Huacachina Oasis in Peru

Huacachina Oasis in Peru


Huacachina is located in the desert of Ica, 350 km south of Lima. It is a charming town built around a natural oasis. It is made up of a collection of resorts and restaurants around an emerald lake, surrounded by huge sand dunes.

According to tradition, its waters had curative properties; therefore, in 1940, Huacachina became a popular beach resort. Today, although its population is around 100 people, it is a tourist destination of great interest for national and international tourists. In the town you will also find some small stores selling souvenirs and local products, many hotels and hostels with varied prices, as well as several places to eat.

How to get to Huacachina?

From Lima to Ica, the bus trip takes between 4 to 5 hours and the ticket costs approximately 40 soles. Once in Ica, the trip to Huacachina takes 10 minutes by cab. Drivers at the bus terminal will charge you around 10 soles.

You will not need further transportation once you arrive. The town of Huacachina is small and visitors can walk from one end to the other in a few minutes.

When is the best time to visit Huacachina?

Huacachina is a perfect destination any time of the year. The weather is always very sunny and warm during the day, with an average of 25 degrees. February and March are the hottest months. You will only feel the difference in the weather at night: during the winter, the night temperature can drop to 14 degrees. 

What to do near Huacachina?

The main attractions in town are sandboarding and sandcar rides. Both activities are best done as part of an organized tour. There are numerous reputable agencies in Huacachina that offer these tours.

Buggy rides: sand car rides

These are considered by many to be the most exciting activity in Huacachina. Fans of adventure sports and roller coasters will find that taking a sandbox ride is an essential component of a trip to southern Peru. Most hotels and hostels in Huacachina offer these rides, usually between 30 and 45 soles. Most sand buggy tours last two hours, which includes approximately one hour of boarding in the sand.

Between 4 and 4:30 p.m. is probably the best time of day for a buggy ride, as the sun is bright enough to illuminate the landscape without causing sunburn. Sometimes, drivers will take passengers to lookout points to catch a glimpse of the beautiful desert sunset.


Similar to snowboarding, except that it is practiced on sand instead of snow. Sandboarding tours usually include a sandboarding stop, but you can also rent a board on the streets for a few soles. 

Sliding down a dune on the sand brings an incredible sensation. If you are not very experienced, it is advisable to ride the sandboard as if it were a sled, upside down on your stomach. This allows a very simple and very fast descent through the dunes.

Where to eat and drink?

There are many restaurants around town and one of the best options is Desert Nights Youth, located on the boulevard of Huacachina. This is a hostel but it also has a restaurant where they serve excellent food and drinks that you can enjoy with an incredible view of the lagoon.

La Casa de Avinoam, the restaurant located in the Hostal Carola del Sur, has delicious thin crust pizzas. Prices range from 20 soles for a personal pizza to 50 soles for a large family size pizza.

For those looking for tasty foreign food, head to La Casa de Bamboo, located in a small lot between Carola del Sur and Hosteria Suiza. There they serve a tasty Thai curry, an exquisite falafel (popular with Arab and Israeli travelers), as well as other foreign and Peruvian dishes.

Other options

Most of the larger hotels have their own bars, including Casa de Arena and El Huacachinero. One of the only bars not associated with a hotel is Da Silva House, located next to Casa de Arena. Cocktails there cost between 10 and 15 soles, and the owner prepares many types of mixed drinks and cocktails.

Nightlife in Huacachina

Huacachina is characterized by its party atmosphere, with discos, bars and hostels adapted just for backpackers who like nightlife. In fact, the inhabitants of Ica often travel to the city just to go out for the night.

There are a few bars around the oasis where you can go and have fun, and on weekends, Huacachina's most famous disco opens inside the Casa de Arena hostel. Next door, The Pub is a great restobar, owned by the same owners of Desert Nights.

Where to stay?

Casa de Arena, a popular backpacker complex with a pool, restaurant, bar and a disco. Rooms are simple, service is personal and, like most "party hostels," it's noisy. It offers great buggy and sandboard tours with discounts for clients.

Desert Nights is another good option for those on a budget. It is a hostel that is excellently located near the entrance to Huacachina. It is popular because it is clean and affordable and has a restaurant with tasty food. The dormitory rooms cost about 20 soles per person.

Hotel Mossone. Exclusive lodging located in an old colonial hacienda in Huacachina, overlooking the oasis. Prices here range from US$80 to US$150. The hotel has its own swimming pool and restaurant. Definitely the best accommodation in Huacachina, but probably not the ideal choice for backpackers or young travelers.

Hotel Las Dunas. Exclusive lodging located in a quiet neighborhood about 7 minutes from Huacachina. It is the nicest and most expensive hotel in the area, with huge swimming pools, large gardens, llamas and alpacas roaming the grounds.

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