After leaving Cusco we headed north to the town of Huacachina. Huacachina was a strange place on the outskirts of Ica. With a population of less than 100, the main drive for the towns population was tourism, as a small amount of shops, hostels and restaurants have built up around a natural 'lake', randomly in the middle of high desert dunes!
Apparently in the 1930's and 1940's the town was mainly visited by wealthy Peruvians who thought the water had healing properties. Some of the town still has the old feel about its architecture and buildings and in need of a bit of repair.
We arrived in Ica by night bus and the journey wasn't the most pleasant! 16 hours with most of the journey covering the Andes mountain range. So not only were most turns like hairpin bends all night but we only made about 90miles in 9 hours! Up and down hills all along the way...
Apart from seeing the crazy town and the oasis it surrounded, we also visited to do a bit of sand boarding and dune buggying around the desert hills!
The buggy's held about 12 people and flew over the dunes and flats! We picked up crazy speeds and went up and down dunes that I would never have thought possible. The buggies were a massive metal shell type shape with huge open front engines.
We sand boarded down 6 slopes in 2 different areas. First few attempts at going down standing up were pretty hopeless so after that it was either laying on our front or sitting on the boards. We picked up crazy speeds and no major casualties; great experience!
At the end of the trip we sat above the oasis and saw the town light up by night. Collecting a ton of sand in every shoe and pocket along the way!
After visiting the desert we went onto Paracas and what some refer to as 'poor mans Galapagos'. Although unexpectedly we had a few drinks with some guys we met in Cusco and a late night was followed by a very early start!