You’re never to old to try new activities, so in Huacachina I tried sandboarding at the age of fifty. Huacachina is a tiny oasis town surrounded by high dunes, about an one hour drive inland from the seaside town of Paracas. The sandboarding was part of a two hour dune buggy trip, also a first for me.

Mad Max in Peru

Both Eugénie and I dreaded the trip, which is a bit of a Mad Max experience. Eugénie was anxious because she feared going down the dunes on a sandboard, I had my doubts because I tend to get very nauseous in rollercoasters and all similar activities.

Earlier this year we went dune bashing in the desert outside Dubai and I already felt sick after the first few dunes. So I came prepared this time and took motion sickness pills. They worked like a charm…

Huacachina, Peru

Ready for sandboarding

Eugénie had more problems conquering her fear of sandboarding down the highest dunes. After the first few descends she called it quits. She’d done it and that was enough.

She wasn’t the only suffering from ‘high dunes anxiety’. Some only made it down the biggest dunes after it was pointed out to them that if a fifty year old guy could do it, those twenty to thirty years younger certainly could. On their belly, just like me and most other people. In the end we had sand everywhere, but it was great fun.

Huacachina, Peru

Mad Max buggy


Travel tips Huacachina

Sleep – We stayed 1 night at the Curasi Hotel. We had booked a twin room but got a big family room with 4 king beds, 2 (!) wash basins and a hot shower. We slept like babies and breakfast was good but wifi was spotty. Regretfully we didn’t have time to test the pool, but people seemed to be enjoying it.

Transport – We traveled with Peru Hop form Paracas which is less than one hour away.

Huacachina, Peru

Huacachina after the sun has set

Tour – Tours are offered early in the morning or at the end of the day and cost around 50 soles (14 euros). When you book a dune buggy and sandboarding trip be sure to get a safe buggy driver – some drive like maniacs, we were in the softie car though – and that the sandboards have a smooth surface. The bottom of my board looked pretty worn and I suspect that’s why it felt I was going down the dunes with a brake on (others went much faster), but maybe that’s just my poor sandboarding technique (it probably was).

About the author

Roel Kerkhof

Restless wanderer, retired cyclist and triathlete, geographer and writer. Man with a mission impossible: to visit all countries in the world.

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