A tiny Peruvian settlement, nestled among sand dunes and palm trees, in the middle of the driest and barren place on earth, is a popular tourist attraction.
Huacachina is a small town, in the midst of the desert in the Ica Province, about five kilometers from the city of Ica in southern Peru. This desert oasis is surrounded by sand dunes, lush palm trees, flourishing foliage and the small tranquil lagoon.
At Huacachina town centre is the natural lagoon which is said to have curative properties, restaurants, bars, street vendors, clubs and hostels along the shore. The town has a population of about 100, but it hosts thousands of tourists drawn by the sports of sand-boarding and buggy rides on sand dunes that stretch several hundred feet high.
Near the entrance of the lagoon, is a stone-carved statue of ‘Huacca China’ the mermaid princess. Legend has it, her voice was so beautiful it made people cry. One day as she was bathing and singing, she noticed through her mirror that a hunter was watching her. He startled her, and as she ran, the cloth that covered her fell off and created the sand dunes. She stumbled and broke the mirror, which transformed into the lake. She was turned into a mermaid and it is said that she comes out in the moonlight and sings her ancient song.