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Mystical oasis desert town flourishes in the middle of the driest place on Earth

Mystical oasis desert town flourishes in the middle of the driest place on Earth

Huacachina, in Peru, was popular with wealthy Peruvians in the 1940s, who used to bathe in the lagoon because they thought the waters had healing powers.

These incredible pictures capture the magic of a beautiful oasis town nestled right in the middle of the driest place on Earth.

The settlement is home to 96 residents and features shops, lush palm trees, hotels and a lake – despite being located deep within the barren Atacama Desert in Peru.

In the midst of one of the driest climates in the world, descendants of the Inca people make their living from the thriving tourist industry.

Huacachina, in Peru, was popular with wealthy Peruvians in the 1940s, who used to bathe in the lagoon because they thought the waters had healing powers.

The town is complete with trees, hotels and a lagoon

Travellers come from afar to to climb to the top of the impressive sand dunes and sail down the slopes on rented sandboards and dune buggies.

The paradise town, called Huacachina, is built around the tranquil lagoon, which is said to have curative properties.

The lake is naturally formed, but there is a legend that a young princess was bathing when she was discovered by a hunter and fled, leaving behind a pool of water.

Her flowing cloak was said to have created the surrounding sand dunes.

The lake is naturally formed, but there is a legend that a young princess was bathing when she was discovered by a hunter and fled, leaving behind a pool of water.  Her flowing cloak was said to have created the surrounding sand dunes.

Despite it’s remote location, the settlement is home to 96 residents

The town, which has been declared a national cultural heritage site by the National Institute of Culture, is situated 4km from the southern city of Ica, a former Spanish colonial town located on the borders of the desert.

Huacachina was popular with wealthy Peruvians in the 1940s, who used to come to bathe in the lagoon, as it was thought the waters had healing powers.

Due to landowners building wells to access groundwater, coupled with evaporation during summer high temperatures, the lagoon water levels have dropped over the past few years.

In an effort to combat this, water has been pumped into the the lake from Ica for Huacachina inhabitants.

Due to landowners building wells to access groundwater, coupled with evaporation during summer high temperatures, the lagoon water levels have dropped over the past few years.  In an effort to combat this, water has been pumped into the the lake from Ica for Huacachina inhabitants.

At night: Magical views of the desert settlement

 

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