Photoessay: Sandboarding the Huacachina Oasis

View of Huacachina from the sand dunes

On my way down to Arequipa and the Colca Canyon I made a quick 2-day stop in Ica, Peru to visit the beautiful oasis town of Huacachina, just outside the city.

When I told a friend I was going to Huacachina, she confirmed how beautiful it was and explained the legend behind the oasis.

As the story goes, the lagoon was created when a beautiful native princess was apprehended at her bath by a young hunter she fled, leaving the pool of water she had been bathing in to become the lagoon. The folds of her cloak, streaming behind her as she ran, became the surrounding sand dunes. And the woman herself is rumored to still live in the oasis as a mermaid.

While I didn’t see any mermaids, I did meet a nice local girl who convinced me to turn my 2-day pit stop into a 4-day rendezvous.

She showed me around the oasis and city of Ica for a few days and we had a lovely time. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of that experience so you’ll have to settle for the second best thing in Huacachina, sandboarding in the dessert.

Enjoy Responsibly!

The sand dunes in Huacachina Peru
Can you spot us?
Dune Buggy Ride in Huacachina Peru
Dune buggy ride in Huacachina, Peru
Sandboarding in Huacachina Peru
The Huacachina Sandboarding Crew (2 Germans, 1 Kiwi and Myself)
Sandboarding in Huacachina Peru
Getting ready to hit the dunes.
Sandboarding in Huacachina Peru
So standing up didn't work very well so we went with plan B. Face down ass up.
Sandboarding in Huacachina Peru
Climbing back up for another attempt - Sandboarding in Huacachina Peru
Dune Buggy Rides in Huacachina Peru
Our dune buggy broke down in the middle of the dunes. Water cures everything.
Sandboarding in Huacachina Peru
Crushing the dunes while overlooking Huacachina with Ryan my Kiwi comrade
Statue of the Mermaid that created Huacachina
The Statue of the Mermaid that created Huacachina
Sunset in Huacachina, Peru
Sunset in Huacachina, Peru


My name is Gareth Leonard, a Marketing Director turned World Traveler with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. I have been traveling the world full-time for the past 9+ years and document it all on Instagram and YouTube. Come join me!


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