sábado, 30 de diciembre de 2017

Huacachina & Sandboard

5 km away from the city of Ica we can find the oasis or Huacachina Lake, a beautiful place nestled between large sand dunes where you can practice sports like sandboarding or cross these large stretches of sand mounted on a tubular buggy or sand car. If you are in the city of Ica you can get to Huacachina by taxi from S/ 5-7.

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru

The waters of this oasis come from underground currents that give it that characteristic emerald color; on the other hand, the origin of its name comes from the Quechua word "huacca", which means to cry, and from the word "china", which means woman. In this way, Huacachina would mean 'Criyng Woman'.

This is because of the legend of a pre-Hispanic princess who, after losing her love when she went to war, plunged into deep sadness and cried at the place where they met. The locals claim that their tears formed this lagoon and that even at night their tears can still be heard.

Although in past decades this paradisiacal enclave in the middle of the coastal desert of Ica, was a center of amusement for the upper class of Lima, the few houses and premises that exist today are mainly shops and hotels for a mass of international tourists who usually spend one or two days of relaxation and celebration in their way to the Nazca Lines or the' White' city of Arequipa.

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Although it is said that the waters of Lake Huacachina have medicinal properties thanks to the minerals carried by the underwater currents, it seems that obstructions in its underground branches would have nullified these healing qualities. While boat rides can be made on its surface, we recommend that to take a bath use the swimming pools of their accommodation.

Practising Sanboarding

Without a doubt one of the greatest attractions of the Huacachina is the practice of Sanboarding, which although it is a more' safe' discipline than snowboarding because of the texture of the sand, it can cause serious injuries.

If this is your first time doing this sport, we recommend that you hire an instructor. The rental price for a standard board is around S/10 (US$ 3, for 2 hours); while the price for a professional board is S/30 (US$ 10, without instructor).

The dunes of the northwest end have a smaller slope and are ideal for insiders, while those that are travelled by the tubulars have a larger size and slope.

If you carry a camera, be very careful, because the sand can easily get into the equipment and bring you many problems. Most lodgings in Huacachina offer these sandbox tours with tubular buggies for about S/50 (US$ 16, with instructor).

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes

Where to Sleep in Huacachina

If you prefer to spend the night in Huacachina instead of the city of Ica, there are several mid-range and affordable accommodations where you can rest and have a drink. If you are travelling in high season don't forget to make your reservation in advance.

Hotel el Huacachinero***

Very close to the Huacachina lagoon, this hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant that offers food and drink throughout the day. The rooms are modern and have free wifi, cable TV and air conditioning. The price includes American breakfast. Visits to the dunes can be booked at your counter. The average price is around S/ 238. elhuacachinero.com/

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Hostería Suiza***

This quiet hotel is located at the end of the road parallel to the lagoon and has an outdoor swimming pool with a bar, solarium and an a la carte restaurant. The rooms are clean and bright, with private bathroom, cable TV, fan and safe. There is also a laundry and ironing service. The room rounds the S/ 258.

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Hostal Curasi***

Close to the Huacachina lagoon is Hostal Curasi, a modern hostel with a central swimming pool next to the rooms and a small bar that offers drinks all day long. In the mornings the volume of the bar music can be a bit annoying. The rooms have their own bathroom, fan and free wifi. Tours to the dunes can be booked at your counter. The price of the room is about S/ 160. huacachinacurasi.com/

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In Huacachina we can also find some cheap accommodations with good conditions. If you are looking for rest, this choice may not be the best option, since the clients is mainly young people who want to have fun and have fun.

The Upcycled Hostel

This simple hostel located in the access to Huacachina has a central swimming pool that surrounds the guest rooms. The price of the night -which is around the S/ 50- includes breakfast and free wifi. It has a common room with book exchange and internet access.

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Huacachina Backpackers House

A few steps away from the Huacachina lagoon is this inexpensive and simple Hostel, which has a restaurant with outdoor tables and shared rooms. The hostel also organizes tours to the dunes for sandboarding. The price does not include breakfast and private bathrooms. Approximately S/ 23. hucachinaperu.pe/

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Banana's Adventure

Also in the heart of the Huacachina is the Banana's Adventure, a beautiful hostel that in one of its packages includes an activity and breakfast per person. (Activities offered are: sand car and sandboarding tours, city tour with visit to the winery and chocolates factory Helena, or barbecue at night). In its interior zone it has an outdoor swimming pool and a bar where you can eat and drink during the day and night. The price is around S/52. bananasadventure.com/

Huacachina Sandboard, Sandboard Huacachina, Huacachina Peru, Huacachina dunes


Leisure in Huacachina & Drinks

As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, most of the accommodations have bars with music in which you can socialize and have a few drinks until late at night. However, if you want something more of' 'action' there are some establishments in Huacachina with the concept of' disco and high volume music. We give you a couple of alternatives.

The Huacafuckingchina

This premises located in the heart of Huacahina has an outdoor terrace ideal for eating pizzas, burguers or traditional food (anticuchos, lomo saltado, causas) and some of their cocktails based on different national and international drinks. Inside you can find a good atmosphere with music of all kinds, such as Latin or electronic. (Photo Facebook Huacafuckingchina).

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The Silva House Discoteca 

This accommodation has its own party room with live music, swimming pool and a pleasant atmosphere to spend the night having a few drinks. Obviously rest is not what this establishment offers, of which you can also do the classic sandbox tours, but the fun is assured.

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The Pub

Simple and inexpensive establishment in which you can eat a menu based on local foods such as loin saltado, causes, pizzas, among others. The atmosphere is calmer than the above mentioned premises and is ideal for having a few beers and chatting on its terrace overlooking the lake.

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We hope that with this info you can spend a pleasant day in this beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert. After relaxing, it is time to take our gear and continue on the path that, if it is the classic southern route, will take us to the enigmatic Nazca Lines.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
December 2017
info@perutravelsblog.com

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