Looking for things to do in Peru? Trying to find off the beaten track destinations? Huacachina is nestled in an oasis in the desert. This small town is located west of the city of Ica, located in southwestern Peru. In the center of town is the Huacachina lagoon, surrounded by palm trees and green waters that are believed to have therapeutic properties. The shore of the lagoon is full of bars and nightclubs
Huacachina is comprised of two words – wakay “to cry” and china meaning “young woman.” It is named after the legend of its creation. There are many variations of this legend, but most are centered on the same idea. Legend has it that a young princess named Huacay China fell in love with a warrior who passed away suddenly. Upon hearing of his death, she started to weep and cried so much that it created the lagoon. Another variation of how the lagoon came to be says that the young princess visited her and her lover’s place of meeting after his demise and while looking in the mirror, saw a figure which appeared to be her lover. She was terrified and ran, but dropped the mirror. The mirror then took the form of this lagoon, and Huacay dove in and became a mermaid or a siren that tempts swimmers to this day.
What to do
- Ride on the Dune Buggies
Riding the dune buggy is a great adventure and a good way to explore this region. The dune buggy ride is perhaps the most popular tour in town. You hop on the tubulars and start “spinning” through the dunes of the desert, as if it were a roller coaster. We guarantee some laughs during this activity!
- Take a Boat out around the Oasis
Cruising in a boat around the oasis is a unique and relaxing way to discover the area and admire the sand dunes.
- Go Sandboarding
The steeps and bumps in the dunes provide a great field to go sandboarding. This is a difficult but rewarding activity. The trick is to put the tips of your feet in the sand to reduce speed, although it is best to keep your feet high to catch the maximum speed.
- Visit the Nearby distilleries
Peru’s national drink is Pisco. Discover how this is made along with other brandies and drinks at the artisanal and industrial wineries nearby. Watch the Sunset over Huacachina
- Watch the Sunset over Huacachina
Clustering over the dunes and watching the stunning view seems to be a popular way to spend time in Huacachina.
- See the lines at Nazca
These lines have been a subject of mystery for over 80 years. The lines are known as geo-glyphs – drawings made on the ground discovered by removing land and rocks. Pondering over whether this was a man-made or an alien creation is a great way to spend time in Huacachina. Take a scenic flight over the enigmatic Nazca Lines – you can find depictions of plants, animals, and various other shapes embedded in the land.