There is a little desert in Peru that is home to an incredible sight. I’m talking about the Huacachina Oasis, the only desert oasis in all of South America.
The Huacachina Oasis might seem like a too-far-to-even-bother destination, but this is not case. In fact, it is an easy-to-get-to place, only a few hours from Peru’s capital: Lima.
Here is what you need to know about travelling to the Huacachina Oasis from Lima.
HOW TO GET TO THE HUACACHINA OASIS FROM LIMA?
WHERE IS THE HUACACHINA OASIS?
The Huacachina Oasis, the only desert oasis in South America, is located about 4 hours and a half away from Lima.
The nearest big city to the Huacachina Oasis is Ica.
HOW TO GET TO THE HUACACHINA OASIS?
The easiest way to get to the Huacachina Oasis from Lima is by taking an intercity bus, which there are plenty of in Peru.
As mentioned before, the nearest big city to the Huacachina Oasis is Ica. Therefore, during your search, you must look for buses running from Lima to Ica.
Once in Ica, the Huacachina Oasis is only a 15-minute taxi ride away from the Plaza de Armas de Ica.
Taxis can be taken from anywhere in town to Huacachina, and shouldn’t cost more than about 8 Soles for the short ride.
There are plenty of accommodation options in Ica, ranging from cheap budget to more expensive types.
WHICH BUS COMPANY IS BEST TO TRAVEL TO THE HUACACHINA OASIS FROM LIMA?
While there are many bus companies in Lima offering services to Ica, I personally find the best company to be Cruz del Sur (this is not a sponsored plug but my own opinion from many trips in Peru).
Cruz del Sur offers the best bus service hands down in the country. It is both safe and comfortable, and should be your number one choice, especially for overnight routes, as their seats on many of their buses can be reclined at 180°. In addition, its website can be navigated fully in English.
A bus ride from Lima (Javier Prado terminal) to Ica costs from $11 USD to $21 USD, depending on the type of service chosen. Prices are subject to change based on demand and how many days in advance tickets are booked, so I suggest booking ahead of time if possible.
You can also buy your tickets at the Javier Prado terminal, although it might be more difficult to get tickets for the most popular routes as these sell out rather fast.
Other popular intercity bus companies in Peru are Flores and Ormeño.
WHAT TO DO AT THE HUACHACHINA OASIS?
In Ica, tour companies abound offering day-tours to the Huacachina Oasis. Most tours will offer a 4WD or ATV tours of the oasis and the desert nearby. You can also sandboard on the desert dunes if you’re up for it.
Although I’m not really a fan of doing tours, I have to admit that touring the desert on an ATV was amongst the most enjoyable things I did in Huacachina, and one that I recommend to do.
Another enjoyable experience is simply to sit down and watch the sun set over the Huacachina Oasis.
WHAT ELSE TO DO NEAR HUACACHINA?
Although the Oasis is a beautiful sight, there is not much to do other than admire it. For many, one night in Ica is enough to properly experience the oasis.
If you want to stay near the area, you might want to look into the city of Pisco for a tour of the Islas Ballestas, where you’ll have the opportunity to see penguins and sea lions living in their natural habitat.
Pisco is a small town located about 1 hour north from Ica. It can be reached either by bus, or you can opt to visit the islands on a day tour from Ica (although the price might not make it worth it).
What are your thoughts on the Huacachina Oasis? If you need more information, drop me a line.