachina Brief Summary:
- Located 4 hours south of Lima, close to the city of Ica.
- South America’s ONLY desert Oasis.
- Largest sand dunes in South America.
- Home of the best Dune Buggy and Sandboarding Tours in South America.
Below we have created our extensive guide to Huacachina based on our expert local knowledge having helped to transport over 30,000 tourists here since our formation in 2013.
Huacachina Guide Contents:
1. How to get to Huacachina – Compare transportation options.
2. Must do in Huacachina– A list of the most popular activities for travellers.
3. Must see in Huacachina– The sights you cannot miss.
4. Huacachina safety tips– Safety issues to be aware of.
5. Where to stay in Huacachina– The best hotel/hostel options.
6. Photo Gallery – A few of the best photos of Huacachina.
How to get to Huacachina
How to get to Huacachina:
- Public bus to Ica and then a taxi to Huacachina
- Peru Hop bus directly to Huacachina
Peru Hop is the only direct bus to Huacachina. Our buses go from Cusco to Huacachina and Lima to Huacachina.
If taking a public bus, you would need to take a bus from Lima to Ica or Cusco to Ica. Once in Ica, you would need to find a local taxi to then take you to the oasis of Huacachina. To leave Huacachina, you would need to do the same. The Lonely Planet currently states that this is the only way to get to Huacachina, but actually Peru Hop buses have the necessary license to enter directly to the oasis, so you can avoid the hassle of taking any taxis to and from Ica. We have buses in all directions, from Huacachina to Paracas and Lima or from Huacachina to Nazca, Arequipa or even Cusco.
Must do in Huacachina
Must do in Huacachina:
- Sandboarding and Dune Buggying in Huacachina.
- Pisco vineyard tour. (Free Peru Hop tour)
- Walk around the city of Ica.
This tiny village is home to less than 1,000 local people, but every day fresh influxes of backpackers arrive to do one of THE must-do activities in Peru…sandboarding down the famous Huacachina dunes! The local guides take backpackers on a tour of these dunes on incredibly powerful (and safe!) dune buggies, flying over large humps in what seems to be a never-ending desert of sand. This in itself is awesome, but it gets even better as tourists have the option to sandboard down some of these huge dunes! This can be exciting as well as nerve racking and often you will end up with a face full of sand but it’s nothing a quick shower won´t fix! Snowboarding is world famous, but sandboarding is harder, faster and much much cheaper…an absolute must do for anybody who visits Huacachina.
As well as Huacachina, Ica is also famous for its Pisco and wine vineyards. Pisco is the national drink of Peru, and Ica is often called the home of Pisco. We take you to a Pisco vineyard tour where you will discover the history of Pisco, see how it is made, as well as getting to try a few samples of this deliciously refreshing drink. Peruvians are very proud of their Pisco and you simply cannot come to Ica without having a few glasses of Pisco!
Must see in Huacachina
Must see in Huacachina:
- Visit the dunes in the late evening so as to see the sunset.
The incredible view of the sunset from the sand dunes is one you should not miss if you make it to Huacachina. Climb up the dunes on foot or catch the sunset at the end of a dune buggy tour.
Huacachina safety tips
Huacachina safety tips:
- Huacachina is very small, try to bring cash with you as there are NO ATM outlets.
- Bring sunscreen, it is nearly always sunny and hot.
- Beware of pickpockets and never carry your passport/credit card unless 100% necessary.
- If you take a public bus and get off in Ica, be VERY careful about what taxi you take to Huacachina. Many taxis in Ica have been known to take people to hotels that they have deals with, or try to scam tourists in other ways, so take extra care if you do have to take a taxi from Ica to Huacachina.
Where to stay in Huacachina
Where to stay in Huacachina:
Below are some of the most popular places to stay in Huacachina. Remember that all Peru Hop passengers get special discounts and prices. For more information see our hotel/hostel discounts page.
Casa de Arenas:
Description: The best hostel in Huacachina, with large swimming pool and bar.
Facilities: Swimming pool, bar, Wi-Fi.
Issues: On weekends it can be noisy due to the nightclub located behind the hostel.
NEW: Private ensuites with TV just 80 soles.
NOTE: Shared bathrooms in Casa Arenas are sometimes dirty (as they are used by everyone using the swimming pool) so we strongly recommend paying a little extra for the rooms with private bathrooms.
Casa de Bamboo:
Description: Quiet option, family atmosphere, peaceful and good food options. (vegan food available).
Facilities: Small bamboo-made bar, free Wi-Fi.
Excellent for: Basically all travellers.
Issues: No swimming pool!
How to Book: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curasi 3-Star Hostel with Oasis View:
Description: Hostel accommodation with beautiful views of the oasis.
Facilities: Private rooms, pool, excellent breakfast.
Excellent for: Those who want more upmarket facilities and a peaceful place.
Description: Nice 3-star hotel with comfortable rooms and central pool.
Facilities: Swimming pool, Wi-Fi, restaurant, bar, TV cable, hot water.
Additional: They offer upgraded rooms with nicer views and more facilities on them (40% more than normal prices).
Excellent for: Those looking for private rooms with a relaxed environment.
How to Book: Email email@example.com.
Overall, Huacachina is definitely the recommended place to stay in Ica and may even become your favourite destination in South America…it is simply that beautiful!