Our day trip out of Huaraz Peru, to Huascarán National Park on our Peru vacation.
Marmelita and I made arrangements with Teo of Teo Tours to pick us up at the Hotel El Tumi at 8:30am for a day trip into Huascarán National Park to see the the park and Llanganuco Lakes. It was a long hard drive on horrible roads full of pot holes, hairpin turns, and switchbacks, but the scenery was starkly beautiful and well worth the $50.
Along the way we passed several small typical villages and interesting landmarks.
Teo taught us that Huascarán National Park covers the length of the Cordillera Blanca range, 158 km from north to south and 20 km from east to west between the wide valleys of the Callejón de Conchucos to the east and the Callejón de Huaylas to the west. The Cordillera Blanca is the highest snow-capped tropical range in the world, with 27 peaks above 6,000 meters, 663 glaciers, 296 lakes and 41 rivers. We were on our way to see two of those lakes, Llanganuco. We had heard they were beautiful and we could hardly wait.
I photographed this local woman selling old fashioned open pollinated boiled corn on the cob near the entrance to Huascarán National Park. Marmelita was happy to buy two ears of corn to eat for S/1 sole apiece. They are not like our hybrid sweet corn but do have a good taste all there own. Marmelita said, “Those were the cheapest and best ears of corn I ever ate.”
After two and a half to three hours of riding we arrived at Las Lagunas de Llanganuco. The first lake we came to is called Chinancocha, or female lake.
Teo drove on past Chinancocha and the road climbed higher and higher until we had the most spectacular view.
What a view…
When we drove back down we stopped first at Orconcocha, or male lake.
Then we stopped at Chinancocha
The trees are polylepis. They only grow in the high elevation of the Andes around 3,500 meters and higher.
I saw 4 species of bromeliads in the high altitude area of Llanganuco Lake.
This beautiful stream was overflowing from the lakes.
After we drove back down and out of Huascarán National Park I saw and photographed my first San Pedro Cactus. It was blooming.
San Pedro is famous because shamans in Peru have used the plant for over 3,000 years as a source of mescalin, a hallucinogenic used to produce visions for guidance and healing.
We had another great day with Teo of Teo Tours and learned a lot.
Our day trip out of Huaraz Peru to Huascarán National Park
Bill Grimes is president of Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises, on vacation in Huaraz Peru.