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Huacachina Travel Guide | Peru

Updated: Apr 24

In this article, I will share with you everything you need to know about the Huacachina desert in Peru.

Apart from featuring an amazing oasis, Huacachina also offers many fun activities.

  1. How to get to Huacachina?

  2. How long do I need in Huacachina?

  3. Shall I stay in Huacachina or Ica?

  4. Top Things to Do in Huacachina

  5. Video

How to get to Huacachina?

First, you need to get to Ica. Once you have arrived at the Ica bus station, there will be many people outside offering you a taxi or moto-taxi ride, which is known as 'tuk-tuk' in Asia. Both are legit, but moto-taxi tends to be cheaper. From the bus station to the actual desert oasis is only a 10 to 15 minute drive. With traffic, it can be longer, because traffic in general throughout Peru is absolutely mental. Do not pay more than 10 SOL, which is around 3 USD, as that is the maximum price we got charged with traffic. Without traffic, it was 6 SOL (1.5 USD).

Buses from Lima to Ica work a bit differently than what we are used to. There is no main bus station, each bus company has its own station. If you are coming to Ica from Lima, then the best bus company, I believe, is 'Peru Bus', as they have rides every 30 minutes.

You also might stop in Ica and Huacachina on your way to Lima, so coming from Cusco or Arequipa, but those will be much longer rides, around 14 hours.

How long do I need in Huacachina?

In complete honesty, you really need just 1 day. I think it is a perfect day trip. I would only recommend staying in Huacachina longer if you want to spend a night in a desert oasis. There aren't too many options to choose from but the ones I saw looked quite good. The same goes for restaurants. The village is tiny so there aren't too many options.

Shall I stay in Huacachina or Ica?

Huacachina is definitely an experience but staying in Ica will definitely give you more options. It is a fairly big city, so you might find better accommodation deals in Ica.

The taxi from Ica to Huacachina takes only 10 minutes and will cost you from 6 to 10 SOL, depending on the traffic. So you easily can get to the desert oasis at any time of the day in 10 minutes.

As a digital nomad, I actually found Ica very good for coworking and coffee shops where to work. So Ica could be a good stop if you are working and traveling as you will find good wifi connection in most of the places. Whereas in Huacachina the connection might not be so good.

My favorite place in Ica where to work and eat is 'Harvest Coffeehouse'. The ambiance is lovely, wifi connection very strong, 5G internet and amazing toasts.

In Ica you will also find a co-working space 'DevHouse'.

I stayed in Ica for a few days. There isn't too much to see or do, but I really liked the hotel we stayed at as they had a space where to work and other places I could finally get some work done in between my travels.

I stayed in a hotel 'Villa Oasis' and can highly recommend it!

Top Things to Do in Huacachina

The two main things you have to do in Huacachina are to go on a crazy buggy ride and try sandboarding.

You can either pre-book online or once you arrive in Huacachina, there will be several travel agents approaching you with different tour options or you just drop by any agency. The average price is 30 SOL for a 2-hour ride.

The buggy rides are usually 2 times per day. In the morning and at 4.30pm to catch the sunset on the dunes. I went for the sunset ride and highly recommend it as it also wasn't that hot.

Sandboarding is usually included with the buggy ride, but you can always rent just a board and head up to the dunes to do sandboarding on your own.

There is also an option to rent quads and go explore the desert that way.

If you prefer less extreme activities, then you always can rent a pedalo and go for a chill drift in the oasis. The best price we got was 20 SOL (5 USD) per boat, so make sure you haggle.

And then of course there are always free options. Simply hike up the dunes.

There is an entrance fee to the dunes if you go via the main entrance. The fee is 3.60 SOL, which is around 1 USD. But you can always just start to hike in a more quiet place on another side and avoid paying the entrance fee.

To get the feel of the place, see a crazy buggy ride and my first time trying sandboarding, check out this video:

Going Paracas next? You definitely have to do the cycling tour around the Paracas National Park! Check out this video and BLOG:

Going Lima next? Check out this video and BLOG:


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