JAN 21, 2016 – Just an hour and a half from Paracas lies Ica, a large city with hardly any tourists. Instead, visitors to the area flock into Huacachina, a desert oasis just five kilometers from downtown Ica. The lagoon in the center of the settlement is artificially fed nowadays, but it still looks picturesque with all the sand dunes around it. I had planned to sleep in my tent, but I arrived after dark and there was no official campsite, so I stayed at a hostel instead.
A nearby shop rented out skiing and snowboarding equipment, which apparently originated from the Swiss resort of Verbier. I rented a board and spent the morning trying it out. As one might expect, sandboarding is very similar to snowboarding, you just have to apply wax before every descent and you go a bit slower, similar to heavy deep snow. It’s fun! Unfortunately there were no lifts, so I had to walk uphill every time. In the afternoon I went for a sand buggy tour with a group. This was fun too, as the driver used the dunes to create a riding experience like on a roller coaster. The same night I boarded a bus to Cusco, and it was the longest bus ride of the trip so far: 17 hours.