Huaraz – A base for exploring Cordillera Blanca Mountains

Huaraz

The way to Huaraz

We always dreamed that during our trip to South America we would explore the Andes. A great base for that goal turned out to be Huaraz. The city is located on elevation of 3000m at the foothills of Cordillera Blanca. We got there by bus from Lima, wich took over 8 hours despite being scheduled to arrive in 7. Most popular and safe buses that you can use to travel around Peru are moviltours, cruz del sur and oltrusa. Most of the road  leads through the deserts. Once you get to Huaraz you can see the tallest peak of Peru – Huascaran 6768 m above sea level towering beyond the city. Not much to see in the town itself and there were a lot of street dogs around.

Lake Parón

During our stay in Huaraz we did 3 whole day trips to the mountains. Most of the time, you will need a bus shuttle to the trailhead or view point if you want to enjoy the majestic Cordillera Blanca. The trip takes 3 hours, give or take. We booked all trips through our hostel, because the prices were really good. First we went to Lake Paron. We were a little bit afraid of the altitude as the lake is loceted on 4200 m above sea level and it was our very first day in such high mountains. We decided that it will be a good warm up and acclimatization before longer hikes and higher altittudes. During the trip we stopped at a nice viewpoint where we could marvel at the tallest peak of Peru. Most of the road was gravel and it was winding up the slopes. We passed small farms beautifully located on the sides of the hills. We finally made it to Laguna Paron. It was trully spectacular. The lake is hidden in the valley in between the snowy, massive and georgous mountains.

The viewpoint

Pictures of the viewpoint on the edge of the lake lured us to Laguna Paron from Huaraz. To get there, we had to hike a steep trail. First part was not so bad, but the second one was a challange. The path almost disapeered and we had to find our own way through debris and gravel. We had to be careful to avoid the wobbly, misscheving rocks. We were fallowing our guide and in less then an hour we were at the top. The views were breathtaking. The valley with the lake was backdropped by a symetric peak known as “the Pyramid”. It was one of the most beautiful places that we were lucky to visit. We were really sad when it was the time to go back. We could not wait to explore more of the incredible Huascaran National Park.

6 Replies to “Huaraz – A base for exploring Cordillera Blanca Mountains”

  1. These pictures are so beautiful! towns with little to see usually have the best high top views!

  2. Love your photos! The water looks so beautiful and the turquoise colour is amazing. This post has given me ideas of other places to go if I return to Peru. I don’t do well with high elevation but I would brave it for Lake Paron, I want to experience the gravel travel and views of the glaciers there.

  3. that was a long road trip but very worth it i guess, I won’t mind traveling more than 8 hrs with this breathtaking view. I would definitely visit this place when I’m in Peru. Thanks for the tips too!

  4. Looks like you had a fantastic trip. I can’t get over the blue in the pictures 🙂

  5. Lovely pictures and descriptive article.

  6. The Andes is very high on my bucket list, and when reading your article and seeing those amazing photographs, I know I should go one day soon! 🙂

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