Huacachina

The Legend of the Most Beautiful Oasis on Earth

The most beautiful oasis on the planet is located in South America, reports the Daily Mail. Sprawling in one of the driest areas on Earth, the village Huacachina, found among the barren landscape of the Atacama desert, draws people not only because of its unearthly beauty but also with the legends that the water in the lagoon around which the village sits has magical healing properties.

Huacachina is located in the southern part of Peru. Only 69 people live in the village, making a living mostly off of tourism and by selling sand. The oasis is visible from afar. For visitors coming to this magical corner of the desert, it looks like a small island with lush vegetation amongst a vast yellow sea of sand.

The only water for miles around is the one that residents of Huacachina obtain from the lagoon. For tourists, the locals have come up with a rich variety of sand activities, such as going to the tallest sand dunes where guests can witness picturesque sunrises and sunsets, take buggy rides or sandboard back down toward the village.

The closest large city to the oasis is Ica. It is at the very edge of the Atacama desert in the temperate zone and 8.5 mi (14 km) from it.

To avoid accidents and prevent people from getting lost under the burning sun of the sultry land, each group of tourists is assigned a permanent guide, who besides showing all of the sights also makes sure that the guests don't get dehydrated or over exhausted during their walk under the sun.

The legend goes that when a beautiful Peruvian princess was bathing, a young hunter approached her. She was frightened and ran off, while the water she had been bathing in transformed into a lagoon. Her mantle, flowing behind her, became the sand dunes that now surround the oasis.

At the "Oasis of America, " - one of the last oases in North and South America, you can find hotels, shops and even a library, located right by the blue lagoon.

The oasis gained wide popularity as a tourist destination back in the 40s of the 20th century. At the time, it was predominantly visited by the more wealthier Peruvians.

Everyone believed that the water in the lagoon had healing properties and it was even bottled and sold throughout many cities of Latin America.

Currently the water level in the lagoon has dropped. To deal with this problem, the locals pump in water from the lake near Ica. Recently, the government took urgent measures to save one of the last remaining oases in the Americas.

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