We’ve always imagined oases as idyllic places halfway between reality and legend, where tired travelers could find relax and some freshness amid endless sands. In the south-west of Peru there is a small natural oasis Huacachina, located in the middle of the desert. It has about 100 permanent residents.

This is Huacachina, a real oasis, located around an emerald lake

Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina

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It is located right in the middle of the desert. The air temperature is quite high here, but you can always find some relief on the Pacific coast, which is just within an hour from here.

Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina

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During 40’s and 50’s Huacachina became a popular destination for noble people of Peru, but in 90’s a powerful advertising campaign for tourists made this place less elitist.

Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina

Photo: Diego Delso (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

By that time, the local population had decreased to one hundred people who earned their living through tourism.

Huacachina

Photo: Gatol fotografia from La Paz, Bolivia, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina has already been called the “oasis of South America”. This is one of the last remaining natural oases on the continent. There are many palm trees, eucalyptus and acacia around the emerald lake that not only create a great place for tourists but are also inhabited by migratory birds.

Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Apart from relaxing in this magical place, tourists can go sandboarding (a kind of snowboard on a sand) or make a trip around the dunes, the height of which can reach several hundred meters.

Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina

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During the heyday of the oasis, it was believed that the water in the local lagoon has healing properties and, among other things, promotes rejuvenation. Thus, every self-respecting local man sought to dig his own well. As a result, the underground source feeding the lagoon was greatly depleted and, finally, the water level in the lake also came down.

Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina

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According to an article published in The Times, natural reserves in this amazing place are coming to an end. Today, most of the water is pumped out of the ground. Considering how fragile the balance of such an ecosystem can be, the prospects of the oasis are alarming.

Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina

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The oasis of Huacachina resembles a mystical mirage that grows in a startling manner amid a lifeless desert. No wonder this cozy green island was enlisted as a national cultural heritage site!

Huacachina

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Huacachina

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Huacachina

Photo: Martin St-Amant (S23678), from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

 

If you liked this place and you are planning a trip across the ocean, so be quick. Natural wonders sometimes disappear forever…

Oasis Huacachina on map: