Backpacker Travel Amongst the Dunes – Huacachina, Peru
Top Backpacking Destinations Ranking – 7/10
For us backpackers, one of the most important things to know when heading to a destination is what activities are on offer. We might want the best beaches to laze around on, bluest lakes to swim in or highest mountains to hike up, but we like to know what we’re getting when we arrive.
This isn’t a problem when you head to Huacachina in Western Peru. Even the drivers of the tuk tuks in the nearest town aren’t totally sure where it is, so it can be a bit of a struggle to get yourself there, but with your Lonely Planet in hand and some broken Spanish to throw around you should just about manage (even if its’s with a few detours!).
People come here for one thing and one thing only: the dunes. It is a tiny town based around an oasis that is perfectly located on the edge of miles of sand dunes. After a quick lap of the oasis (which takes 5 minutes) it’s all about getting yourself on a tour in the dune buggies and heading out into the sandy distance. The dune buggy ride is super exhilirating as the driver throws you around and jumps over the humps in the sand at (seemingly) massive speed, and once you get out to go sandboarding you’re legs will be close to jelly. Try and hold it together though, because the joy of reaching the bottom of a big dune on your sandboard is mightily rewarding (if improbable!). And it’s certainly worth hanging around for the stunning sunset which was like nothing i’ve never seen before.
Once you return to your backpacker accomodation it’s likely you’ll be ready for bed, the harsh sun and the sandboarding takes its toll. And that’s Huacachina. Unless you want to become a pro sandboarder a day should be enough to savour all it has to offer, but you should certainly put that day aside, it’s an excellent place to go backpacking.