A Grain Among the Desert in Huachachina’s Sand Dunes

MwPTU1m0lo2UXsZVaeMn7QIS2oKlDoj5Kt3MUGqYyNUMy two-month journey through Peru was filled with so many moments of joy, adventure, new experience, and excitement, that sometimes it is hard to pull out a particularly wonderful moment. However without a doubt one of the highlights of this trip was my visit to Huacachina. A desert oasis, Huacachina is  surrounded by sand dunes on all sides, towering so high above as to cast shadows over the little city. Sand buggies are the vehicle of necessity out here, and sand boarding is the exercise (and leisure) of choice.

Once you leave the small town and wander up the steep dunes, whether by buggy or on foot, your senses are immediately heightened. Everything around you seems to fall away, and the world itself seems to expand. Problems that once felt insurmountable, were now mere flicks of annoyance, and the sense of self-power grew stronger. Standing there, on the peak of one of the highest dunes, I felt for just one moment that I could achieve anything.

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Sunsets and Sand Dunes in Huacachina, Peru

There are some places in the world that will always hold a special place in my heart. Florence taught me how to sit for hours in cafes and developed my love for pasta at all hours of the day (or night!) Bangkok took away my fear of foreign cultures and food, and Huacachina gave me a totally new perspective on my place in the world.

Located high among the rising sand dunes, Huacachina, Peru houses a giant oasis at its center; life bubbling forth amongst the miles of nothingness. Just a 15 minute mototaxi ride from Ica, this little resort town is the perfect layover on your journey down south to Cusco. Hostels and streethawkers compete for your business in sand board rentals, dune buggy rides, and neighboring day trips.

Rent a board for the day and spend the sunny hours hiking to the highest dune and racing down, snowboarding style. Enjoy the afternoon from a boat and paddle around the lagoon, or just enjoy the view from the surrounding eateries. An hour before sunset, grab a bottle of Pisco and a trek up as far as your legs will take you. Watching the sun change from red to orange to pink as it dips lower and lower is an incredible sight.

As you toast to good friends and a good life, make sure to take a few moments and get lost in the undulating peaks and neverending sand. Time stands still on these dunes, and it is a rare moment to experience such breathless clarity.

Check out a video of the dunes here!

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