Date of stay: Oct 2011
Where you stayed: Hotel Curasi
Travelled with: Wife
Tour or pre planned: Pre-planned
Huacachina is definitely worth a visit on your Peruvian adventure, and makes a fantastic stop in between Lima and Arequipa if you are travelling overland.
It’s a small town surrounded by huge sand dunes, dotted with palm trees and features a lagoon at its centre. There is not a lot to do in Huacachina, but that’s the whole point. Most will say 1 day is enough, but I’d allow 2 days just so you can chillout, relax and take in your surroundings. There really is nothing quite like this place in the world (that I’ve been to anyway).
We stayed at a place called Hotel Curasi, which is the first place you hit as you enter the town on the road from Ica. It is well located right by the lagoon, has nice spacious rooms, good food at the hotel restaurant and a great swimming pool. There’s nothing quite like swimming in a pool surrounded by sand dunes. However, our room didn’t have locks on the windows, so it didn’t feel completely secure.
The reason many people come here is to do a spot of sandboarding on the dunes, and there’s no better way to do this than to book a late afternoon dune buggy/sandboarding tour, We did this with our hotel, and it only cost 35 soles each. They usually run from 4-6pm.
You’ll be treated to a fast and exhilarating dune buggy ride, somewhat like a rollercoaster; with twists, turns and jumps. The tour is also worth it for the views alone, as there are sand dunes as far as the eye can see. It seems like they are endless.
You’ll stop off at several points where you can sandboard which is a lot of fun, and at the end you’ll be treated to a sunset while sitting atop one of the tallest dunes, as well as a view over Huacachina itself on the way back.
A couple of pointers for the trip: Bring sunglasses as when you’re screaming around in the dune buggy you won’t get the wind and sand in your eyes. Also close your mouth when you slide head first down on the dunes on your board!
A good spot for food and drinks is a place called Desert Nights, right next to Hotel Curasi. They have ice cold beer, great shakes and free wifi (computers are also at the back).
One final thing I should mention, the bus station you’ll arrive in is in Ica, but you can jump into any taxi and pay only 5-7 soles for the 10min journey to Huacachina.
Feel free to drop a comment or question below if you like and I’d be happy to respond.
Points to highlight:
We didn’t expect too much from Huacachina, but it delivered much more than we thought. Definitely include this in your itinerary if you want to experience something completely different. The surroundings are out of this world and the crazy ride around the dunes will be one of the highlights of your entire trip to Peru.
Would you recommend this destination: Yes
Would you recommend your accommodation: Yes
Overall rating: 4/5