Posts Tagged ‘hike’

Lagunas Llanganuco

Sometimes a backpacker has had enough of high-demanding treks. The Ancash region of Peru has so many trails to offer the trekking enthusiast that he might get dizzy just trying to decide which he wants to tackle. After going on a few of the quick treks, or even after hiking a long one like Santa Cruz, perhaps you’ll want to chill out and enjoy a breezy tour. Perhaps you’ll just want to take a drive to some beautiful lakes.

Laguna Llanganuco – Huaraz

This is where the Lagunas Llanganuco become very a attractive option. These lakes lay within the Parque Nacional Huascaran just west of the town of Yungay. Yungay is known for having been the sight of many fatalities in a 1970 earthquake, that same one which destroyed much of Huaraz, so be thoughtful when passing through a town that is known as hallowed ground.

The minivan that takes you up to the lagoons from Yungay costs around 20 sols for a round-trip ride, but you can also jump on a tour from Huaraz. Any way you swing it, the cost will have to include the 5 sol entry to the park as well.

The lagoons are incredible. The road goes right by them, so you can even stop and get out if you were so inclined. It’s a great way to see the beauty of glacial lakes without having to spend money and energy on a hike. Once you get there, you could decide to hike around the lakes. The trail takes between one and two hours to circumnavigate, and brings you to great positions for some vistas over the lakes.

These two lagoons are perfect examples of glacial water bodies, as online canadian pharmacy their blue turquoise surface glistens under the sky. You better get back on that tour van if you don’t want to be caught sleeping in the alpine cold.

Getting to Machu Pichu by Road and Foot

Traveling to Peru should probably entail a visit to Peru’s and one of South America’s most visited sites, Machu Pichu. Cusco lies about 10 hours by road and foot from the bridges that cross the river to the base of the site’s mountain. You can opt to take a train from Cusco, or even from Ollantaytambo after

Trail Cusco Camino Inca

having seen all the sites the Sacred Valley has to offer, however, there’s another way to go about it.

Pariwana Cusco staff can fill you in on all the details, but read this and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Let’s assume you want to go straight to Machu Pichu from the hostel by bus. The adventure will begin with an early morning wake-up call.

Pack only the essentials into your small pack, and leave your big one in Pariwana’s storage (otherwise just leave the un-essentials in a plastic bag and take your big back with you). You have a number of options. You can take a direct bus that should last around 7 hours that brings you from Cusco to Santa Maria, the last town on the paved road. Otherwise, you can take a combi (minivan) to Pisaq or Urubamba if you’d like to cut your journey in half.

There are plenty of hostels and places to camp in both of those towns, so your journey may still be a comfortable one! Anyway, the 7 hour bus ends in the small town of Santa Maria. Once there, you’ll be bombarded with taxi drivers crying out “Santa Teresa!” Santa Teresa is the last town before Machu Pichu. It costs 10 sols per person to get from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa in taxi. If you’re with a larger group, you can negotiate the per person price down. Otherwise, municipal pick-up trucks sometimes do the short journey and charge 5 sols a head.

Once at Santa Teresa, you can continue in the taxi for an additional 5 sols per person to the hydroelectrica, which is the hydro-power plant at the end of the road. Otherwise, you can walk the two hours to the plant.

Subiendo - Trekking

Trekking Subiendo

From the hydroelectrica, you’ll depart on a 2 hour walk to reach the entrance to Machu Pichu. You’ll follow the train tracks the whole way, and it’s a beautiful walk. If you go during the night, you’ll enjoy the moonlit views viagra online pharmacy all to yourself, as most are fearful of a night trek. It’s best to go in groups.

Once at the entrance to Machu Pichu, you can opt to continue 20-30 minutes on the railway or on the road to Aguas Calientes, where you’ll find hostels and other accommodation. Nearby the entrance to the ruins, however, you can choose to camp and be among the first arrivals.

A backpacker’s heaven, Machu Pichu will challenge your leg muscles, but the reward is an adventure worthy of lifelong memory!

The Grandeur of Pisaq

The first time you get to walking in Cusco, you realize you have quite a lot to see. The city is a dazzling maze of colonial architecture crowning the old ruins of Incan buildings. Those Incan foundations are just a preview of the ruins you’re going to discover on an adventure into the nearby Sacred Valley.

From Pariwana Cusco, you’ll want to find the road called Puputi. Ask the staff to explain to you how to get there. From there, combis (minivan taxis) depart regularly for the 45 minute and 5 sol drive to Pisaq. The drive itself is a marvelous stringing journey that brings you curving around several attractive Incan ruin sites before arriving to Pisaq.

Pisaq sits at a crossroads of valleys. The central square is filled with market stalls selling all manner of items and souvenirs. From the town, the immense hills stretch in all directions, and seem to hover over you they’re so big. From the town discount generic cialis online you can take a taxi to the entrance of the Pisaq ruins.

You’ll be able to see them from the town. It’s hard to tell that they’re actually quite expansive. The terraces look small and easily scalable—but don’t be fooled, they are quite a far way off, and their stature is around 6 feet high.

Unlike Machu Pichu, this Peruvian ruin is surrounded by waving hill grass instead of jungle. It allows for awesome spanning views down all the valley corridors. You’ll enter on one side, several hundred meters high. From there, you will be able to visit the various parts of the site via a looping footpath. It is several football fields long, so get ready to tax those leg muscles!

You’ll find ancient stone terraces, giant rock walls that once formed houses and guard towers, and an incredible complex of once-holy importance. The stones are carved to such perfect detail and fit that they make for a wonderful preview to the much larger Machu Pichu.

Pisaq, however, which might not have the same amount of stone work as the world wonder, boasts a precarious perch that stretches just as far as the Pichu. You can hike to the very top of the highest of Pisaq’s hills for a view of the whole place. The best view, however, is to be found where very few visitors seem to make it; at the far end of the ancient fortress closest to town. From there, you can also make the trek down, entering town directly into the central square.

A backpacker’s backpack ain’t such a good idea, but a small one filled with water is suitable! The adventure begins once you let the glory of the scene rush to your heart!

The Gocta Waterfall

On your list of Peru’s must-be-explored natural wonders, the Gocta Waterfall should definately hit your top three! The waterfall has an astounding height of 771 metres and has been a well hidden secret for many years untill it got uncovered from Peru’s northern jungle in 2003. You can find the Gocta waterfall just outside Chachapoyas, in the Northern Highlands.


Be smart and leave your heavy packs in your hostel in Chachapoyas or Cocachimba. Be prepared for a short bus ride from Chachapoyas to arrive in Cocachimba.  From there a gorgeous 2,5 hour hike follows to be amazed at the botom of this amazing Gocta waterfall.

The hike

The hike from Cocachimba to the Gocta Waterfall is probably the best selling point that local guides use. This does not mean you will need a guide per se – on your own is no problem, just be safe! Don’t forget to take your camara and some batteries as you will keep on clicking your camara non-stop. From one valley, to another incredible steep mountaintrack, the challenges and amazing views follow eachother up minute after minute!

Your destination: amazement

After climbing, jumping, running and rubbing your painfull jaws that probably have been open the entire hike, the reward awaits: the Gocta Waterfall in full glory, looking up up and up to be marvelled with every of its 771 metres. You can play around in the water, take a shower or simply enjoy the beauty of nature .

At least have a breather, as another trip is waiting, your return! The 2,5 hour walk to get there can either be repeated on a hike back to Cocachimba, or you can smartly arrange for horses that can take you back.

If you want to find out more about this gorgeous area, then also check out our video and article about the places to see in the Northern Highlands. Or read our article on how to get around in Peru’s Northern Highlands.