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Sandboarding in Peru - Activity Info. - Peru

Sandboarding is a lot like snowboarding, only on sand instead of snow (duh). It's a specialty in Peru, particularly in the Ica Desert region. Many of the hotels and hostels at the Huacachina Oasis rent or provide sandboards, and most of the local tour companies offer trips as well. Typically, tourists will choose a board from a selection provided by the tour operator of their choice, and then pile into a dune buggy for a quick ride out into the desert. When a likely-looking dune is identified, the car will drop you off at the top. Helpful guides will show you how to "surf" down the dune without killing yourself. Before long, everyone will reach the bottom: the guide, who has effortlessly glided there on his board, and the tourists, who have either rolled over after taking a sandy tumble or walked because there is no more wax on their board. Boards should be waxed between runs, and your guide will show you how as the buggy brings you to another dune. On a typical day, you may get in about a half-dozen different runs before heading back to Huacachina.

Be sure to bring a lot of water (perhaps three liters or so), sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and strong, comfortable shoes.

If you're near Nazca and up for a challenge, you may want to check out Cerro Blanco, or "White Mountain." At 2070 meters (6,791 ft), it is one of the tallest sand dunes in the world (if not the tallest). It is certainly the most massive sandboard-able peak in Peru. Dune buggies can only get you so close to the top of Cerro Blanco: you’ll have to leave your hotel early, drive for a while, and then walk three hours to get to the top, carrying your board, water and sunscreen. The descent usually takes about an hour.

Every year, the Dune Riders International World Tour of Sandboarding sponsors the Copa Sudamericana in Peru, a sort of South American championship of sandboarding. Contestants come from around the world to compete in categories like Boarder Cross and Parallel Slalom. The competition is still in its initial years, so dates, venues and events often change. A good place to find information on this event is:

Activity Info.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Peru: Pucallpa Nature Park, Awamaki, Horseback riding in Peru, The Association of Gente del Manana, Museums in Peru, Hiking in Peru, Peru Mountain Climbing, Peru Mountain Biking, Lamas Ethnic Museum and Blue Lagoon.

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