In southwest Peru, located in the Ice Province, sitting around a natural desert lake called the oasis of America, i the village of Huacachina. The village is near the city of Inca and has a permanent population of around 100. The are attracts both forigen and peruvian tourists who usually go to the area for one of two things. To either soak up the sun in a hammock along the lake side or, to get an adrenalin fix in the dune tours and sand-boarding down the 300 feet tall dunes!!!
The name Huacachina is originally from Quechua. Wakay means ‘to cry,’ and china means ‘young woman.’ Huacachina is named after a crying woman, which relates to the legends of the areas creation. There are varying versions of the legend, and they usually go something like this:
“Centuries ago a beautiful Incan princess was wandering through the desert near her house, while clutching her mirror in which she constantly admired her beauty. However, when she raised the mirror to her face she immediately saw a man who was watching her from behind her. Shocked, she dropped her mirror, and when it shattered the shards of glass transformed into lake Huacachina”
It is at this point the legends can really vary but this would be the most common:
“One version states that the princess fled the scene, with her veil scraping along the ground, creating the dunes that surround the oasis. Another version states the woman remained in the oasis, and became a mermaid (una sirena). To this day, there are people who say that the mermaid in the lagoon is lonely and so every year she drags one man by his ankle, deep into the lagoon where he drowns”
There are many activities to do in the area including wine and desert tours to dune buggy and sand boarding trips. So what ever you fancy, there is so much to do!!!!