Laguna 69 – Amazing views and a fight with the altitude sickness

Laguna 69

Laguna 69

After a warm up and acclimatization at Lake Parón it was time to explore Laguna 69. To get there you need to hike the trail which takes 5-6 hours. During your 18 km journey you will climb 700m elevation.

We started at the level of 3900m, while the famous lake is located at 4600 m asl.

As we found out from the guide this place was not so known till 5 years ago, when more and more tourists started to come. It might by due to instagram where you can see a lot of charming pictures from this spot.

Adventure begins

For the transport and the guide we had to pay 30 soles each. Very reasonable price and we booked through the reception of our hostel. The departure time was set to 5:30 am and after 3 hours we were able to start hiking. In the meantime, we stopped to have some coca leaf tea, which helps with the altitude.

Huascarán National Park

Later, we entered Huascaran National Park (10 soles entry fee), where we soon stopped at the picturesque lake hidden in the mountain valley. At 9 am sharp, we started the hike. As we found out the trail consists of 3 flat parts and 3 sharp ascents. We were walking in our own pace, enjoying the landscapes. We had snow capped, huge peaks towering above us, what an amazing place! The group that we arrive with quickly disparced. Acctually, it felt like we were there all by ourselves.

Final ascent

During the last steep part Mike started to feel not so well due to the altitude sickness.

To put it short and sweet, one can feel like having a terrible hangover. Your had is pounding, no strenght to do anything and occasional nausea. Worst thing to do is to quickly stand up. Dizziness guaranteed.

Maybe 2 days for acclimatization was not enough before this trail or maybe we did not had enought coca leaves. The altitude sickness is more intense during the extensive efforf. Although it was a bit hard, we were bravely walking up and up while breathing heavily. Laguna 69 was so close that we could not stop, at this stage.

The altitude of 4600m a.s.l.

After aproximitly 3 hours of hiking we made it to the maginificent, blue lake. At the foothills of the snowy peak, fed by the melting snow the marvelous Laguna 69 was created. The mountains around are so high that it is hard to fit them in one picture with the lake. Fortunately panoramic pictures came in handy. We were happy to beat our personal altitude record even though the hedache and shallow breath was making everything a bit more difficult. We were very lucky with the weather as well. Sun was shinning directly on the lagoon exposing the spectacular colours. There was still over 2 hours of hiking back ahead of us. Pleased with our pictures we were going lower and lower and the altitude sickness slowly went away.

10 Replies to “Laguna 69 – Amazing views and a fight with the altitude sickness”

  1. postcardstoriesblog says: Reply

    What a wonderful place! Great pictures! I actually have never heard of this place, but I see it’s sooo worth to visit 🙂

  2. What amazing views. I have been hot with altitude sickness too. Once you get it, there’s not much you can do. Happy that you had a great adventure and saw an amazing corner of the world.

  3. wow that sounds like a wonderful hike! I would love to visit Laguna 69 one day, the views are incredible! Love your photos! Ive never hiked so high, I cant image what the altitude can do to your body!

  4. Breathtaking views. Hiking for more than 3 hours with that view, is definitely worth it. Why is it called Mountains of Peru?

    1. These are Cordillera Blanca Mountains… located in Peru, that’s why Mountains of Peru…:D

  5. I hear you with that altitude sickness, and can be a buzz kill. But those views look totally worth it! My sweetie and I struggled with the altitude on our Salar De Uyuni 4 day Jeep trek… but it was so worth it that we even want to do it again sometime!

  6. I can’t get over your photos! That lake is so blue and beautiful!!

  7. this is just gorgeous. I love hiking but I’ve never done a hike where you have to acclimatize – did you take any pills to help you adjust, or was it ok?

    1. It was okay without the pills 🙂

  8. It looks absolutely amazing! I also drank coca tea when I was in Peru, but unfortunately it didn’t help against the altitude sickness. I had to take tablets….that gave me a nose bleed. Still, I loved the Peruvian altiplano.

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