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6 travelers at this place

  • Day5

    Ica & Huacachina

    October 12, 2018 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    After arriving in Ica late at 10pm, we realized that night - and especially the next morning, that Ica is a noisy city! Many Tuk-tuks, many cars and a lots of honking. But the sun was shining and there was plenty of fresh fruit sold in the streets and therefore our mood was unaffected.

    Later that day -in the afternoon- we booked a trip to Huacachina, an oasis a few km outside of Ica. The oasis itself was not as beautiful as espected, it‘s a really commercialized place, but we had super duper fun driving crazily around in buggys and sandboarding down the dunes!
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  • Day82

    Sandboarden in Huacachina & Lima

    March 28, 2016 in Peru ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Na een hel van een nachtbus komen we een paar uur later aan in Ica (onze oorspronkelijke bus zou een lekke band hebben en niet rijden, daarom zijn we overgeboekt naar een andere maatschappij. Helaas is deze bus van mindere kwaliteit en dat bleek ook toen we midden in de nacht hebben stilgestaan en de buschauffeur hard aan het sleutelen was.)

    Maaaar in Ica is het 30+ graden en de zon schijnt, heerlijk weer! De volgende dag hebben we een les zandskiën voor Anika en zandboarden voor Mike geregeld. We waren toch wel toe aan een beetje ski/boarden na alle wintersport foto's die we op FB voorbij zagen komen. Enige verschil: zand ipv sneeuw. Na eerst op een baby duintje de techniek te hebben geoefend (achterover leunen ipv naar voor) gaan we mee in een sandbuggy en worden we naar de echte hoge duinen geleid. Help, de zwarte piste is hier niks bij en het gaat heel erg schuin naar beneden. Gelukkig ga je door het zand niet heel snel naar beneden en kun je nog wel een beetje sturen. We krijgen uitleg van een echte pro en hij maakt ook filmpjes en foto's met de go pro, leuk om terug te zien. Foto's volgen later, want de laptop wil niet meer opladen :(

    We nemen een bus naar Lima en slapen in Baranco, een suburb aan de zee. De eerste dag gaan we lunchen bij een bekend cafe van Ceviche, rauwe vis en lokale specialiteit en de middag liggen we op het strand. Strand is een groot woord voor een reepje zand naast de snelweg, en het water is koud en ook heel vies, er drijft van alles in. We houden het bij pootje baden. De volgende dag gaan we naar het oude centrum en lopen daar de stadswandeling. Een paar mooie kerken gezien, maar highlight was toch wel Chinatown, een druk stukje stad met veel mensen en veel spullen die je kon kopen.

    We vliegen van Lima naar de Galapagos met een nachtje zonder slaap op het vliegveld van Quito in Ecuador.
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  • Day12

    Ica, Huacachina Peru

    January 13, 2017 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    After a 6hr journey (Peru bus) we arrived in Ica at noon half dazed.

    The main attraction in Ica is Huacachina - an oasis in the middle of the desert 🌵 where you can also book a hostel.

    However, Dipesh managed to find a lovely family run hotel 'Hotel Olanta' just on the outskirts of Ica (only 6mins by taxi for 7 soles) which was a lot cheaper and nicer than the pricey hostels at the oasis.

    I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone staying in ica/Huacachina.

    The hotel owner, Louis was extremely helpful and welcomed his guests individually. I don't know about you - but these days hotels lack that personal service - Louis definitely went that extra mile to make his guests feel welcome.

    The hotel is conveniently located in a safe complex with a mall within 5 mins walk and the main bus stations within 15-20mins walk .

    Having washed out our sleepy eyes and tired faces, we got a taxi to Huacachina for three things i) visit the desert and oasis ii) take a ride on the sandbuggies iii) sandboarding (kowabunga!)

    We booked our sand buggy/board experience directly at the oasis - There are several tour sellers there desperate for your money so you have some haggling leverage.

    We paid 35 soles for 2 hrs per person but I reckon you can haggle the price down to 25 sole p/p depending on the season

    The sandbuggy was an amazing adrenaline pumping ride through the soft sandunes.
    Which was followed by sandboarding - again this was super cool and very fast down some of the steepest dunes.

    It was amazing experience to be in the presence of the mounting sand dunes ...a vastness yet eerie stillness.

    Before coming back to the hotel we had a quick bite to eat (papa jones pizza) in the mall which was yet another challenge having to ask for vegetarian pizza amongst the selection of meaty pizzas

    The next day we walked to the museum in Ica and attempted to find a vegetarian restaurant recommended to us by Louis (but it was closed)

    The Museo Regional Maria Reiche de Ica was really interesting (again walking distance from our hotel) displaying the history of geo ...and a smaller version of the mysterious Nazca Lines (one of the greatest mysteries of South America)

    The Nazca lines are a series of animal figures and geometric shapes imprinted on a vast desert. It appears that these gigantic sophisticated motifs are executed in a single continuous line. How or why the Nazca lines were created is still a mystery. This lines can only be seen from flying above the Palpa desert. We skipped this mostly because of £££$$ but also because of some reviews stating that the flights are risky.

    The museum also exhibited a mummy as well as several other ancient ritualistic artefacts.

    We visited a small zoo (walking distance from hotel) which housed all the usual suspects but also a Llama and a Condor which were HUGE!

    Ica is also famous for its production of Pisco (The national Peruvian drink) and wineries.

    We visited two wineries again recommended to us by Louis.

    Tacama (machinery processed sophisticated winery) It was interesting to see the mass production of wine using maahoosive steel machinery.

    There was a quick tour for 10 soles where we saw both old and new tools used at the winery.

    Unfortunately, the earthquake of 2007 damaged parts of the factory.

    The tour ended with a tasting session of the wines and my first Pisco.

    El Catador Bodega Turistica (handprocessed traditional methods)

    We were close to not visiting this winery because we were running out of time but also I'm not a big fan of wine - but wanted to see how wine is made

    El Catador Bodega Turistica was definitely worth the visit. Our English speaking guide 'Marco' walked us around the winery. He showed us the traditional methods used in the past (no machinery) such clay pots, deep wells to assist the distilleration process typical Peruvian style, the tour ended with wine tasting. We learnt a great deal about wine and more importantly Pisco. Marco also taught us how to drink neat Pisco (swirl a sip of Pisco in your mouth for 5 secs, inhale through your nose, hold your the breath in your stomach, swallow the Pisco, exhale through your nose) so as not to get you drunk.

    I never knew of such a technique of drinking! Or the level of attention and perfection that goes into wine making.

    It was absolutely fascinating!

    We then grabbed our bags from the hotel and headed to the oltursa bus station in readiness for our 12hr overnight coach to Arequipa.
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