Discovering Huacachina Oasis, Ica Region, Peru

Imagine, if you could, an oasis in a desert surrounded by brutal shifting sands that could cover you in an hour after you succumbed to the overpowering heat. Huacachina Oasis Peru is in the Ica Region of Peru not far from the Pacific coast is one such place. Legend has it – and who should argue – that a lovely princess was bathing when a handsome peasant hunter disturbed her.

Huacachina Twinkling in the Night
Huacachina Twinkling in the Night

She dropped her mantle as she fled and these turned to the Huacachina sand dunes. Shall we go closer? Let’s see what we can find.

Huacachina Oasis Peru
Discovering Huacachina Oasis: Carlos Adampol Galindo / CC BY 2.0

Discovering Huacachina Oasis Peru

Ninety-six people live here at coordinates 14°5′15″S 75°45′48″W. This is a short luxury hire car drive from the city of ICA captured by the conquistadori Gerónimo Luis de Cabrera in 1653. Its over 200,000 inhabitants know Huacachina as the ideal spot for honeymoons and romantic breaks. Few tourists have ever heard of it. This makes Huacachina Oasis Peru arguably one of travel’s best-kept secrets.

 Huacachina
Ready to Explore Huacachina: Eder Fortunato / CC BY 2.0

Ready to Explore Huacachina

Some believe the waters of Huacachina Oasis Peru have healing powers, and why not in this most magical of places. For sure, the wealthy Peruvians from Ica who flocked here in the 1940’s swore by it as a cure for arthritis, that most painful sign of aging. I cannot attest to that. Perhaps it is all in the mind. When I was there, I shed my cares like an old blanket I no longer needed so it healed my soul. The oasis is stuck in a time warp, and that suits me fine.

Huacachina Oasis Peru: Hostelia Suiza
Hostelia Suiza: Aleks Clark / CC By 2.0

More Magic to be Found

There is much magic to be found in this place. The legend persists the lovely princess returns every full moon in the hope that the handsome peasant hunter returns she realised later was her soul mate. I preferred the magical experience of climbing the giant sand dunes in late afternoon, and watching in awe as the sun sets, and the oasis lights come out to play with the City of Ica echoing in the background across time and space.

Huacachina
Huacachina Twinkling in the Night: Jeff V and Tyler Depke / GNU Free Documentation

About Richard Farrell

Richard FarrellI tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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