Huacachina – Sandboarding down the dunes
A small town where sand dunes almost engulf the man made oasis, where tourist outnumber the locals and where sandboarding is the main attraction. It's a main stop on the gringo trail from Cusco to Lima, providing some must needed warmth to some.
Sandboarding and buggy ride
As we set off, it was calm drive, climbing up through the dunes, seeming more like a scenic route to our first sandboarding point but boy did that change. We pause for a moment, the driver put his seatbelt on as a cheeky grin spread across his face, I knew shit was going to get real. We were off, skidding and swerving over the dunes, dipping and diving, practically getting thrown around. We tackled the taller dunes at speed, dropping over the seemly unexisting edge, like a rollercoaster, leaving our stomachs at the top and letting out a few embarrassing screams on the way.
Seemingly once the driver was convinced our heart rate was at the appropriate level, we halted to a stop as we reach our first sandboarding location. We hopped out anxiously, grabbing our boards, we were ready to set off down the dune. Once I built up the courage I dropped off the side of the dune, head first, flying down picking up speed and trying not to eat too much sand on the way down I was hooked instantly. I couldn't help running to the top and going again, this time standing, I was too cocky, falling over almost instantly. At this point I gave up on standing and choose the more reliable, ‘safer’ approach of diving head first, lying on my stomach and holding on for dear life. Which was a good decision as from that moment the dunes only got higher and higher.
Once we arrived to the final dune, the people at the bottom looked like ants, as we lined up to fly down. The guide waxing our boards to insure top speed, one by one we were pushed off towards the bottom. Instantly you were accelerating down the dune, adrenaline pumping, wind blowing, sand flying and your hands holding on for dear life. It was incredible. I think I was on a high for the rest of the day.
Watching the sunset on top of the dunes
Two steps forward, one step back, is the best way to describe walking up a sand dune, it ain’t no walk in the park that is for sure. Ryan persisted through all my moaning, frustration and almost refusing to walk another step, he managed to force me up to the top. I have to give it to the guy, he was right (not that I would admit that to him), watching the sun disappear over the never ending sand dunes was well worth every step.
Where to stay in Huacachina?
We stayed at Bananas Adventure hostel, because we were drawn to their epic pool surrounded by nature and outdoor bar. It looked like a place you could chill out at and just relax before embarking on our sandboarding adventure. The cost of the hostel included an activity of your choice either; their nightly BBQ, wine tour or sandboarding, of course you know what one we choose.