Huacachina: Dune Buggy and Sandboarding Trip
Get There: The office is just inside the hostel Desert Nights on Main Pedestrian Boulevard. Suss them out at http://www.desertadventure.net/
Cost: 40PEN ($16AUD)
In Huacachina, there’s not a heap to do. That’s the beauty of it: chilling out next to a lagoon in the middle of a desert isn’t such a bad lifestyle. But if you are looking to shake things up a bit and break up the time between your 10th and 11th cocktail from Desert Nights, then I’d suggest checking out the adrenalin special of the area and jumping on a tour to the dunes to see how clumsy you are with sandboarding and test your fear of dying in a rolling vehicle with the dune buggy rides.
Definitely make sure you hook up the afternoon tour through Desert Adventures: not only did they give us a wild ride (without killing us), but the afternoon session means you can catch the sunset over the lagoon on the way down without having to exert precious drinking energy on the hills.
The dune buggy ride was much more intense than I had imagined. Picture a rollercoaster with the knowledge that it could go off the rails (and flip and possibly crush you) at any time. That being said, once having feet back on solid ground, it was a bunch of fun and our driver was brilliant.
The sandboarding was amazing. The dunes got progressively more steep and more terrifying, with the option of either doing the stand-up boarding for freaks of nature who possess co-ordination, or lying down on the board for those of us more inclined to falling over and breaking bones. Either way, it was a bunch of fun and we managed to make it out without too much injury. If you can, I’d suggest hiking back up the dune after heading down so you can ride the buggy on its descent and scare yourself shitless.
I would also definitely advise taking sunglasses (unless you want to be exfoliating your eyes with sand from the desert for days), your camera for the good photo ops and shoes you aren’t that fond of, because your feet will be your brakes, and as speeds can get up to 70 km/h down the dunes, your favourite Vans might end up looking a little worse for wear.
Finally, be prepared to have sand everywhere – I’m talking all through your eyes, ears and various other orifices that are important to your travel experience, so make sure a shower is nearby afterwards!