Laguna 69 Trekking: Peace in Paradise
January 18, 2017
Laguna 69 is located 2 hours from Yungay, immerse in the Cordillera Blanca range
It’s not time to eat a lot and drink wine for lunch and dinner, yep exactly. Christmas time was 2 days ago and now our body should be ready for one of the most exciting, spectacular and a little bit hard trekking of Peru: Finding Laguna 69.
Before getting there is really important to know where is Laguna 69 and some useful information about the trekking. Huaraz lies sandwiched in a valley carved out by the Rio Santa, flanked to the west by the Cordillera Negra, to the east by the Cordillera Blanca. The most trekking areas in the Cordilleara Blanca are mostly encompassed by Parque Nacional Huascaran, where Laguna 69 is situated.
Even if from December to April is the wettest time we reached Laguna 69 without any problems and we found great weather, except when we went back to the campsite. Anyway time to acclimatise is really important, the altitude made us feel breathless and we have seen people with altitude sickness. For this reason we spent few days in Huaraz first, at 3000 m altitude.
Pack your essential things like wet-weather gear, brimmed hat, a strong sunblock, food and water… a lot of water. It’s time to discover the world! Below you can see a wonderful lake called Laguna Llanganuca found on the way to the Starting point. First impact to this place: EXCELLENT!
One of the most breathtaking parts of the continent. The Cordillera Blanca is the world’s highest tropical mountain range and encompasses some of South America’s high-est mountains. The trek starts from an area known as Cebollapampa, about 45 minutes from the park office and 2 hours from Yungay. We are at 4100 m altitude, we have to walk for 6,5 km (one way) in a 3/5 difficulty route! Can we do it?!?! YES WE CAN!! Let’s go to Laguna 69.
The first 45 minutes takes you through the valley bottom where there are a few stream crossings on strategically placed rocks before reaching the first set of switchbacks. The first climbing was never steep but the altitude rather than the steepness of the trail caused a lot of stops to take shots of this beautiful landscape. All around are stunning and our little feel breathless is being real, but no worries, we keep with us some chocolate bars and Coca Candy. The effects of the last one are similar to caffeine, with the added bonus of helping you cope with high altitudes. Fun and useful but be careful, you could have trouble with airport security because they are illegal in many countries of the world. We keep walking and hiking up to Laguna 69, always thinking how beautiful is the world and the nature around us!
The switchbacks end at a small lake which isn’t named on the map but the guide said Laguna 68 (altitude 4400m ) and the path flattens out in a wide plateau, which made a great place to stop before the final 200 metre climb to the lake. We have seen many people having lunch here but we decided to keep hiking and take advantage of that time at the top. On the last switchback we passed a group of trekkers coming back down, who happily told us they were the last people there, what a wonderful news, we have the lake to our self.
200 meters more, than 150, 100, 50….. finally we reached it!! Laguna 69, here we are! The beautiful high mountain lake is tucked away at the base of the peaks of Pisco and Chacraraju. We didn’t feel really lucky because we have seen the sun just for few minutes, but the view of the lake was amazing. I felt breathless, not for the altitude. There were incredible views of snow capped peaks, and huge contrasts in the colour and texture of the landscape as you get higher in elevation. The final reward, when you reach the magnificent turquoise water of Laguna 69 and the icy peaks of the surrounding range. We made this trekking in 3 hours, having many stops to drink water and take pictures all around.
Time to relax, time to eat and time to enjoy this paradise on earth, Laguna 69!
We went back to the campsite in 2 hours trekking from the Laguna 69 and after 45 minutes of relax!! What can I say?!?! Laguna 69 is a jewel of the Cordillera Blanca, thought the perfect thing to do is a beautiful overnight trek. At the end of the day, before going to sleep and after a hot shower we couldn’t believe our good luck because we discovered this beautiful and peaceful paradise on earth called Laguna 69.One of the best trekking ever, joined to another great climbing to Mount Tinjani, Indonesia, take a look my experience here!
How to get there, best time and cost
We booked a tour in Huaraz and the transport was included too. We paid 60 soles each (25 $AUD) for the whole day trek to Laguna 69. Food and water are not included; a great, but lonely, woman guided us and others 25 people of the group.
December to April is the wettest time, when it is often overcast and wet in the afternoons and trails become boggy. Anyway with appropriate gear and some preparation we have found this trekking possible and rewarding.
Here how to discover South America in 2 minutes! Me and my wife in our best 120 shots of 6 months of travel… Enjoy
- Bring food and water; If you book a tour transport and ticket to the park in included
- For 1 day trek to Laguna 69 the time to get there and go back to the starting point is more about 5,5 hours. You will have time for few stops to eat and take pictures. All around is beautiful.
- The hike should not be taken lightly however, at 4600 metres you need to be well acclimatised and. If camping, you must be prepared for extreme cold.
- Grab your walking boots and head for the hills. You won’t be disappointed because Peru is not just Machu Picchu!
- My last tip: Don’t get stuck with the thing that ruins your day. Life is too short to be wasted in your crap. Smile and be positive because there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy, one of those is travelling.
Author of this post: Davide
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