There’s a magical, picturesque place of greenery, hotels, shops and even an “oasis library”, which sits in the driest desert on earth. It’s called Huacachina, an oasis town made up of Incas descendants.
The beautiful town is small with 96 residents , and it can be found surrounded by the barren sand dunes of Peru.
The Huacachina oasis is located 4km from the southern city of Ica, and 300 km south of Lima. The settlement surrounds a peaceful lagoon, which is naturally formed.
At night the town’s lights lend a surreal view of the desert settlement. It’s a peaceful paradise in the center of a harsh desert.
The locals make their living by hosting guests from around the world, and the environment offers much to do like: exploring and climbing wind-sculptured dunes, sailing down the sand slopes on sandboards or dune buggies and watching illuminating sunsets on golden landscapes.
Peruvians believe the lake has healing powers, and the wealthy have been traveling to the location to bathe in its waters since the 1940s.
There’s a legend that an Incan princess was spied upon by a young hunter while bathing in the lake. When she fled, the pool of water became the lagoon, and the sand dunes were created as “she fled and the folds of her hair streamed behind her”.
Due to evaporation during summer high temperatures, and landowners building wells to access groundwater, the lagoon water levels have dropped over the past few years.
In an effort to combat this the water storage of the lake, water has been pumped in from the city of Ica for Huacachina inhabitants.
The National Institute of Culture declared Huacachina a national cultural heritage site, hopefully they’ll be able to maintain their tranquil oasis from never becoming a mirage in the desert.