10 Stunning Facts About Peru’s Massive Sand Dune Cerro Blanco
The sand dunes in Peru are some of the most stunning you’ll ever find! A sand dune is a huge mountain of sand. Sand dunes are formed from large masses of sand that the wind blows and are usually found in deserts. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, they can be close to beaches. When that sand is in a sheltered area and hidden from the wind, that sand accumulates and forms a dune.
Even though sand dunes aren’t as high as a real mountain range, they can still be stunning and a fun playground for those that love to sandboard! Many people visit from all over the world to experience Cerro Blanco Peru and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the South American country.
Cerro Blanco is an ancient and mystical place located 280 miles from Lima, Peru and it’s famous for its geoglyphs that are now a world heritage site protected by UNESCO. Cerro Blanco is located between the Andes and the desert which makes for some of the most stunning views you’ll find at the top. Read on to learn more about this famous sand dune.
See also: 10 Crazy Facts About Lake Titicaca in Peru
10 Stunning Facts About Peru’s Massive Sand Dune Cerro Blanco
These fascinating facts about the world’s largest sand dune will make you want to visit Peru as soon as possible!
1. Peru Is Home to Some of the Tallest Sand Dunes in the World
What’s mesmerizing about Cerro Blanco is that they are home to the tallest sand dunes in the world! These dunes located in Southern Peru are located outside of the city of Nazca.
Huacachina, a village on the outskirts of Ica City, is an oasis with a massive dune. This area is full of stunning dunes to explore and try out sandboarding. Both Cerro Blanco and Huacachina are two of the most famous spots in the area to try out sandboarding and put your skills to the test. Even professional snowboarders say it’s not easy to board through the sand but end up loving it!
This tall sand dune is considered the best when it comes to sandboarding but is recommended for more advanced sandboarders. You can also hike up and enjoy the unique views that many locals and travelers fall in love with.
2. There’s a Peruvian Legend About Cerro Blanco
What many don’t know about Cerro Blanco is the legend behind the famous sand dune. It’s the story of how it all began. Peruvian legend says that a beautiful princess took a dip in a beautiful pool but was interrupted by a young man who ran into her while she bathed.
She was startled, grabbed her clothes, and fled. When she ran, she created the famous sand dunes with her mantle as she crossed through the desert. She dragged her cape behind her and created Cerro Blanco. Legend says that this beautiful woman still lives in the lagoon and is a mermaid nowadays.
3. Cerro Blanco Is One of the Best Sandboarding Locations in Peru
Sandboarding is becoming a popular sport around the world, especially in Peru. Sandboarding is an extreme sport that’s similar to snowboarding but it involves riding sand instead of snow and you board down a sand dune. You can either have both feet strapped or just one and it can be practiced sitting down or lying on your stomach or back.
The sky’s the limit and it’s all about being safe but you should know a little bit about boarding before you give it a try.
Huacachina is the village around the oasis close to Cerro Blanco where you find resorts and tourist attractions. It is becoming a must amongst backpackers and sandboarders around the globe. The Cerro Blanco sand dune is close to civilization so you can enjoy sandboarding during the day and explore the villages and cities around Cerro Blanco when you visit.
4. Cerro Blanco Is Considered the Everest of the Desert
Because it’s so unique, tall, and stunning; Cerro Blanco is considered “The Everest of the Desert” because it leaves people mesmerized when they visit. Cerro Blanco is located in the Nazca Valley, 9 miles east of Nazca City. Because it is the tallest sand dune at 6,824.147 feet (2,080 m) in the Nazca Valley, it is the highest sand dune above sea level making it incredibly high to climb and quite the challenge for those planning on sandboarding down the sandhill.
Many professional snowboarders find Nazca and Cerro Blanco the biggest challenge to conquer. The steepest part of the dune is 1,968.5 feet (600 m long) slope of sand that is the ultimate adventure for any adrenaline junkie to try out!
5. Cerro Blanco and the Surrounding Have Historical Sights
Even though sandboarding Cerro Blanco is the main attraction, if you’re a history buff, there are many fascinating historical landmarks to explore before or after your adventure up and down Cerro Blanco.
Make sure to include the Pyramids of Cahuachi, the Nazca Lines, and tombs at the Chauchilla Cemetery. There are all stunning sites that tourists love because they’re in the middle of the desert so you can explore the desert and learn some history in the process.
The dunes of Usaka are a natural enclave in the middle of the desert for beginner sandboarders if you’re looking to learn when you go to the Peruvian desert.
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6. The Accumulation of Sand Dunes Is Thanks to the Winds from the West to the East
The accumulation of sand dunes is due to the speed of the wind that blows from west to east. The sand blows in with the wind but then the wind stops and slowly and steadily the sand is deposited against a bush, a rock, or any obstruction.
The huge sand dunes are formed and as more and more sand continues to blow in, they form rows, and a huge sand such as Cerro Blanco is formed. Little by little, more sand is blown in and deposited making it a huge mound of sand that people enjoy climbing up and down.
This incredible natural creation is the perfect example of what nature can create through time and make it such a famous landmark that millions visit and sandboard when they go!
7. Cerro Blanco Is an Essential Ecosystem
Because sand dunes tend to be in the middle of the desert, many don’t realize how crucial their ecosystems are. All sand dunes are very important ecosystems that support populations with rare insects, animals, and plants.
Cerro Blanco has picturesque views with a blue sky and contoured shadows that make it an essential part of the area’s tourism.
Because Cerro Blanco is the highest sand dune in the world and a fan favorite, many people depend on the borders and visitors the desert gets. The Sandboard tour is famous and it doesn’t require you to have any experience to sign up. You don’t need special equipment, you can get everything you need when you’re in Peru.
8. The Only Way To Get To Cerro Blanco Is by Walking
It is important to know that the only way to get to Cerro Blanco is by walking there. The rising is constant and even though it seems easy when you get started, it gets arduous towards the end. It’s a workout worth taking and once you reach the top, you will see why it’s worth the effort.
Once you’re at the top, you’ll get to enjoy the view of the Nazca Valley and you can even see the colorful Andes Mountain Range from the top! If you’re looking for the whole package, definitely try sandboarding for the full experience.
But if that’s not what you like, the view itself is reason enough to go! Most travelers enjoy sightseeing the sights, climbing to the top of Cerro Blanco, and sandboarding down.
9. The City of Nazca Attracts Tourists From All Over the World
Cerro Blanco is located close to the city of Nazca. The whole area attracts travelers from all over the world looking to learn more about the Nazca Lines. These famous lines have existed since pre-Columbian times and were founded in the late 16th century. The city of Nazca was reconstructed because it was destroyed by a violent earthquake in 1996.
The summit of Cerro Blanco is another reason why so many people visit and the sunsets have red and pink shades that make it a stunning view to witness!
The sunsets in the dunes are one of a kind and you’ll have to visit and experience them for yourself and see why so many are traveling to this huge sand dune.
10. You Can Ride a Sandrail
Personally, I’m not a sandboarder but I would like to try. Even without the extreme adventure, I would love to climb up Cerro Blanco and see what the highest dune in the world looks like! The panoramic views are unique and epic.
It is hot but the wind offers some relief from the sun and even though most cars struggle to go up, you can take a sandrail. A sandrail is ideal for those that don’t want to walk all the way through Cerro Blanco. Some people call these special cars buggy but you do need a special vehicle for the sand so that you don’t get stuck.
The specialized vehicles are the best alternative for those that want to enjoy the stunning panoramic views but aren’t sure if the walk is too intense.
Cerro Blanco Map
Check out this map of Cerro Blanco, Peru and plan your next adventure!
Travel to Peru and Learn Spanish
What’s amazing about traveling to these sand dunes in Peru is getting to know the culture of the country. Peruvian people have an amazing zest for life, deep family values, and a wide variety of delicious food.
Traveling to Hispanic countries to learn and practice Spanish is the best investment you can make in yourself! In the United States alone, there are approximately 53 million people who speak Spanish. The US is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. According to CNN, there are 41 million native Spanish speakers in the US who speak Spanish in their homes.
Prepare for your trip to Peru by speaking Spanish with a certified, native Spanish-speaking instructor with 1-on-1 classes. Sign up for a free trial class and be ready so you can make the most out of your trip. Check out our flexible programs and affordable prices!
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