300 KM SOUTH OF LIMA LIVES A DESERT OASIS
... and to be honest, i had no idea there was desert land in peru (turns out most of coastal peru is a desert). when i saw photos of sand dunes during my online research, i knew it was a place that would be fun to visit and especially with friends in town. approximately 5 hours south of lima, located just 10 minutes away from the small town of ica, is a small "lagoon" surrounded by palm trees and gigantic sand dunes, similar to those seen in the sahara desert.
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
they say that in the 1940’s this area became a popular beauty spa for wealthy peruvians in lima. the waters were thought to have healing powers, and many came to bathe in the waters to soothe and heal their bodies and skin. at some point in the 1950s, it fell out of favor, and for decades was abandoned.
later, around the 1990’s, businessmen began to offer tourists the option to explore the gigantic sand dunes in a 4-wheel dune buggy. travelers quickly realized that this was a rare and enjoyable experience in a country that was already famous for providing mountains, jungles, and ancient ruins.
IF YOU'RE GOING WITH THE INTENTION OF SEEING LOCAL PERUVIAN CULTURE, RECONSIDER
the truth is, this place is made for tourism and tourism only. with only 95 local residents [all dedicated to the hotels/hostels and restaurants in the area], nothing about it feels very local. that being said – it's cool, the dunes are incredible and they've really created a fun adventurous destination. if you have the time, it's a fun place to stop for one night. we stayed at banana's adventure for 1 night with your classic hostel crowd, good food, and a clean room. there are plenty of adventure outfitters, we went through huacachina private tours and had a really fun time.
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