Lagunas Llanganuco, Peru – Mountains in their most perfect form

If a painter would have invented this landscape, it would be considered pure kitsch. Mother Nature grasped here deeply into her drama box. A road leads from the national park entrance up into a valley that is by 1,000 m high deeply black walls threatened on both sides. Two dazzlingly turquoise lakes lie in the midst of lush green grass, bushes, and trees. A light blue river meanders through the valley, and slowly the glacier covered peaks of Peru’s highest mountains protrude: Huascarán, with 6,768 m the country’s tallest, and other glorious mountains over six thousand metres. This corner of Peru belongs to the best offered during a world trip.
The Cordillera Blanca isn’t only the world’s highest mountain chain in the tropics, it also houses some of the Andes’ tallest summits. In a tiny area of 20 by 180 km more than 50 mountains reach elevations of 5,700 m and more (North America has three, Europe none), 25 among them are more than 6,000 m. Parque Nacionál Huascarán comprises virtually all areas above 4,000 m and some lower areas, 600 glaciers, and nearly 300 lakes. The marvellous little spot that we visit today calls itself Sector Lagunas Llanganuco. The first lake, Laguna Chinacocha, is found seven kilometres after the park entrance, Laguna Orconcocha after 11 km.
We get the best views of these killer mountains continuing some kilometres past the lakes where the road soon climbs the Cordillera Blanca, gets narrower, and turning areas become rare. The morning is the best time to visit, not only due to clearer visibility but also due to the traffic that increases around midday. Day admission to all sectors of Huascarán national park is 5 Nuevo Soles. To camp in the park a monthly ticket is necessary, which can be bought for 65 PEN. Due to traffic camping in the park (beside the road) isn’t quieter than on the parking lot in front of the entrance.
The parking lot of the hot springs in Monterrey further south, right before Huaráz, is too crooked to camp, plus they request 10 PEN per night (entrance to the bath is 3 PEN). Just below is a restaurant with a big grassy area for several campers where camping is possible for 5 PEN per night, water and bathroom available. The entrance is 3 m wide, but needs some clearance: Restaurant Floresta in Monterrey: S 09°28’09.5’’ W 77°32’12.2’’.

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