We were sad to leave Lima after an amazing couple days but pretty jacked to head to Haucachina, the oasis desert city. But before we arrived we made a pit stop at Paracas National Reserve which was a welcoming surprise to what we expected. Having not heard too much about the park, we didn’t really know what to expect but we were surprised to learn that this is where the desert meets the ocean and the landscape is truly stunning. It was the perfect break to stretch our legs, get some fresh air and experience the sand and the ocean all at once.
After Paracas, we made it to Huacachina, this unique small town and the only one of its kind in South America. Surrounded by miles of sand dunes this beautiful town is built around an amazing natural oasis. The sand dunes were so big that we felt like we were living in a hole and only had 5-6 hours of sunshine per day!
We were lucky enough to stay at an amazing and lively hostel that included both sand boarding and the dune buggy ride in our stay. This was a one in a lifetime experience for us both! We buckled into this monstrous pink and green dune buggy and took off flying, Mad Max style, up and down the sand dunes off roading until we got to the top of a very large dune.
From here our driver handed us small chunks of candle (to wax the bottom of our boards so we obtain maximum speed) and he told us to toss on our sand boards and to just ride down. We all sort of looked at each other like is he nuts these dunes are huge but once we got over our initial fear we positioned ourselves at the top of the dune, laying flat with our chest on the board and pushed off. The adrenaline rush of flying down these 'magic carpets' was comparable to bungee jumping and skydiving, the only form of breaking we had was by dragging our feet which helped to slow down the momentum just a tad! Check out the video below from one of our rides!!
After we were done we rode the dune buggies into the stunning sunset back to our hotel.
We got back to our hotel and couldn’t believe how much sand was all over us, not to mention in our shoes. Safe to say we needed a shower right away before heading out for dinner and drinks with a group from our hotel. The next morning we had the chance to go visit a vineyard in Ica, the next town over before leaving. It was amazing to taste and see how wine was made in other places than back home in the Okanagan. It is a much different method then we use back home and because of that it results in a much sweeter smell and taste of the wine. We also had a chance to see how pisco was made and to sample numerous different type and flavors. While some tasted somewhat like tequila, others were flavored like fruits or coffee! Our favorite was the coffee flavored Pisco which reminded us of Baileys back home. YUM!
Next Stop: Cusco