I am planning a trip in March. Fly into Costa Rica and travel overland through Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and finally fly out of Lima, Peru. Giving myself about four months to do this.
When looking for things to do along the way, I have decided to go scuba diving, try my hand at surfing, zipline tours, hiking, sailing, and whatever else gets in my way. Costa Rica and Panama have a lot of this stuff, being very touristy. Colombia I haven't found a whole lot and I haven't really looked into Ecuador yet.
Anyway, I came across Sandboarding in Peru today. Let me just say, HOLY CRAP! I am stoked to try this out. I am a huge fan of snowboarding and am actually going to miss out on the tail end of the season to take this trip, so the option of sandboarding is perfect to supplement those out of season blues! Unfortunately, from the little research I have done, it seems this is limited to areas quite a bit south of Lima; mainly, Ica and Arequipa.
I am just wondering if anyone has any input on the places that sandboarding is available along that route. If I have to, I will take some extra time and make my way down there for a day or two, because sandboarding is a memory I definitely want to take away from this trip. I might do that anyway, but I would like the option of doing it along the path I am taking. I am planning on hugging the coast through Ecuador and Peru unless something jumps out at me.
Thanks in advance. I can't wait to try this sport!
check this blog of mine http://murray2701.travellerspoint.com/81/
sand boarding in hucachina and the dune buggy ride was a real highlight in an amazing country
pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/murrayandlynn
Huacachina is definitely the place to go. It's just a few hours south of Lima and is a great town to relax in for a couple days. Its a small oasis in the middle of the sand dunes and has loads of opportunities for getting out into the hills.
But I will warn you, the vast majority of sand boarding done in the area doesn't really compare to snowboarding in any way. Most tour companies and rentals give you nothing more than a plank with cloth straps, and there's not too much you can do with them. I'm also a snowboarder and I just got frustrated from sinking into the sand and in the end it was just as fun to sit on them and toboggan down. But, if you look hard enough you can find proper boards around I'm sure, and if you can find them it might be worth the extra money.
Besides sandboarding, Huacachina is also famous for its sandbuggy rides, which may just be the most exhilarating thing you will ever do. Don't miss that.
If you like sandboarding that much, maybe you won't mind going to Nazca (6 or 7 hours from Lima) to Cerro Blanco, which is the highest sand dune in the world. It's 2,070m, using the converter is 6,790 feet aprox.
enjoy your trip!
ditto everything above. Huacachina is defo the spot I would go to. It was right at the end of my 6 month trip and I ended up there for 5 days relaxing. Boarding was fun but I winded myself pretty badly on a fall. Next time I might listen to the guide lol.
As with everything don't accept the first price!! the waiter's at the restaurant by the water will sort you a deal.
Some of the dune buggy drivers are firkin crazy.
Huacachina was the place to go - you can stay in this amazing little Oasis, party hard all night and go sandboarding with a variety of companies - let me tell you in advance, make sure you get a centre seat on the buggy when they take you out so you get less sand in your face and whatever happens take glasses as you won't be able to see a thing.
Cameras sound like a good idea but the majority of my little buggy trip had broken their cameras by then end as the sand is flying everywhere!
Thanks for the replies guys. While I had hoped to avoid heading south of Lima if at all possible, I know now that it won't be doable. I mean, yes, it is POSSIBLE, but would be foolish of me.
I totally forgot about the Inca Trail and Macchu Picchu. Since I will definitely HAVE to get down there for that, finding the time to stop off and sandboard won't be a problem. I will definitely look into Huacachina and probably Arequipa as well.
Kingwindle - thanks for the practical advice. Will keep that in mind. And it sounds like my type of place!
Tricky - also, thanks for the input. Will remember to not take the first price. I am not usually good at that stuff. Very American in that regard, "the price is the price".
Fiesta - I have actually never been sandboarding, but I am amped to try it. I did read about Nazca but that is much closer than I thought. Depending on how the money is holding up, I might give it a shot.
Degolasse - Awesome input. I don't really expect it to be on the level of snowboarding, which is unbeatable. But I do look forward to a new experience. And the buggy rides, I hear a lot about them .
Murray - Thanks for getting the ball started on the responses. Seems like an awesome trip!
On a complete side not, and it will probably end up somewhere else on these forums, I am really excited for Peru. I don't know what I was thinking, but I had figured that Costa Rica and Panama would be the highlights of the trip, with Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru just as a bonus. But now, I am wishing that I would start in Peru to make sure I enjoy it all. Just seems like such a rich place to go!
Not to mention, when I went snowboarding on Tuesday (first day of the season and powder everywhere), I spotted one of the foreign workers and her name tag said she was from Peru. I chatted to her a bit. Let me say, if the rest of the country looks anything like her, I might never come back!