Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hanging Out in Huacachina, Peru

Huacachina Oasis, Peru

We decided to spend some of our limited time in Peru in Huacachina right next to Ica. What a terrific choice!
This little oasis (yes, I literally mean oasis) is in the Atacama Desert and is a fantastic place to unwind after visiting Machu Picchu. Terrific little places to stay ranging in prices from hostel like to upscale 5 star. We stayed at El Huacachinero. The two story hotel had large rooms surrounding a courtyard with a pool and backed onto a stunning vista of sand dunes. Unfortunately, during our two night stay they had scheduled some major demolition so our peaceful, relaxing time by the pool was interrupted by some very loud jackhammering! Again, customer service isn't exactly a priority in Peru so when I asked if they could possibly limit the earsplitting construction work to less then twelve hours a day, I was politely ignored!
El Huacachinero Hotel, Peru

Luckily, the little town boasted several bars, restaurants and was more than safe to wander around. We decided to spend a morning heading out to the desert on a dune buggy to do some sand surfing and this was probably one of the best experiences I've had.
We booked with the hotel although there are plenty of options around the oasis and it was a fairly inexpensive activity (about $15 a person, I think). Our driver headed up and down the dunes at a breakneck speed and luckily we were strapped in with a good harness system because things did get a bit hairy! We all opted to lie down on our boards for the sand surfing and I did end up with a few mouthfuls of grit and a scraped elbow but what a rush! Unfortunately, pictures and video do not do it justice. If you go to Peru, this is a must do!

Doing the Mad Max thingy!

One member of our party became rather ill at this point of the trip. Not sure if it was sunstroke, Montezuma's revenge or a combination but he managed to rough it out and join us for the excursion. 

Sand Surfing!

The food at the hotel was wonderful and our only bad experience was visiting a bar by the oasis. I ordered a hamburger and definitely felt sick afterwards. Everyone else was pretty happy but I stuck to more traditional Peruvian fare afterwards!

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