Huacachina – A Sandy Oasis in Peru

On New Year’s Eve we took a short taxi from Ica, where we had been staying with a CouchSurfing friend, to Huacachina, a small strange little oasis town encircling a lagoon and surrounded by mountains of sand.

Huacachina, Peru

The two main things to do in Huacachina are sandboarding and dune buggy rides.  If you take the hour-long dune buggy ride, they drop you off at two or three spots to try to sandboards.  Most people do it on their stomachs but you can try on your feet; it’s hard though!



The dune buggy was a GREAT time.  It moves through the sand so fast and when you go over the tops of the dunes, your stomach falls out like on a good roller coaster.  Definitely worth the 35 soles ($12) each.

Near midnight we took a rowboat out on the lagoon and brought in the New Year watching the fireworks.  We really liked this silly little oasis.  It’s a one of a kind experience not to miss on your way through Peru.

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Culture Shock! Would everyone just SHUT UP already????

As I’m typing this, it is 8am on a lazy morning at our downtown hostel in Ica, Perú.  There’s no reason for me to be awake right now, especially since I wasn’t tired last night and didn’t go to bed until around 1am.  And then did I sleep soundly?  No, not really.  Alas, this is a frequent problem in Perú.

Right now, it’s car horns.  Despite being on the 5th floor, having the windows closed, and having a fan blasting, the stupid STUPID taxis and mototaxis and cars and whatever else were so loud all night long that I just tossed and turned.  Zach too, and he’s normally a better sleeper than I am.

A few nights ago, it was dogs barking.  We were Couchsurfing in a “quieter” neighborhood in Ica, however for some reason the dogs just got going and sounded the midnight bark ALL NIGHT LONG.  Plus, it was too hot to close the windows.  Another night of tossing and turning.

And get this!  A few nights ago, on New Years Eve, in Huacachina, our hostel decided to have an all-night-long pool party with an obnoxiously loud DJ right next to our camping spot.  (Do not go to Silva House!  They’re not nice!)  Of course they didn’t feel it necessary to inform us that this would be happening before we set up our tent and paid.  Nor was it necessary to allow us to eat from their tasty NYE buffet for free, despite the fact that we had already paid a ridiculous 40 Soles ($13) for one night of camping!!!!  All this insanity did turn us into quite the grumpy NYE Scrooges.  Oh, and the music.  It definitely didn’t get turned off until 7AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On New Years Day we of course decided to vacate that crazy-land in search of cheaper and more peaceful lodging.  Not before not-so-quietly ridiculing the drunk guy who was in fact asleep sitting up on the edge of the pool until 10am though.  What we found was quite pleasing…an actual bedroom with a bathroom for the same price we had paid for camping!  In the evening we were even serenaded with the lovely sounds of Peruvian flute, guitar, and bongo drums, as the local hippy-vendors gathered to make their jewelry on the street below.  But then, of course, the Peruvian flute band continued, right outside our window, until well past midnight.

Come ON, people!  Obviously, there is no law enforcing anything like a noise pollution code around here.  I’m convinced that Peruvians all just naturally can sleep through anything, because no one else complains about the noise that’s everywhere!  I’m hating the fact that I’m a light sleeper, and sometimes I’m just hating Perú for being so LOUD!  I’m tired!

I know, I know, I should just find some earplugs.  But I never find them comfortable and they always just fall out in the middle of the night.  Agh!