Sandboarding in Huacachina, Peru
As part of the Momondo Experiences Series, the folks at Momondo challenged us to bring you a unique and extreme adventure from Peru. We chose to try our hand at sandboarding in Huacachina – home to some of the tallest sand dunes in the world.
You haven’t known adventure until you have zipped down a 300 foot sand dune headfirst, screaming for your life, eating sand the entire way down. You haven’t known adventure until you have strapped yourself into a sand buggy and flown through “Everest of the Desert” at high speeds, clutching your seatbelt until your knuckles turn white. You haven’t known adventure until you have visited Huacachina, Peru.
The sand buggy tour was the most thrilling and exhilarating experience of our lives. We strapped ourselves into the 12 seater dune buggy as our driver flew over towering sand dunes at high speeds. We gripped the seats in front of us for dear life as he floored the gas and took dunes 90 degree angles. We whizzed through the desert, screaming at the top of our lungs as we blew through the most spectacular desert scenery you could ever hope to see in your life.
At 4pm we arrived at the Desert Nights Hostel, and it wasn’t long before we realized this wasn’t going to be a smooth ride! For $22 USD each, we had honestly expected a fairly tame ride through the desert, however we quickly realized that this was going to be an extreme thrill ride, not for the light of heart!
It was an adrenalin rush even better than a rollercoaster. We had the best time of our lives!
Based out of Paracas, the dunes at Huacachina were both higher and cheaper. Quoted $90 per person for a sand buggy tour out of Paracas, it was cheaper for us to pay for a taxi to drive an hour, wait for us and drive us back. We booked our tour with Nazca Flights.
Book onto a 4pm tour for 2 reasons. (1) to escape the 100 degree heat of the day. (2) to witness the sun set over the desert in a spectacular fashion.
We had heard it was dangerous, but honestly the biggest danger you’re likely to experience is the sun. Make sure you pack plenty of water, plenty of suntan lotion, a hat, sunglasses, and clothes you can easily shake the sand out of!
I wore long sleeves and yoga pants to avoid sand rash – unless you’re experienced you will sandboard down the dunes on your stomach, and tearing down the dunes at high speeds will tear the skin off your arms and legs if you let them drag.
Oh and pack toilet paper. It seems to be a rare commodity in Peru.
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I have gone on this adventure with the same company and it was awesome. Until this day I sometimes get the sand out of my camera bag and I know it was from the Huacachina desert. The sunset was pretty stunning too! I could not believe how vast the place was.
I still can’t believe how vast the place was – not what I expected from Peru at all! Hope you eventually get all of the sand out lol I emptied out my sneakers again today and there was still a nice chunk of sand 2 weeks later :D!
Sand dunes and toilet paper, that seems to be an interesting combination Megan! Unfortunately the video is restricted in Germany because of the music rights, but judging from your photos, the ride seems extremely fun and the sunset looks really beautiful. I actually made it to Paracas a few years back, but rather opted for the boat ride to the “small Galapagos” instead of the sand dunes. Thanks for making me second guess my decision now… :)
Seriously, we quickly learned how rare it is to find a toilet with paper in Peru…and often they don’t come with toilet seats either lol but a bit harder to travel with one of those :D!
I’ll have to start using music without copyright claims – really sorry about that! Glad you enjoyed the post regardless of the video. We did the Ballestas as well and loved it; though missing Huacachina just means you have a reason to visit again!!
Love your blog and enjoy keeping up with your travels! I nominated you on my blog for the Very Inspiring Blogger award – http://rvhoneymoon.com/2014/05/26/very-inspiring-blogger-award/ :)
Thanks Rachel! An awesome honor. Will head over and check it out now :)
Looks like a blast. I have been wanting to check out the Oregon coast sand dunes and ride buggies around them.
Definietly do! I’ll be waiting for an awesome post on your end from the Oregon coast! :)
This looks like quite an adventure Meg! I bet it was such a blast flying down those dunes! Another item going on my south American bucket list!!
It was such a blast! Definitely a must for your bucket list – especially since it’s so affordable as well!
Wow, now that looks like fun!! Great photos too, and good tip on taking the 4pm tour to avoid the extreme heat. Adding this to my bucket list.
Definitely do – you’ll have a blast! Highly recommend also taking an encased or waterproof camera – keeps the sand out of the battery :D!
I totally agree with you – sandboarding down the dunes of Ica is such a fun adventure! The sunset photo is really amazing.
Was one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve been lucky enough to witness! This really was one of our most favorite adventures! Thanks for stopping by!
Wow, this looks really fun! I’ve been sandboarding in Oregon and Colorado before but this looks a little more extreme. I’ve added this to my travel list.
It was definitely a blast! Highly recommend it! Where did you go boarding in Oregon? We’re heading through in June and would love to hit some dunes!
Wow!!! What a thrill ride!!! Great post Megan, as always. I’ll be sure to come back to it.
So glad you enjoyed it Savannah! If you’re heading through Peru, I highly recommend this – it was THE BEST!!! Most amount of fun I’ve had in a very long time!
Huacachina is just amazing !
dunes, sun, sand, and peace !
We agree! :)
your life looks perfect =) I want that life too. hehe
We decided the location independent lifestyle was something worth chasing and it’s definitely been amazing for the flexibility to be able to travel :) There are so many opportunities nowadays for setting up some kind of work online – feel free to reach out if you would like any tips :) email@example.com
The desert of southern Peru is magical. Nazca is one of the most mysterious and sacred lands in the world. the Native Nazcas were wise of mathematics and hydraulic engineering at more than 2000 years ago – Peru Nazca Flights is also a good option to know this world wonder!
It truly is! Yes we did the Nazca Lines as well as Sandboarding in Huacachina – I enjoyed sandboarding a lot more – the flight for the Nazca Lines made me feel quite ill sadly due to the small space and frequent movements of the plane, but agree that it is a world wonder.