Paracas, Peru: The Official Information Website

Huacachina, Peru: Know Before You Go – Guide 2024

By Paracas Peru

The Ica region in Peru has unique destinations that deserve to be known by all travelers, one of them is Huacachina, an incredible oasis in the desert that has witnessed the visits of various travelers from around the world in recent years. Peruvians and foreigners alike visit Huacachina to spend relaxing days away from the capital and engage in adrenaline-filled activities in the desert. If you want to know how to get to Huacachina, what to do and see, this guide is for you!

Content of this page:

History of Huacachina:

Huacachina is a beautiful oasis formed by the emergence of underground water, giving life to beautiful vegetation such as palm trees, eucalyptus, and huarangos. It became known among the Lima high society in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that tourism started flourishing, attracting visitors from around the world.

The name of the place comes from a legend about a maiden named Huacca China (“the woman who cries”), who, mourning her Inca warrior lover, turned her tears into the lagoon. One day, she noticed a foreign warrior gazing at her. Frightened, the maiden hid inside the lagoon and when the warrior finally went away, she discovered that she had transformed into a mermaid. Since then, she emerges from the lagoon to weep and enchant travelers visiting the place.

How to get to Huacachina:

There are two options to reach Huacachina. The first is to take a public bus to the city of Ica (there are no direct public buses to Huacachina). From the chosen bus company’s terminal in Ica, take a taxi/transport to Huacachina, which is about 20 minutes away.

The recommended option is to take the Peru Hop bus, which includes hotel/hostel pickup, eliminating the need for taxis to public bus terminals. Furthermore, Peru Hop is the only bus with direct access to Huacachina, saving you money on additional taxi rides to and from Ica city.

Things to Do in Huacachina:

The highlight of Huacachina is the beautiful oasis. Surrounding the area, lush vegetation combined with immense dunes creates a picturesque setting perfect for photos. You can also explore the lagoon by renting a boat, pedaling, and enjoying a ride on the water while appreciating the stunning landscape.

The must-do activity in Huacachina is the buggy and sandboarding tour. Sandboarding is similar to snowboarding but on sand instead of snow. Dune buggies are specially designed vehicles for the sand, providing a roller-coaster-like experience through the desert. ¡The perfect activity for adrenaline enthusiasts!

To book tours while Huacachina, check out the tour comparison website, Find Local Trips. It provides details of itineraries and the best prices for available tours. If you are in Lima and want to do sandboarding, the Peru Hop day trips are highly recommended.

Weather and Best Time to Visit:

Huacachina has a warm and sunny climate throughout the year, with high temperatures during the day. Rainfall is minimal in the area. The warmest months match with the Peruvian summer from January to March. Temperatures at night can drop to around 14°C in winter. However, any time of the year is suitable for visiting Huacachina.

Tips and What to Pack:

If you plan to enjoy the exciting activities in Huacachina, pack like a pro and bring these followings:

  • Lightweight clothing – Huacachina has a warm climate
  • Sunglasses – the sunlight can be intense at certain times of the day
  • Sunscreen – you’ll be exposed to the sun during outdoor activities.
  • Swimsuit – accommodations often have pools
  • Comfortable shoes – needed for climbing the dunes

Some advices you should take into consideration to enjoy your trip the most:

  • Opt for direct transportation to Huacachina to avoid extra taxi expenses
  • Carry local currency (soles); there aren’t many ATMs
  • If participating in a tour, avoid carrying important documents or passports
  • If it’s your first time sandboarding, it’s better to do it lying down on the board