We journeyed out into the desert! From Lima to Ica and than to Huacachina, a tiny little desert oasis. It just a dinky resort spot (can’t really call it a town). It has a pretty gross and green lake and surrounded by restaurants and hotels/hostels, but that doesn’t really do it justice because it was a super cool part of the city and a very unique area to stay in.
So we rolled on with all of our bougieness and took the 4/5 hour coach bus from Lima to Ica. But we upgraded for an extra $8 to VIP seats. And let me tell you that if this isn’t an option for me on the next coach bus I take than I am not going. The seats were so much bigger and comfier than the typical and they gave you a little pillow and blankie for the ride. It was perfect because we took the bus at about 6am and wanted to sleep the whole way. And that we did. Our seats were able to recline 160 degrees and we were able to put our feet up. So needless to say it was a very luxurious ride. It also included a little snack (croissant w/ham) and they played Moana! So basically the best bus ride of my entire life.
Ica is what many would expect for an underdeveloped country. The city seemed to be a very poor and unclean city, and not somewhere you would really opt in to visit or hang out. So we hailed our cabs and took off to Huacachina (about 15 minutes away). Super sad that we didn’t take a tuk tuk though! While they are probably the unsafest things to get in, they were so cute and looked like so much fun to ride in. Def something for the next trip.
We arrived in the tiny town and were surprised at just how small it was. You could walk around the whole place in about 10 minutes. We bunked at Banana’s Adventures for 2 nights and shared a room with 2 bunk beds! Was cute and really all you can expect in a place like that. But they had a stellar BBQ each night and cheap beer, so was pretty perfect! What was great about our hostel was that each night included an activity. So we signed up for a wine tour and a dune buggy/sand boarding trip.
Let me tell you about this wine tour. It always seems to be that the sketchiest things you do create the best memories and lead to the most fun adventures. Here I am thinking that this is gonna be this big group outing and everyone from the hostel is gonna join us. HAHA no. It was literally just the 4 of us and a local just comes and picks us up in his car. Of which you can only get into one passenger side door. He was terrific though. Was so much fun and was blasting the tunes for us the whole time. So we did 2 wineries (if you can really call them that). Ill just say that they way they make wine is still very historic and old and not nearly similar in our standards here in North America.
After touring the grounds they took us to the bar! Of which they offered us to sample their red wine which was very thick and syrupy and sweet and nothing like what we drink here. And then we tried Pisco, which is a national staple there a must try for all visitors. Now pisco is strong, much like a vodka and really not all that enjoyable on its own. Typically you would ask for a Pisco Sour or Chilcano. Those I really liked! But I was the only one in the group that did, because they are hella sour. Anyways after taking several samples and shots of pisco we moved onto the next winery. Now the second one was sketchy. Very dark and not at all like a tourist destination like the other was. Our tour guide/driver brought us to the back of this room which was super dark and started showing us all these old antiques. It was super eery and there were flies everywhere and the whole thing was like a scene out of a movie. He than grabs a bamboo shoot and sticks into one of the clay vats of wine and pours out a shot for all of us. Super unsanitary ok. But we took it. And than another. And than another. And than he went for the pisco, which Ill add was served out of a big plastic milk jug type bottle. We walked out of this place and well, we were feeling it. We are just very happy that we brought soda crackers on the road with us! Best decision we made the whole trip!
Our next adventure was dune buggying and sandboarding! And this was a blast! If you do decide to try this than def bring a bandana of some sort to cover your mouth as sand can go everywhere if you fall…..plus when your lying down you go face first and that could end real badly. But we started off small and gradually went bigger and bigger. I was able to do a few of the smaller ones standing on the board, but the big hills were way too daunting. The boards we got only had dinky straps on them. You could rent an actual snowboard, but its not necessary, its equally as fun going down on your stomach. Luckily for me, there were no wipeouts. But that wasn’t the case for all. We saw some nasty falls and tumbles throughout the day, one of them Jo, and Im just gonna give her props for getting back up. Cause she fell hard.
In between the boarding you strap in and rip around the sandy dunes. Sadly you cant drive them (probably for the best) but the drivers know what they’re doing. They take on some big hills and dips and make the ride so enjoyable. It was an incredible experience. We did one group night, and than did a second private one and it was the best idea. We got some awesome group pictures during the private tour and an awesome ride around the dunes.
I also forgot to mention that there are tons of stray/wild dogs running around Peru (all friendly for the most part). But the hostel we stayed in had a pregnant pooch, and it gave birth to its puppies when we were there! It was very cute and the little puppers were so precious! Was really wishing I could take one with me.
Where we stayed/Where you should stay:
Banana’s Adventures BBQ