It’s Not A Mirage: Tiny Oasis Town Of Huacachina Thrives In Middle Of Dry Desert
by Simon McCormack
The Huffington Post
No, it’s not a mirage! The amazing oasis town that flourishes in the middle of the driest place on Earth
by Becky Pemberton
・ The tropical settlement of Huacachina, in Peru, is nestled in the middle of one of the most barren places on earth
・ The town is home to 96 residents, and has rustic hotels, shops and even an oasis library
・ Visitors can enjoy watching the sunset over the dunes, before sandboarding down to the oasis
In the midst of one of the driest climates in the world is an oasis town with lush palm trees, flourishing foliage, and a tranquil lagoon which is said to have curative properties.
The magical town is called Huacachina, and it can be found not only on adventurers’ bucket lists, but also in a barren desert in Peru.
Visitors can visit the surreal settlement and the 96 residents who thrive on running small businesses on their greatest resource; sand.
The lake is naturally formed, but there is a legend that a young princess was bathing when she was discovered by a hunter and fled, leaving behind a pool of water. Her flowing cloak was said to have created the surrounding sand dunes.
Now, descendents of the Inca people make their living by hosting guests coming from afar to climb to the top of a wind-sculptured sand dune and watch the sunset illuminate the golden landscape, before sailing down the slopes on rented sandboards or dune buggies.
Fear not if you have visions of stumbling around lost in the desert, with a few droplets of water left in your flask.
The paradise Huacachina is situated a handy 4km from the southern city of Ica, a former Spanish colonial town located on the borders of the desert.
When you arrive at the ‘Oasis of America,’ one of the last oasis’ in North and South America, you are greeted by the sights of rustic hotels, quaint shops and even an oasis library, surrounding the blue lagoon.
The luscious town was popular with wealthy Peruvians in the 1940s, who used to come to bathe in the lagoon, as it was thought the waters had healing powers.
Legend has it that a beautiful Incan princess was discovered bathing by a young hunter. When she fled and the pool of water she left behind her became the lagoon.
She fled and the folds of her mantle streamed behind her, creating the surrounding sand dunes.
Due to landowners building wells to access groundwater, coupled with evaporation during summer high temperatures, the lagoon water levels have dropped over the past few years.
In an effort to combat this, water has been pumped into the the lake from Ica for Huacachina inhabitants.
The area has been declared a national cultural heritage site, by the National Institute of Culture, and it is hoped that this tranquil oasis will never become a mirage in the desert.
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