Two people exploring the world, seeking adventure & unique experiences.
Trujillo to Huaraz
We took an overnight bus (Linea) that left at 9pm and arrived at around 4am for 35 soles each. We were greeted by various people selling accommodation along with a range of taxi drivers. One of the guys offered 40 soles per night and said we could go straight into the room without having to wait for check in time and not pay until the following night. As we were both exhausted from the long bus ride, we immediately took him up on the offer and took a taxi to Virgen del Carmen Hostal.
The hotel has an amazing view of the city from the rooftop chill out area, so after a couple of hours sleep we had a lazy breakfast up there.
Huaraz is located between the Cordilla blanca (meaning white range) and Cordilla Huayhuash (pronounced why wash) of the Peruvian Andes which is the second highest mountain range in the world after the Himalaya’s, making it a great base for trekkers.
Speaking of trekking, that’s what we were here to get organized. Two great sources for information are the iPeru (tourist info centre) and Casa de Guias (house of guides). We got great information about the Santa Cruz trek, Huayhuash and day trips from Huaraz. We also bought park passes from the park office (65 soles / $23.50) for the area around Huaraz. This gave us access to the park for 21 days, so we could use it for day trips and the Santa Cruz trek.
Time for trekking- Day trips from Huaraz
We chose Laguna Churup as our first acclimatization hike in Huaraz, which is essential due to the high altitude of the Andes. We caught a combi at 7am to Llupa (5 soles / $1.80) taking around 45 minutes. There were 4 other tourists with us (one who we met back in Ecuador). The combi didn’t leave until it was full which is the general rule here in Peru. The driver offered to drive us further up the road for 10 soles extra per person (which would save an hour in hiking), but as we were hiking anyway we decided to hike instead.
We all hiked up the road together passing many farmers and locals along the way. The scenery of the country side was absolutely beautiful.
After an hour we were at the start of the trail, indicated by a large trail map and greeted by a park staff member requesting payment or tickets.
The trail was very well marked as seen in the picture below and was a gradual incline at the start.
Along the way we had amazing views of the glaciers, surrounding mountains and panoramic views of the countryside. We also passed two waterfalls on the way.
The hike was relatively easy until we got to the steep rock climbing part of the trail. To get over the ridge we had to hold onto a wire cord and rock climb upwards. Rodora wasn’t very happy with this but luckily we made it up without any problems.
After three hours of hiking we finally made it to the top. Yay! We made it from 3,800m to 4,450m!
Wow what a view! The lake was a beautiful turquoise blue with an amazing view of the glacier behind it. It was such an amazing view we relaxed on a rock admiring the lake for over an hour.
Unfortunately when we got back to Huaraz we were both felt quite ill. We suspect it was a mix of altitude sickness and the intense sun. We were both out of it for 24 hours. Therefore, instead of going straight onto the Santa Cruz trek we decided to try another day hike; Laguna Aguak.
We took a combi around 7am to Wilcahuain at 1.5 soles ($0.50) per person taking 45 minutes. We asked the driver if they could drop us at the start of the trail. This one didn’t have a sign post or any other clear indication it was the trail. There also wasn’t anyone here collecting fees.
The start of the trail followed a stream. The hike was very well marked even more so then the previous hike, consisting of a large gravel trail with large rocks on both sides. There were even kilometre markers the whole way up (up to 6km).
On the way up we had great views of the city of Huaraz. Towards the top though we had to get over a ridge which involved a little bit of scrambling over rocks. After three hours we finally made it to the top. This hike seemed longer than Churup as you can see how far you climb throughout the whole entire hike and it seems never ending up to 4,560m.
The view at the top is absolutely amazing, another crystal blue lake, beautifully reflecting the surrounding mountains.
Another benefit of Laguna Aguak was we didn’t see another tourist the whole way up and only came across one that was camping on the way down.
Plenty more to explore. Keep following the blog and our Flickr account for updates. http://www.flickr.com/photos/toraadventure/