Sandboarding In Peru At The Huacachina Sand Dunes
The Complete Guide
Sandboarding In Peru At The Huacachina Sand Dunes
The Complete Guide
Given that Huacachina is the only natural desert oasis in all of South America, it’s pretty easy to imagine why it has become the go to destination for sandboarding in Peru.
The Huacachina sand dunes reach staggering heights of 1640 feet and there is no better adrenaline rush than darting down one of them on a sandboard.
Not to mention, the Huacachina sand dunes are the largest in South America so there is truly no better place on the entire continent to go sandboarding.
Therefore, continue reading to find out everything you need to know for your day sandboarding in the Huacachina sand dunes.
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Huacachina Dune Buggy and Sandboarding Tour
Sandboarding tours are packaged along with dune buggies, which conveniently allows you to simultaneously cross both items off of your Huacachina bucket list. The tour is split into two parts.
Half the tour is spent in the dune buggy zipping around the enormously tall sand dunes at freakishly high speeds, while the other half is spent sandboarding down those same enormously tall sand dunes at freakishly high speeds.
Sounds fun right?
The dune buggy ride takes you about 15-30 mins away from the city of Huacachina directly into the Atacama Desert where the sand dunes are the biggest.
This is where you will get your shot at sandboarding.
However, keep in mind there are two different ways to sandboard.
Either standing up like you are on a snowboard or lying flat on your stomach (sand sledding.)
Standing up on the board does require a bit more athleticism, however if you have snowboarded before then chances are you will do just fine.
Though, for those of you out there who aren’t so athletically inclined, then sand sledding is probably the better option for you.
However, don’t worry because it’s just as much fun as sandboarding (if not more), without all the falling and frustration.
On top of that, you go much faster sand sledding than you do sand boarding, so if you’re an adrenaline junky with a need for speed, then this is the way to go.
How Much Is Sandboarding In Huacachina?
Depending on where you book your Huacachina sandboarding tour, prices can vary pretty significantly.
Option 1 – Book Your Tour Online
There are many places online who offer dune buggy and sandboarding tours in Huacachina, however these are typically the most expensive.
It is a common trend in Peru that things are much more expensive online than they are in person, so keep this in mind when planning for your trip.
Although if you are the type of person who likes the peace of mind of booking things in advance then by all means, go ahead.
But I must say there is practically a zero percent chance of these tours selling out while you are there.
Option 2 – Book Your Tour In Huacachina
There is a plethora of tour agencies spread around Huacachina and they all offer dune buggy and sandboarding tours.
Prices are typically set around 30 – 40 Soles per person which is approximately $10 – $15 USD.
However, if you have mastered the art of bartering then you could find prices as low 20 Soles per person which is approximately $7 USD.
Additionally, if you are planning on booking any of the other tours they offer in Huacachina like Nazca Lines, Paracas or 4×4 ATV’s then you can often times get a package discount by booking all tours with the same booking agency.
It’s typically something like 10%-15% off the total price.
Option 3 – Stay At Banana’s Adventure Hostel
Banana’s Adventure is the nicest hostel in town and the perfect option for anyone interested in sandboarding in Huacachina.
The reason is Banana’s Adventure offers an included free daily activity for all guests of the hostel.
So everyday you spend booked into the hostel you have the option to choose between:
- Dune Buggy & Sandboarding Tour
- Pisco & Wine Tasting Experience
- Delicious BBQ Dinner at the hostel
Needless to say, this is a great deal but on top of that, this was my favorite dune buggy and sandboarding tour that I managed to try while I was there.
I had so much fun the first time, I couldn’t resist doing it again.
The Huacachina sand dunes that they take you too are absolutely massive and much bigger than some of the other ones I saw the rest of the companies take their groups on.
It is also pretty cool to go on the tour with friends you met from the hostel as opposed to random strangers you would have just met whilst on the tour.
Banana’s Adventure has rooms available for as low as $25 USD per night.
Although this price is a bit higher than other hostels in Huacachina, it’s completely justified for the quality of services offered at this hostel.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Times Are The Huacachina Sand Buggy and Sandboarding Tours?
Though every tour company has different time slots for their dune buggy and sandboarding tours, it appears that tours run the entire day from about 10am to 4pm.
However, I recommend going before it gets dark otherwise that dune buggy ride back is exceptionally cold.
Though even though the Huacachina sunset tour at 4 p.m is colder, it is still a very popular option because of the breathtaking sunset views.
Just make sure to bring a jacket or you will quickly regret it.
Is Sandboarding Safe?
Sandboarding is considered safe when you follow the directions of your instructor and act responsibly, however I have seen the occasional accident from people attempting to go too fast.
However, they just ended up with some minor cuts and bruises but more importantly, they lived.
Are The Dune Buggies Safe?
The dune buggy drivers are “supposedly” all certified and licensed.
While there are some moments when you feel like you are on a rollercoaster ride straight out of hell, it does feel as if the drivers are in control at all times during the tour.
Just be sure to wear your seatbelt and try to only choose tour companies with modern buggies.
What If I Don’t Want To Go Sandboarding But Want To Go On The Dune Buggy?
The dune buggy and sandboarding tour is an unforgettable roller coaster ride full of adrenaline.
The Huacachina sand dunes are an otherworldly experience comparable to no other place I have yet to visit in South America. However, if you don’t exactly feel up to attempting sandboarding just yet, then don’t worry.
You can still join in for the dune buggy portion of the trip and have a wonderful time, even without the sandboarding.
Once it is time to sandboard, you can just opt out and stay with the dune buggy driver while everyone else goes down the slopes. This is the perfect opportunity to snap some amazing photos of the Peru desert and the breathtaking Ica sand dunes.
Or if you simply want to relax in the shade in the dune buggy and watch everyone else potentially wreck themselves then that’s fine too.
What Items Should I Bring With Me On The Tour?
The tour companies only provide you with a sandboard and the occasional helmet.
Therefore, be sure to bring anything else you may need with you for the journey.
These are some recommended items to bring:
- Extra cash (for the 3.70 Soles entrance fee)
- Sunglasses or Goggles
- Long pants (especially if you tend to bruise or scrape easily)
- Sneakers (sandals and flip flops tend to fall off during the sandboarding)
- Jacket or sweatshirt if your tour is in the evening (nights can get chilly)
Be sure when you go sandboarding to secure your bag with the seatbelt inside the dune buggy to prevent it from potentially falling out while driving through the sand dunes.
Can I Drive A Private Dune Buggy?
While you are able to rent a private dune buggy, unfortunately, no, tourists are not allowed to drive their own dune buggies.
Although I was quite upset to learn this while I was there, in hindsight I can totally envision how incredibly dangerous that would be to let thousands of unlicensed tourists go racing around 1,640 ft sand dunes with no prior experience of driving a dune buggy.
I don’t even think they would have enough ambulances in Ica for all those accidents. Although you might not be able to drive your own dune buggy, the Huacachina tour agencies do rent out 4×4 ATV Quads that offer a somewhat similar experience.
Though keep in mind the section that is specified for the dune buggies is nowhere as big as the 4×4 ATV Quad area.
However, even though those sand dunes are nowhere near the size of the ones where the dune buggies are allowed to operate, the adrenaline rush you have been craving for is still there.
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