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Sandboarding in the Desert

Written by 25 June 2011 3 Comments

I’m super passionate about all sports that involve a board, so it comes at no surprise that I regularly find myself standing on a surf-, skate- or snowboard. So when I heard about the possibility of sandboarding in Peru, I was more than excited to try it out. Without any second thoughts I found myself in the desert oasis of Huacachinas, in South-West Peru, just a couple of hours away from the capital Lima. Not only did the sandboarding experience proof itself to be unique, indeed the whole place did. The little oasis was incredible and consisted of a little lake, which gets its with water from a natural underground-river. The name Huacachinas comes from the Quechua language, an indigenous language of the Andean region, meaning ‘Crying woman’. There are several legends about the creation of that lagoon. One of them states that many centuries ago, a young native princess and her lover used to walk around in the countryside of the Inca region. Shortly before their marriage her lover died. The princess was so sad that she cried and cried, which formed the lake.

The beautiful oasis has become an attraction for many backpackers, so tour guides began to offer adventurous sandbuggy and sandboarding tours through the desert.

The sandbuggy tour was almost frightening, because our guide rode up the desert at an incredible speed.  Knowing that the driver was very experienced I tried to relax as much as possible, but that definately does not come easy, knowing you’re in the middle of nowhere.

When  we arrived at the top of a large sand dune, we waxed our boards with candles, in order to be faster when riding down the hill. I was a bit scared standing at the top: the hill looked quite steep and I was sure that falling down was not likely to be a soft enterprise. However, as an experienced snowboarder I wasn’t too concerned and so I made my way downhill. Naturally, I did fall and yes, it hurt. Big time. But the pain was easily forgotten through all the fun we had and the sheer beauty of the landscape.

I had some great, relaxing and adventourous days at the small desert oasis and can only recommend a visit to this beautiful place. The tour to Huacachinas may also be linked with a flight over the World-Heritage-Nazca-Lines or a visit in Pisco, where you can dwell drown the day’s eventful highlights in Peru’s national drink – a good ol’ Pisco Sour.

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  • Aaron said:

    wow, great post. I loved all the pictures, seems like sanboarding is a lot of fun

  • Sophie said:

    This awakens my memories from my trip to morocca…sand dunes are just ‘another world’ awesome!!!

  • Franzi said:

    I also have been at this place some time ago. And at that time it was possible to stay in a budget hostel at the very oasis you see in the first picture. I don’t know if it’s still open, if yes, then I recommend it to all of you who want to get a deeper impression of sandboarding. Staying at the hostel allows you to practice sandboarding every day the whole day long. You might be able to rent the boards at the hostel and then you just have to climp up the hill and start!
    I also had a great time and really enjoyed this experience even if falling down can get very hot. So hot that you have to be careful not to burn yourself. And trying to get off all the tiny grains of sand can be awkward too, but still, it makes so much fun that it’s worth all the pain.

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