Here are some snaps from an excellent weekend on the central Peruvian coast with Alta Ruta 4×4, a Lima-based motorsports company that organizes 5-star off-road adventure trips and expeditions around South America.
This excursion involved about 30 badass off-road vehicles driving through the desert from Ica to Playa Barlovento — a remote, wild and gorgeous beach that really can only be accessed with a badass off-road vehicle.
The caravan gathers, and drivers get their trucks ready to abandon pavement for a few days ….
And off we go on a bouncy, speedy ride — over sandy flats; up, down and through picturesque dunes.
Whee! Speed limits? What are those?
We drive about two hours until we get to Playa Barlovento.
Here, organizers have set up the deluxe camping accommodations that characterize Alta Ruta trips. There is a main tent, outdoor bathrooms, and staffed kitchen, where we will be fed glorious meals throughout the weekend. As per Alta Ruta standards, it is all very swank.
There is even a massage therapist on hand to work out the knots and kinks that a person can get bumping along in a badass 4×4.
Everyone unpacks their individual tents and shelters, and gets ready for serious relaxation at a truly unspoiled beach, where there is absolutely no sign of development, and few to no other humans in sight.
One of Alta Ruta’s sponsors, Can-Am ATV, provided a fierce little Commander 1000 for us to check out during the weekend. A spin around the sand in a zippy dune buggy, driven by a cute boy? DON’T MIND IF I DO.
This coastal area was home to a ton of wildlife, most notably, several different species of birds …
(this was one of my favorites, the snowy egret)
… and here is a baby sea lion and a curious pelican who hung out at the campsite for an entire morning.
The sunsets are nothing short of astonishing.
We had plenty of time to jump back into the 4×4 and explore more of the coastline a bit farther south.
If you are in South America and have a badass off-road vehicle, I urge you to jump in on an Alta Ruta 4×4 trip … it is a great way to experience natural spots that few people get to see.
If you do not have access to a badass vehicle, Alta Ruta can hook you up. For instance, you can combine a stay in this super dreamy oceanfront spa resort, Hotel Paracas, with an Alta Ruta excursion. Both the hotel and Alta Ruta staff (like so many people in and around Lima) are very proficient in English.
Here is the Alta Ruta 4×4 site translated into English. Besides organizing off-road excursions, the company provides four-wheel-driving and safety classes, and is a race team in the world-famous Dakar Rally, which begins in Lima next year.
Dirty trucks are the best.