South America’s Natural Oasis: Why is So Special?


South America possesses an incredible treasure: the only natural oasis on the continent.

Huacachina might seem at first a mirage, snuggled between massive dunes, around a lagoon lined with lush vegetation. But it’s more than that.

Here is what you need to know.

Huacachina: a Wonder in the Driest Desert in the World

This summer, the OLI (the Operational Land Imager) on Landsat 8 shot an extraordinary picture of Huacachina, the only natural oasis in South America.

Huacachina is situated in the marvellous region of southwestern Peru, on the edge of the Atacama desert. The little town is around 5 kilometres from the known city of Ica.

Below is a NASA Earth Observatory picture of Huacachina, captured by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data.

Attractions, population, and other curiosities

Huacachina is more than meets the eye. This beautiful town, known as the “weeping woman” in Quechua, has many mythological stories and intriguing attractions. It was also featured on the 50 Nueva Sol currency until 2006 and considered one of the greatest attraction in the 1940s.

The natural oasis is shaped by water from underground aquifers that flows through the sand and help the growth of carob, eucalyptus, and palm trees. 

The lagoon is also a beauty, covering almost 2 acres, surrounded by restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. The main attraction, however, is the snowboarding adventure.

The incredible dunes beyond the natural oasis are as high as small mountains. For adrenaline fans, this could be a fantastic, one-of-a-kind experience.

Moreover, visitors can also try a dune ride across the dunes or hiking. 

Huacachina has a population of approximately 100 year-round residents. Recently, the oasis has encountered some transformations, including decreased water levels. One of the reasons is the high evaporation during the hot summers or the drilling of nearby wells.

Now, Huacachina is keeping its resources safe by borrowing water from outside sources. Discover the town’s attractions and stories booking a trip next year!





Georgia Nica
Writing was, and still is my first passion. I love all that cool stuff about science and technology. I'll try my best to bring you the latest news every day.