Jul 19, 6 years ago

Where to Sandboard in Peru

http://blog.ailolalatino.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/rsz_1enjoying_the_sandy_sunset-1024x768.jpghttp://blog.ailolalatino.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/rsz_1enjoying_the_sandy_sunset-1024x768.jpghttp://blog.ailolalatino.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/rsz_1enjoying_the_sandy_sunset-1024x768.jpgWhere to Sandboard in Peru

So you’re backpacking through the wilds of South America and looking for an activity that packs a good punch of adrenaline… may I suggest sandboarding? That’s right – it is possible to fly down a sand dune strapped to a plank of wood. And it’s every bit as fun as it sounds. Compared to snowboarding, sandboarding is cheaper, requires less gear, is possible year-round and hurts a lot less when you fall. Check out this list of some popular Peruvian dunes to tame your craving for adventure!


If you are in Peru to sandboard, GO TO HUACACHINA. This sandboarding mecca sits on a tranquil lake, an oasis of greenery amid the massive sand dunes. Most hostel offer equipment and transportation, and some offer half day packages including lessons and a rollercoaster-like dune buggy ride. Arrive in Huacachina by first stopping over in the tiny earthquake-ravaged town of Ica, accessible by bus.


Known as the “Capital of the Everlasting Spring”, Trujillo is a cozy little oceanside town in the north of Peru. Trujillo is better known for arts festivals, cultural dance and archaeology than for sandboarding. For this reason, you’ll have the open seas of sand to yourself. Tour guides in town can provide gear and transport you to the desert, which is under an hour away.


Slightly closer to Lima, this tiny harbor town offers a variety of wine and pisco tasting tours as well as sandboarding excursions. This spot is ideal for the novice sandboarder that wants an overnight trip but doesn’t want to spend hours on a bus.


If you really need to stay close to the capital, try a sandboarding tour to the Dunas de Asia, just south of the capital. The dunes are small, best for beginners. Tours typically depart twice daily on the weekends, and can be arranged from within the capital.


On the northern coast of Peru, Arequipa boasts the Duna Toro Mata, one of the largest in the world. Day long tours can be arranged in Arequipa or via internet in advance, including a racy dune buggy ride and scenic tour of the desert.

Some tips…

  • Make sure the tour you book includes transporation from the bottom of the dunes to the top.  Otherwise you’ll spend a significant amount of time hiking it yourself!
  • Wear sneakers! It may be a bit uncomfortable to spend the day with sand in your shoes and socks, but it sure beats losing sandals. And trust me, you WILL lose the sandals.
  • Don’t worry so much about falling. Many people will avoid skiing or snowboarding because they’re afraid of the painful impact. Sandboarding is a much cushier sport, so feel free to give it a go!

Lead image: CC photo courtesy of kjdozzi on Flickr


Katy is currently an English teacher and freelance writer in Santiago, Chile. She enjoys traveling on the weekends and eating empanadas.

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