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Huacachina is a small Peruvian oasis town that is very popular among younger backpackers on the gringo trail. The pretty village, that is mainly hotels and cafes, is located around a small oasis surrounded by towering sand dunes. Most people come for a day or two but some longer. The main activities include hanging around the pool at a hotel, drinking at a hotel bar till 5:00 in the morning, then hitting up a sand board the next day.
After Arriving in Ica the only way to get to Huacachina is by taxi and it is usually 3 to 6 Sols depending on the time of day and how nice the taxi is. Remember the bus stop in Ica is not nice and is the kind of place where you should keep a close eye on your bags. For leaving town taxi's seem to collect at the entrance to town.
The town is small, very small. It is actually more a of a village. The road forms a U around the hotels around the spring and then there is a walking road around the oasis itself.
|Banana's Adventure||Calle Angela de Perotti s/n||HOSTEL||85|
|Casa de Arena||Av. Angela de Perotti S/N Balneario de Huacachina Ica||HOSTEL||80|
|Desert Nights Hostelling International||Boulevard de Huacachina s/n||Hostel||80|
|Hostel Del Barco||Huacachina 180||HOSTEL||-|
|Desert Nights Apartment||Main Pedestrian Boulevard||APARTMENT||-|
|Carola del Sur||Angela de Perotti s/n.||HOTEL||-|
More and more hotels, resorts, airports, cafes, and retailers are going Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity), becoming "hotspots" that offer free high-speed Wi-Fi access or charge a small fee for usage. In Peru, by far the easiest way to check your e-mail and surf the Web is to drop in at the Internet cabinas (booths) that can be found in virtually every city and even small towns. Connections are usually fast, and the service is as little as S/2 per hour.
Aside from formal cybercafes, most youth hostels and many hotels nowadays have at least one computer with Internet access.
See also International Telephone Calls
Peru's country code is +51. Emergency numbers include 105 (Police), 117 (Ambulance) and 116 (Fire).
In all towns and villages that are not too small, it is no problem to find public telephones for national and international calls. Many public phones can be expensive, and an attractive alternative is a Locutorio, or "call-center". Typical rates include .2 Nuevo Sol/minute for calls in the country, and .5 Nuevo Sol/minute for most international calls. Phone cards are cheap and easily available from shops or vendors who hang around pay phones. You'll often see people with a bundle of mobile phones who act as pay phones, they'll be shouting 'llamadas'. Telephone booths are primarily used for making local calls. Calling to other countries from Peru is expensive.
If you have an unlocked cell phone you can buy local SIM cards. Movistar and Claro are two of the phone companies in Peru. You can buy your sim card from these companies and buy a phone card also.
Your best, cheapest bet for making international calls from Peru is to head to any Internet cafe with an international calling option. These cafes have connections to Skype, Net2Phone, or some other VoIP service. International calls made this way can range anywhere from 5¢ to $1 per minute -- much cheaper than making direct international calls or using a phone card. If you have your own Skype or similar account, you just need to find an Internet cafe that provides a computer with a headset.
Check the Serpost website, the national postal service (a private company), for more information about prices and options regarding the sending of postcards, letters and parcels. The post service is relatively efficient and post offices can be found in most cities and (larger) towns. Post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Saturday and some are open on Sundays from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Postcards are available from street vendors and shops at any touristy area, and stamps are generally available as well, though sometimes only at the post office itself. It takes at least 10 days to send a postcard to North America and prices start at S/5.5. To Europe it is S/7.8 and it takes even a bit longer, around 2 weeks. For little extra money, you can choose 'expresso' services. For large parcels and quantities, you can use both Serpost or companies like DHL, UPS, TNT or FedEx, which are faster and offers the same prices, though it is still relatively expensive.
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