Huacachina is a small village situated close to the city of Ica, which is south of Lima. This desert oasis is a big tourist draw, not only because it is quite pretty but also due to it being surrounded by massive sand dunes that rise up as soon as the tarmac and buildings stop.
The legend of the lagoon is that it was formed as a young princess fled after being disturbed by a hunter whilst she was bathing. These days it is princess free and supplemented by a local water supply, after running pretty dry due to nearby wells and the creation of the not so sustainable hotels and restaurants in the village.
The most popular activity in Huacachina is the adrenaline fueled dune buggy ride and sand boarding. We went with PeruHop and paid around US$10 each for a couple of hours of whizzing around the dunes as if they were a roller coaster. There was a slightly worrying moment where our driver disappeared under the car with a spanner and didn’t emerge quickly, fortunately we were not stranded on the dunes and we all hopped back in for some more screaming and face sand blasting. The sand boarding was terrifying, and our driver seemed to pick the steepest dunes he could find for us to fly down. A month later and I am still finding sand in places I never knew possible and Pinion is constantly shaking her trainers out.