Riding the Dunes in Peru
Skateboarding and snowboarding are both well-known sports and past times, however, there’s a new “board game” that’s come out to play.
Sandboarding is similar to snowboarding, as instead of snow banks, boarders take on sand dunes. One of the most awesome places to do just that is in Peru. “Come again?” you’re probably asking, but yes, there’s so much more to Peru’s offerings than their amazing cultural and heritage sites. Discover a brand new reason to travel to this country, and take a ride or many, down their dunes.
If you don’t know where to begin, try the town of Huacachina. It’s located behind enormous sand dunes and is a manmade oasis with hotels, hostels, and restaurants. You won’t find Huacachina in many guidebooks, but what you will find is Peru Adventure Tours, a company that offers day-trips to Cerro Blanco—the world’s highest sand dune at 2070 meters above sea level. It’s located on the route to Cusco, and though getting there is a bit of a hassle, it’ll be worth it.
After an early start—at least 5 a.m., there is an hour-long drive before boarders even make it there, followed by a three-hour climb up the dune in potentially hot sun. “Whoa! That’s crazy!” Wait though, you’ll want to do it anyway for the promise of that adrenaline rush as you come skiing down the dune. Not to mention the incredible views from all sides at the top.
Before you take on Cerro Blanco’s awesomeness, you might want to practice a bit if you’re a novice. There are smaller dunes to get you started and when you’re ready to really get going, take that deep breath and let gravity do the rest. Experienced snowboarders will have an easier time when they launch however, as sand is still different to snow, a little prep won’t hurt. Expect a sand-filled ride down as grains will end up everywhere, and stopping once you’ve started can turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth. Most choose to brace themselves and fall if they need to.
This unusual sport might not be a treasure people imagine when they think of Peru, but it is one that has many travelers raving about the experience. Will you be one of them? Make sure you wax your board before you go, and have fun!
Jacqueline “Jackie” Jones is a Barbadian author and entrepreneur who spends more time lost in the virtual world than anyone should. Jackie loves meeting new people as much as she loves traveling, and she’s often guilty of “interviewing” unsuspecting strangers whether they want her to or not. When she’s not dealing with the day-to-day of running two businesses (Originz Multimedia and Waterway Media), or spending time with family and friends, Jackie turns to words and is an accomplished speculative fiction writer.