Bike travel, commuting and more


Peru VIII: Ica & Huancachina Oasis


Huancachina Oasis

If we are in the desert, we’d better enjoy it!

Leaving a big city like Lima is no fun, and since our next destination was Cusco, more than 1100 km and 3500 mts in altitude away, we decided to take another bus.

Packing again the bikes in Lima
Packing again the bikes in Lima

The journey can be done all in one go, but that would be over one day sitting in a bus, too hard for adults and unbearable for Thomas and Simon. The best way would be to split it, and looking for nice stopovers on the way we decided to settle on the south route, stopping in Ica in order to visit the Huancachina oasis, and then in Nazca for the lines.

Thomas sleeping in the bus
Thomas took his usual bus nap

The journey to Ica was an acceptable 4 hours, first following the boring desert on the coast up to Paracas and Pisto, and then inlands towards Ica. Paracas is a famous natural reserve, but we decided no stop there as it seemed to offer a miniature version of what we had already seen in Galapagos.

Agricultural control leaving Lima
An agricultural control leaving Lima

Just before Ica we saw the remains of the previous’ days protests, with big stones on the side of the road and the rests from burning tires on the asphalt.

Plaza de Armas in Ica
Plaza de Armas in Ica

Ica is nothing special, just a medium size city in the middle of the desert. It is however full of backpackers because of the popular Huancachina oasis, just 4 km outside the city and full of hostels and outdoor activities. We decided to find an accommodation in Ica, as it would be cheaper and quieter, and then cycle over to the oasis.

Ortlieb with holes
The bus driver stapled the luggage ticket into the paniers, ruining the waterproof layer

Once there we were amazed by the amount of foreigners, considering Ica was a very regular provincial city with not much going. In the oasis you can rent buggys to drive over the dunes, you can sandboard the dunes with regular snowboards covered in candle wax, or as we did, you can just climb the nearest biggest dune and enjoy the sunset.

Hotel in Huacachina
We parked the bikes and walked

By pure coincidence we met there the Italian family we had met in Galapagos, so we went together to see the sunset. The sand is really fine so it was quite difficult to walk, and our shoes got filled of sand.

Thomas overwhelmed by the dunes

Simon and Thomas loved it. Simon could not stop grabbing sand to throw, and Thomas liked to roll down the dunes. The dune we and many others chose was steeper than we thought and it took a while until we reached the top.

Waiting for the sunset
In the right spot

We were lucky and we arrived just 15 minutes before the sunset, with plenty of time to find a good spot.

Choosing our seating area
It was hard to find a place to sit!

Then, when the sun was about to set, three motorbikers passed roaring behind us, at full power, trying to overcome the steep mountain side. It was so loud that it was impossible not to look, with the result that we missed the very last seconds of the sunset. Oh well…

Sunset in Huacachina

The way down was pure pleasure for the kids, also the ones from the Italian family, just jumping and rolling down the sand.

Dune downhill
Getting ready to go… down!

When we reached the water down at the oasis, the four kids started playing together while the adults shared experiences of our respective trips, so we stayed there until late.

Down at the oasis

The way back we had to do it in the dark, but luckily we had lights and the road was good. Next day we will go to Nazca, which is only three hours away from Ica, still in a desert landscape.

Cruz del Sur not bike friendly
The most famous bus company in Peru. Not bike friendly


  1. Ricardo

    Qué bonito el oasis 😍

    • Noemi

      Hola guapos, justo hace dos días vimos un documental donde salía ese oasis, que suerte verlo al natural y no desde la tele, que envidia 😀, se os ve fenomenal un besazo a los cuatro.

      • Comment by post author

        Hola Noemí, que bueno que te pases por aquí!! 🙂

        • Katherine

          Un oasis!!! Como es la naturaleza de sabia. Entre tanta arena ..un pedalo de vida. Me pregunto como funcionaran los services basics?(porqye eso es una mini ciudad). Que tan profundo llegaran? Bajo la arena ….tierra normal o mas arena? Que intriga!!
          Y el atardecer? Eso si un espectaculo q extrano de mi pais. Ver caer el.sol en el mar en menos de media hora. Casi q escuchabamos el sssssssss 😄.( parte de la niñez) Sigan disfrutando de Las maravillas de ese lado del mundo

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