Llanganuco Lakes (Lagunas Llanganuco)
Part of Huascaran National Park, the Llanganuco Lakes (Lagunas Llanganuco demand attention with their intoxicating turquoise color. The twin lakes are backed by the snow-capped Cordillera Blanca mountain range, which encompasses Mt. Huascaran—Peru’s tallest mountain—which is visible from the lakes.
Depending on your fitness level, opt to rent a rowboat on Chinancocha Lake or hike the trail that loops around Orconcocha. Day trips—which save you the hassle of renting a car and navigating unfamiliar roads—typically combine free time at Llanganuco Lakes (Lagunas Llanganuco) with stops in the villages of Yungay, which is buried in volcanic ash from an earthquake, and Caraz, which is famous for the sweet delicacy of manjar blanco (ice cream made with fruit and liquor).
Things to know before you go
- Even if you’re not planning to do the full hike, ensure that you’re wearing sturdy shoes that are suitable for tackling uneven surfaces.
- There are several scenic picnic areas on the shores of the lake; there isn’t anywhere to buy food or drink so ensure you take plenty with you.
- Due to the high altitude of the lakes, some visitors can feel short of breath and nauseous. Be sure to take it easy and rest if you experience any of these classic symptoms.
How to get there
The closest city to Llanganuco Lakes (Lagunas Llanganuco) is Huaraz, which is a 2-hour drive via Route 3N. The easiest way to reach the lakes is by the transport that’s typically included on day trips, or you can take a colectivo (shared taxi) from Yungy village, which has a small terminal on the main highway.
When to get there
Though open year-round, Huascaran National Park is best visited between April and October—the Andean summer months. These months offer optimum conditions for outdoor exploration.
Exploring Huascaran National Park
In addition to the Llanganuco Lakes (Lagunas Llanganuco), Huascaran National Park is home to a wealth of natural wonders. Top picks include the vibrant glacier lakes of Laguna 69 and Laguna Churup; the Pastoruri Glacier, whose frozen banks look evening more enchanting against a bright blue sky; and the vertiginous Duck Canyon.