The Huacachina lake is an oasis located 5 km west of the Peruvian city of Ica, in the middle of the Pacific coastal desert. The lake, with emerald coloured waters, was created by natural seepage from underground aquifers.
Around it there is abundant vegetation, including palm and eucalyptus trees (introduced species) and a mesquite tree species known as huarango (American carob), which migratory birds that fly pass this region use for perching. All of this contributes to making Huacachina one of the most striking and gorgeous places in the Peruvian coast.
Thanks to its appeal as a natural paradise, the warm climate throughout the year and the alleged healing nature of its waters (earlier on rich in sulphurous and saline substances), Huacachina became in the 1960s one of the most important and exclusive spa resorts in Peru at the time. Housing and hotels were developed and a beautiful boardwalk was built around the lake, with railings, footpaths and changing rooms for bathers. Moreover, the road from the lake to the city of Ica was paved, and ficus trees, acacias and huarangos were planted.
One of the main tourist attractions in Huacachina is sandboarding, not in the water but in the surrounding sand dunes. Tourists bring their boards to ride down the dunes at great speed.