Member Rating 5 out of 5 by WitlessWanderer on August 29, 2005

Sand, Glorious Sand

More and more tourists are getting off the gringo trail at Ica. But why? Huacachina is a small town in the desert with little life and not much more to say for itself. So why the interest?

Pure, frivolous fun is the answer.

The empty desert is the perfect playground for dune buggies that send you on a roller-coaster ride over the humps and bumps. And this is just the warm-up.

You’re left at the top of an impossibly steep slope. You strap a plank of wood to your feet and hurl yourself off. It’s a great adrenaline rush as you fight for control.

Better still, the buggies wait for you at the bottom to whisk you back up again and save that exhausting climb through the sand.

No prior experience is necessary, and though you’ll frequently tumble, it doesn’t hurt and can occasionally be quite impressive. If you want to go faster, find the guy with the wax to make your board fly down the slopes!

We went at 4pm, so were in the desert at sunset, which is a magical experience in itself as the shadows from the dunes loom across the landscape.

Note that this means it’ll be dark when you finish - don’t wear sunglasses, or you won’t be able to see. Also, it’s a desert and you will get sand absolutely everywhere, so don’t bring valuables or bring your camera in a transparent bag.

This experience will tell you absolutely nothing about Peru, but I loved it for sheer exhilaration and fun.

P.S. Apologies for the lack of pictures of people actually boarding. I was too busy boarding to take photos!

Arequipa, Peru

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