Haucachina Oasis Guide: 4 Things To Know Before You Go

Huacachina is a small oasis enclave on the outskirts of Ica inSouthern Peru surrounded by enormous sand dunes.

Hauchachina is centered around a little green lake that was allegedly created from the tears of a goddess mourning the loss of her beloved husband.

Conveniently located right along the route between Lima and Arequipa and within a short bus ride of Paracas and Nazca, Huacachina is one of the most-visited sites in Peru. Read below for guidance on what to do, where to stay and eat, and how to reach Ica / Huacachina.


(1) What To Do

The main thing about Haucachina is the sand dunes. Start climbing the ridge of largest one around 5:30 PM to get a glimpse of the oasis from above just in time for the 6:00 PM sunsey.

You can rent a sandboard for 10 sol without a time limit and go boarding down the dunes. You can also go on a buggy ride for 30 sol per person.

The lake at the center of the oasis is nice to swim in on a hot day. By night, hit the bars and clubs. Huacachina has a pretty happening night life for a town of its size.


(2) Where to Stay

You can either stay in Ica or Huacachina itself. Ica is cheaper (20+ sol/ private room), but there are budget options in Huacachina, too (30+sol / dorm bed). If you stay in Haucachina, Wild Rover is the spot to be for sociable younglings a crazy party atmosphere and brand new facilities.

(3) Where to Eat

Food in Huacachina is very pricey by Peruvian standards. If you’re staying in Ica, you might as well take your meals there, too, where an entree can cost as little as 5 sol. If you eat in Haucachina, your options are fun but overpriced tourist restaurants where you’ll play no less than 25 sol for entree or a couple of food carts along the edges of the town selling mediocre 5 sol sandwich and empanadas.

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(4) How to Get There

From Paracas

  1. Stand by the main road and flag down a collectivo headed to Pisco (3 sol / 20 minutes).
  2. Tell your driver you are headed to Ica so he knows where in Pisco to drop you off to catch the right bus.
  3. At the bus station, buy a ticket to Ica (6 sol / 1 hour). Buses leave for Ica constantly throughout the day.
  4. Once you arrive in Ica, take a mototaxi from the station to Huacachina (6 sol /15 minutes).

From Arequipa

  1. Take a bus (1 sol) or taxi (10 sol) from Plaza de Armas  to Arequipa’s public bus terminal (Terminal Terrestre), which is just 3 km from the center.
  2. Buy a ticket to Ica. The 12-hour journey costs 50 to 90 sol, depending on the bus company and quality you want. I booked my ticket with a company called Movil for 70 sol. The bus was more luxurious than I would have wanted with big comfy seats and free meals.
  3. Once you arrive in Ica, take a mototaxi from the station to Huacachina (6 sol /15 minutes).