The Andes Mountain range is one of the world’s most picturesque natural gifts, especially the part of it that is located within the borders of Peru. The snow capped mountains are gorgeous in themselves, but that’s not where the magic ends. Between the high peaks of the Andes in Peru, there are turquoise blue alpine lagoons, and most of them are more or less unknown to the public. Still, when traveling to the towns and villages near these lagoons you can always find someone to show you the way. Hiking trails like you’ve never imagined are waiting for the curious visitor to reach the peaks and enjoy the magnificent views. Do prior training exercises and hiking trips back home to prepare your body for the high altitude that traveling the Peruvian Andes requires.
If you are a person that looks for a combination of mountains and water, then this list will blow your mind. Check these places and decide when to book a flight to Lima. Let’s get started!
The Laguna Wilcacocha is a great half-day trip of 1.9 miles both ways. The trail that starts in Chiwipampa is easy to reach by a bus that departs from Huaraz. When you get down off the bus, there will be locals from whom you can ask directions. People here are kind and will want to help you, but they will also try to sell you different various things.
The trail is uphill, and it takes about an hour of hiking to get to the lagoon. The height of the lake is 12,221 feet, so it may take a little bit of time to acclimatize. From the top, you can see the Cordillera Blanca. The trail is perfect to test your endurance, your knee strength, and tolerance to altitude sickness before heading to the more challenging trails in the area. Laguna Wilcacocha is amazing and worth the climb.
Laguna Churup is close to Huaraz as well. From Huaraz, you need to take a bus to Pitec, a small mountain village at an altitude of 12,467 feet. Laguna Churup is located in the Huascaran National Park. The trail is wide and quite steep, so you need to be ready to climb. Many people recommend a guide, but you don’t really need one.
After an hour walk, you can see a cascade flowing down the mountain and also spot the snowy peak of Nevado Churup. Climbing to the top, Laguna Churup will appear below. The water is as calm as a mirror with lots of shades of blue and green. The altitude of the lake is 14,599 feet.
The most popular and the most photographed of all the lagoons is Laguna 69. It’s also within the borders of Huascaran National Park and has the highest altitude of all. Laguna 69 lies at 14,764 feet above sea level and to get here you’ll need to hike for three hours. On the way, you’ll see small waterfalls, creeks, and stunning views of mountains. The trek is a real treat for mountain enthusiasts that like conquering new peaks.
Most people spend an hour around the lake, enjoy the sun, and even take a picnic lunch. Trekking on your own is fine to do can do here as well because the trail is well marked. If you have even a little bit of experience in navigating on hiking trails, this would be an easy task for you. The biggest problem here is dealing with the altitude. The three-hour hike seems like forever. But as soon as you see the lagoon, you’ll feel rewarded and stop complaining. Laguna 69 is an absolute must-see for all nature lovers from around the world!
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