We arrived in Lima after an uneventful (20 hour!) bus ride from Mancora. As the bus approached Lima, we were surprised to see how impoverished the outskirts of the city were. Sprinkled throughout the barren desert landscape were tiny huts made of plywood without running water or electricity. Once we reached the main city center, the landscape drastically changed as the desert was replaced with a concrete jungle boasting beautiful cliff views.Our stop in Lima was quite short. We explored Lima’s waterfront, stocked up on supplies and bought tickets to our next destination – Huacachina, Peru.
Huacachina, a desert oasis centered around a picturesque lagoon, lies four hours south of Lima on the gringo trail.We checked into our hostel and immediately left to climb the steep dunes surrounding the oasis. Aside from camping at Joshua Tree National Park, this was the first time we’ve really been in the desert and the scenery was breathtaking!The next day, we went on a dune-buggy and sandboarding trip. We were most excited for the dune-buggy rides, but the sandboarding turned out to be a blast. The sandboards were basically plywood with velcro foot straps – not the safest equipment around but we made it work. We watched fellow backpackers eat sand on the way down the dunes but Chris was a sandboarding pro! I opted for riding the board like a sled. On the last and largest dune, everyone went down on their stomachs head first because it was so steep it was unsafe to ride any other way. While other people dragged their legs in the sand to slow themselves, Chris flew down the steep dune going faster and farther than any other person. By the end of the evening, every inch of our bodies was covered in sand – proof of a great time. Huacachina was the perfect place to relax for a few days. The vibe was very laid back and the small town was a great change of pace from the big city of Lima. Plus, it was absolutely gorgeous. From here, we are off to Cuzco – the launch pad for our trek to Machu Picchu!