The Desert Oasis

Trip Start Sep 08, 2012
Trip End Nov 27, 2012

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, October 11, 2012

I was on the move and wanted something new, something completely different. I needed to own the fact that for the first time in my life I was hiked out- at least for the moment. Yes, it's true! I heard about a desert oasis just outside out of Ica called Huacachina. I've never been to the desert and this place sounded interesting, especially given it's proximity to a city (only 5 -7 kilometers from the bus station). How much desert could there really be? I was too curious to pass it up.

I survived the night bus unharmed. I took the fancy Cruz del Sur tourist bus for safety and was glad I did. I sat next to a nice woman who was mumbling a lot of Spanish words about the bus, the time, her son, etc. She more or less gave me a quick and dirty Spanish lesson during our time together. I probably understood about 50% of what she was saying, but between our combined 'Spanglish' we did very well. We even joked about the young Irish lad in front of us who laughed like a hyena. Cruz del Sur buses often offer snacks and we received ours about a half hour into the 9 hour ride. At least it was given to us before midnight! Thankfully, the angry leprechaun did not make an appearance. Hrmm I think there's a good horror movie plot somewhere in there. What do you think Kimbo? Could be better than "Hostel" eh? HA!

There are many taxi drivers who receive commissions from hostels/hotels and because of that they try and take you to their 'preferred' places and NOT the one you want to go. I was tired when I got off the bus and just wanted to get to the hostel. After talking with a few cabbies, I decided to pay a few soles more (I now call it a convenience fee) for a taxi out to the oasis. Along the way, my driver started to tell me how bad my hostel was -uh oh- and how I shouldn't stay there. He also asked if I had a reservation. Si, si, senor yo tengo! (read: I'm f*cking tired, I've had a long bus ride now take me to where I want to go!). He then backed down. The rest of the 20 minute ride was fine but I was once again ready to jump out if need be. The driver gave me a tip when he dropped me off that later turned out to be true. Nice! I guess he had nothing to loose at that point. Perhaps I managed to get a few respect points from him?

I made to the Desert Nights IYH just in time for breakfast. Huacachina felt like a perfect location for a Girls Gone Wild (special Peruvian desert edition) shoot. Only when I arrived, they were either passed out or still partying at the nearby pool. The night can still be young at 7:30am here. Fortunately, the hostel's restaurant was laid back and I was able to check in a bit early.

The room was clean and the bed not full of sand- a rare thing here. My roommates were fantastic. Amy and Michelle were fellow Americans from Virgina and Michel from Holland. The ladies gave me the heads up about a sand boarding tour happening later that day... Heck yay! I didn't come all this way to not ride a dune buggy out to some serious dirt powder. We met our our guide Ton at the specified location and buckled up... Yes, Dottie I wore my seat belt! I was a little nervous but sometimes you gotta give it up to the Universe... This new mantra is suiting me quite well.

Ton was great and really played it up on the dunes for us- scary at first but then really, really fun! We would cruise up to a sand hill, ride down, get picked up at the bottom, then off to the next next hill. I loved not having to walk back up! We originally had the option to stand, but I decided it was better to lay on the board face forward. Eh! Snowboarding never really appealed to me anyway; the only difference here was a face plant in the sand sounded even less fun then a face plant in the snow. We had a blast boarding, laughing, and riding, and cornholing (expect for Buster). Well no cornholing, but we did see a spectacular sunset. Later in the evening we celebrated surviving the experience at a local restaurant. Michel even negotiated free pisco sours for us. These are not usually included in the typical tourist menu... Bonus! After dinner we walked along 'strip' and I was surprised there wasn't more of a party going on. It was only 9pm. Perhaps it was still too early for any GGW starlet sightings? Sadly, all we ended up seeing were a few random Trustafarians looking for some action.

Huacachina is a two day max sort of place and that's only if you a doing the pisco and wine tour which I decided to skip and just head on to Lima with the ladies in the morning. Glad I cancelled my second night! Amy and Michelle got a good tip on a hostel and I was happy for the company, especially since we were about to embark on 5 hour journey via local bus to the big city. Yay for new friends!

Thanks for reading!

Huacachina's Playlist:
Lots of John Mayer
Lots of Jack Johnson
Bob Marely
Air supply (playing full blast at the Huacafuckinchina)
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Judy Hinrichs on


mc1rvariant on

HAHA! The dune buggy was nothing compared to that wild van ride! We are all bonded for life having survived that cliff side drama.

mc1rvariant on

And thanks for being a part of the cartwheel project!

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: