We first arrived at the Huacachina Lagoon (an oasis lagoon in the middle of the Peruvian Desert!) and boarded dune buggies to take on the desert! The dune buggies carried 8 people each and riding in these was INSANE! We rode through the desert at an incredibly high speed, spinning around sand dunes and cruising up and down them. The ride was more fun and more crazy than any roller coaster I have ever been on! Many of the dunes are amazingly high and steep, which made the dune buggy rides intense! After being thrown around on the dune buggies, we stopped at the top of a large dune in the desert. From here, looking out into the desert was an amazing view of sand for miles in every direction that you looked. It was something straight out of Aladin and unlike anything I have ever seen before! Then we were all given boards to try sandboarding! Like I said before, the dunes were massive, which made standing up on the board nothing less than difficult- but still very fun! At first, on most of the larger dunes, we all laid down on our stomachs and rode down the dunes head-first on our boards (some kind of extreme desert sledding). Once I grew comfortable enough on the dunes, I was able to ride down the dunes standing on the board. It was a lot different than wake boarding and even snowboarding in that on the sand, you cannot really carve or cut, so rather than curving to slow your speed down or control where you are going, you just balance yourself and go! Needless to say, there were some pretty harsh wipe outs, but we all made it back without any very serious injuries.
The next day, we headed to Paracas, a coastal town in Peru where the desert meets the Pacific ocean. In Paracas, we boarded a boat and roade out to las Islas Ballestas (an incredibly beautiful island chain off the coast which is home to many diffferent types of animals, including penguins and sea lions!) We rode around the islands for an hour or so and then we were able to explore the town of Paracas. I spent time relaxing on the beach in the sun before getting a late lunch and then heading back to Lima.
The view on the Dune Buggies
La Laguna de Huacachina
Los Lobos del Mar
The view on the beach in Paracas