From Huanuco the road heads up into the high Andes. This is where the immense Junin Lake sits. It is the second biggest alpine lake in the country after Lago de Titicaca. There are several towns along the stretch of highway that skirts the lake.
Some are mining towns and offer little to the common backpacker (although a jaunt in a local haunt might be an interesting reprise from the normal gringo trail features). Other towns function with the seasons, supporting themselves on the maca crops in the high plateau plains.