Views 11 May Sand-boarding in Huacachina – Animal spotting on the Ballestas Islands & visiting the wineries of Ica
 |  Category: Adventure Tourism

Huacachina is a beautiful oasis located 5km southwest of Ica. It is a small and attractive lagoon that was traditionally revered for the believed medicinal properties of its waters. Nowadays it is famous for the more exhilarating activities of sand-boarding and dune buggying!

Sand-boarding excursions leave twice a day at either 10am or 4pm, the best option of which is undoubtedly the latter. Not only is the sand markedly cooler underfoot, but after two hours of adrenaline pumping activity you will find yourself soaring across the endless sand dunes with the most beautiful sunset you have ever seen as your backdrop.

The tour begins on the dunes next to the oasis where you climb aboard a ´Wacky Racer´ style buggy and prepare for a speedy ascent up into the dunes. After a rollercoaster ride of dips and turns your driver drops you at the summit of some of the perfectly shapen dunes and you are issued with your sand board, along with a piece of wax to rub on the base of your board for speed increasing purposes!

Sand-boarding in Huacachina

From here on you will spend two hours flying headfirst (or standing up if you have the skills!) down the dunes of the truly stunning landscape of the Peruvian coast. After reaching the base of one dune you will be met by your buggy and taken to the top of another dune, each time getting higher and higher as you become more confident in your sand-boarding ability.

The experience will leave you feeling exhilarated – heart racing and blood pumping. And if the joy of the experience itself isn´t enough, the grains of sand that will remain with you (in literally every place possible) will serve to keep the wonderful memories alive J

The day after our sand-boarding adventure my friend and I were up early to travel to the Ballestas Islands, of the coast of Paracas. Sadly we had no time for a hearty breakfast that morning, and subsequently our speedboat trip to the islands left our tummies feeling slightly worse for wear!

Sand-boarding in Huacachina

On the way to the islands, on the Paracas Peninsula, we saw El Candelabro, a large-scale ´geoglyph´ that may have served as a beacon to mariners in the past. However nobody knows for sure – it is a mystery of ongoing speculation.

Amazing as this was, it was the sight of the animals that really made it all worthwhile. We saw penguins, sea lions and so many birds! Paracas National Reserve itself is home to one of the largest sea-lion colonies in the world, and the Ballestas Islands (just offshore) are an amazing place to see a great variety of marine and bird life.
Around Ica there are several wineries (bodegas) that you can visit. One afternoon we went to two of the most famous ones. Not only did we see how the wine is produced, but also Pisco (the Peruvian national drink). We then had a wine and Pisco tasting session – lots of interesting information and lots of alcohol! J At these wineries you also have the opportunity to purchase wines and various other traditional products. And if you still haven´t had enough wine there are restaurants and bars next to the wineries where yes, you can sample even more…

In summary – this region has a LOT to see and do. Adrenaline pumping sand based adventures, natural wonders in abundance and both educational and simultaneously inebriating alcoholic activites, Huacachina, Ica and Paracas are all definite must-do´s.

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One Response

  1. I seriously love it but it would definitely be even better with more pictures.

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