Located five hours south of Lima sits Huacachina, a small village in Peru’s Ica region with one of the world’s driest climates. The village is built around a natural lake in the Peruvian desert, known as the “oasis of America”. The village is filled with lush palm trees, a peaceful lagoon and flourishing foliage, and has a permanent population of around 100 people. An old image of the lagoon is featured on Peru’s 50 soles note.
The National Institute of Culture has named the site a national cultural heritage site.
According to local legend, the oasis was created when a native princess was attacked by a young hunter whilst taking a bath. When she fled, the pool of water she was bathing in became the oasis, and the shawl she was wearing became the sand. The princess is said to live in the oasis as a mermaid.
The desert and oasis are home to the Dune Buggy and Sandboarding Tour. The thrilling tour takes visitors deep into the desert to see the large sand dunes, and experience these surreal ancient mountains of sand.
If dune buggies don’t really seem like your kind of thing, there is still a lot do at the oasis and worth the trip, such as winery tours, flights over the world famous Nazca Lines and boat tours to see Humboldt penguins and sea lions. The village is littered with rustic hotels, an oasis library and quaint shops if you’d just like to wander.
Private landowners created wells that access groundwater, drastically reducing the level of the oasis. To compensate for this, as well as keep the oasis pleasing for tourists, the Peruvian government have began to artificially pumping water into the oasis.
The lagoon is one of the few remaining natural oases in North and South America.
Contact us to make a booking or for more information on one of the few remaining natural oases in North and South America.