Laguna Paron is easily one of the most beautiful places in Peru. Located near Huaraz in the department of Ancash, Laguna Paron is a stunning turquoise-coloured lake. Like many natural attractions to explore in South America, there’s always the question of whether to visit independently or with a tour company. By far the easiest, most convenient, reliable and cost-effective way to see this lake in Peru, is by doing a Laguna Paron tour. Of course, Beck and I love exploring and hiking independently, particularly in Huaraz. But, in the case of Laguna Paron, there’s no argument. A Laguna Paron tour is the best way to visit.
In this guide, we’ll discuss both options of visiting Laguna Paron independently and with a tour company. By way of comparison, you’ll see that a Laguna Paron tour is the way to go. Whilst we’re at it, we’ll also tell you about hiking trail options and other things to do at Laguna Paron in Peru. In addition, we’ll talk about the best time to visit and options on where to stay.
We hope you find this guide useful. For other awesome laguna day trips in Huaraz, read our other popular Huaraz laguna travel blogs.
Table of Contents
Laguna Paron, Huaraz: Day Trip Guide
This guide will help you plan your day trip to Laguna Paron by detailing the best way to visit. Laguna Paron is an awe-inspiring lake that you need to check out if you’re exploring Huaraz in the department of Ancash. For starters, it’s the largest lake in the spectacular Cordillera Blanca. But, it’s not only that. Honestly speaking, there are only a few lakes in Ancash (including the awesome lakes along the Huayhuash 8-Day Circuit) that rival the beauty and immense colour of Laguna Paron.
As mentioned, visiting Laguna Paron is best done by doing a tour. Don’t worry, we’re not getting a commission for promoting tour companies in Huaraz. In fact, it doesn’t really matter which tour company you book with. Because, if you’re booking a group tour, most of the companies in Huaraz work together and pool everyone, who has booked, into a few vans for that day’s tour. Anyway, moral of the story is, you can trust that our recommendation to do a Laguna Paron tour is genuine and without an ulterior motive!
In terms of exploring natural attractions in South America, Beck and I always check if it’s possible to do independently. It’s just our preferred style. Specifically, whilst in Huaraz, we did many independent hikes. This included Laguna Wilcacocha, Laguna Churup, Laguna Llaca, Laguna Shallap, Laguna Yanacocha and Uruscocha, Laguna 513 and the Four Lagunas Trek. We absolutely loved doing these hikes independently!
But, when it comes to the most popular day trips in Huaraz, such as Laguna Paron, Laguna 69 and Pastoruri Glacier, group tours are the logical option. We’ll go into a bit more detail about why this is the case here. But, before that, where exactly is Laguna Paron in Peru located?
Where is Laguna Paron in Peru?
Also known as Laguna de Paron, Lago Paron and Lake Paron, Laguna Paron is located in the Huascaran National Park, which is nestled in the outstanding Cordillera Blanca. You’ll find Laguna Paron is positioned near the small town of Caraz in the department of Ancash, Peru. Although, most people tend to visit Laguna Paron from Huaraz, which is the capital of the Ancash region. Indeed, Huaraz is a phenomenal base to explore Laguna Paron and other beautiful lakes in the department of Ancash. Of course, you’ll find most Laguna Paron tours start and end in Huaraz.
To that end, let’s delve into why doing a Laguna Paron tour is the best way to visit.
How to Get to Laguna Paron
Thankfully, by doing a Laguna Paron tour, you don’t need to worry about how to get there! Simply turn up at the arranged pick-up location in Huaraz, at the right time, and Bob’s your uncle. You’ll be on your way to Laguna Paron, in a tour company’s van, in no time! Of course, it is possible to visit independently by car or public transport. For completeness, we’ll talk about these two options below. By discussing these options, you’ll see that a Laguna Paron tour is the obvious choice when it comes to visiting.
Getting There By Car
Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from renting a car and visiting Laguna Paron that way. There’s nothing like being masters of your own fate! But, there are a number of reasons why renting a car isn’t a good option. First, the costs. The benefit of doing a Laguna Paron tour is that it’s very affordable (usually S/45/$11USD). By renting a car, even just for a day, you’ll be looking at much higher costs.
By doing a quick search on RentalCars.com, we found the cheapest car rental was a small vehicle for around $45USD/day. The problem is – from Caraz, the road leading to Laguna Paron is an unpaved road. Specifically, the road is uneven, bumpy, steep and winding. Overall, not ideal for a rental car. Basically, if you wanted to be sure to avoid damaging your car, you’d want to rent a van or 4WD. This means you’ll be looking at at least $95USD/day. Yeah, this whole renting a car business doesn’t seem a good idea. Way too pricey!
Visiting Laguna Paron Independently Using Public Transport
If you were to visit Laguna Paron in Ancash independently, using public transport would be a far cheaper option than renting a car. But, public transport comes with its own problems. The main issue is reliability with getting picked up from Laguna Paron after you’ve visited. We’ve heard of many travellers who were able to get to Laguna Paron using public transport without a problem. But, many have been left stranded with no public transport returning or passing by to collect them. This is definitely an unideal and stressful situation to be in. One that can be simply avoided by doing a Laguna Paron tour.
Another problem, for some, is that public transport doesn’t take you directly to Laguna Paron. It stops at Pueblo Paron, which is a 5 minute walk away from a trailhead, which commences a 10km uphill hike to the lake with +1,000 metre elevation gain. If you’re not keen on this hike, then you’ll definitely want to do a Laguna Paron tour. Of course, Beck and I love hiking and seriously considered this long hike option. But, with unreliable timetables and inconsistent information, we didn’t want to risk not having a ride back to Huaraz.
Of course, if you’re an adventurous type, looking to do a longer hiker and interested in visiting Laguna Paron in the cheapest way possible, then using public transport may still be of interest. Fair enough. Let’s look at this option in a bit more detail below.
How to Get From Huaraz to Laguna Paron Independently Using Public Transport
To get to Laguna Paron from Huaraz by using public transport, follow these steps:
- Catch a colectivo from Huaraz to Caraz: they start at 5am, run regularly, take 1.5 hours and cost S/10 ($2.50USD) per person. You must get the earliest service at 5am to make it in time for the next colectivo. If there’s unexpected traffic or if this colectivo is running late (it won’t leave until it fills) then you’re in danger of missing the next colectivo. So, it’s risky business from the outset.
- Catch a colectivo from Caraz to Pueblo Paron: start at 6:30am, possibly run later morning services but unconfirmed, takes one hour and costs S/10 ($2.50USD) per person.
- After hiking to and visiting Laguna Paron, hike back to Pueblo Paron for the colectivo to Caraz: this is where most travellers run into trouble. Apparently, there’s a return service at 5pm for S/10 ($2.50USD). But, this sometimes doesn’t show up or shows early at 4:30pm.
- Catch a colectivo from Caraz to Huaraz: this service runs into the evening, so you should be fine getting back to Huaraz if you make it this far. The return journey will take 1.5 hours and cost S/10 ($2.50USD) per person.
So, as you can see, there’s a whole lot of risk in trying to visit independently using public transport. Yes, you will save a little bit of cash by visiting Laguna Paron alone compared with doing a tour. Specifically, though, you’ll only save S/5 ($1USD) if you visit from Huaraz. This small saving hardly warrants the risk of visiting independently. If you visited from Caraz, the saving would be S/25 ($6USD). Whether that saving is worth the risk of catching unreliable public transport is up to you!
Colectivo from Huaraz to Laguna Paron
Transport Turistico Andes Peru actually run a colectivo service to Laguna Paron from Huaraz (location of office here). They’re not a tour company. But, rather, a local colectivo/transport company. We used their services to get to Laguna Churup, Laguna Shallap and Laguna Llaca. But, honestly speaking, this option isn’t ideal. The cost of the colectivo is S/45 ($11USD) – the same as doing a Laguna Paron tour. Indeed, you get far less value for money. All you pay for is transportation. Whereas, by doing a Laguna Paron tour, you get picked up from your accommodation, stop at an extra place and have a guide. In addition, the colectivo only leaves if there are enough people. Not many, if any, people use this colectivo service to Laguna Paron. So, there’s a risk it won’t run on the day you want to visit.
Laguna Paron Tours
So, after reading about the struggles of visiting Laguna Paron independently; hopefully, you’ve realised that a Laguna Paron tour is the best option.
We simply booked the Laguna Paron tour at our accommodation in Huaraz (Krusty Hostel B&B). The price for the tour was S/45 ($11USD) per person. We booked the day before the tour. The kind owner of the hostel, Ivan, simply made a call and we were all set! Because it’s such a popular tour, last-minute bookings are possible. You can usually book this tour up until 7pm the night before.
By doing a tour, getting to Laguna Paron in Ancash is effortless. A van will simply take you there and back. For Beck and I, we got picked up from our accommodation at around 8:30am. Although, we noticed that some people were picked up from the office of the tour company we went with that day. Perhaps those people booked directly with that company. We then arrived back in Huaraz at around 6:00pm. Easy peasy.
It’s worth noting, that by doing a tour from Huaraz, you will spend more time in the van than at Laguna Paron. It takes around 2.5–3 hours to get to and from Laguna Paron. Certainly, this isn’t ideal. But, given the risks of visiting independently, a short visit is better than being left stranded at the end of the day!
Also, by doing a tour, you won’t have time to do the approx. 20km Laguna Paron hike from Pueblo Paron. This is what annoyed Beck and I the most – missing out on a hiking trail. But, at least, you’ll get to hike to the Laguna Paron Mirador during the tour. To that end, let’s look at the typical Laguna Paron tour itinerary in Peru.
Laguna Paron Tour Itinerary
Here’s a basic rundown of a typical Laguna Paron tour from Huaraz:
- 8–8:30am: pickup from Huaraz accommodation or tour company office and begin drive to Laguna Paron
- 9:15–9:45am: break in Carhuaz
- 12:30–2:30pm: explore Laguna Paron and hike to the Mirador, then head back to Huaraz
- 5:30–6:30pm: arrive back in Huaraz
Yep, it’s a pretty straightforward Huaraz laguna trip itinerary. Anyway, let’s talk a bit more about the stop in Carhuaz, the awesome hike to the Mirador and other great things to do whilst you’re at Laguna Paron in Peru.
If you’re doing a group tour, not long into the trip, you’ll make a stop in Carhuaz. It’s a small town in the department of Ancash that you’ll visit on the way to Laguna Paron. Why you ask. Well, for ice cream, of course. Indeed, Carhuaz is famous for its ice cream. There’s no better time for ice cream than 9:30am in the morning!! Yes, considering the long drive to Laguna Paron from Huaraz, Beck and I were a little surprised we stopped so soon into the journey. But, when there are wicked ice cream flavours to try, such as beer, chilli and guacamole, we were happy to stop here and have a try! You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the Plaza de Armas, which is quite nice.
After another hour or so on sealed roads, you’ll arrive at Pueblo Paron, where you’ll pay the S/5 ($1USD) entrance fee. According to the sign, entry is permitted from 7:30am–1:30pm. Usually, visiting Huascaran National Park incurs a S/30 ($8USD) entrance fee for foreign visitors. Despite Laguna Paron being positioned in the national park, for some reason, you don’t pay this fee. The S/5 ($1USD) fee is a community fee and isn’t included in the price of the Laguna Paron tour. So, in reality, the price of the Laguna Paron tour is S/50 ($12USD).
After passing through Pueblo Paron, you’ll begin the 1.5 hour drive on the unpaved road. It’s a bumpy and fairly unpleasant ride. But, it’s all worth it once you arrive at the lake.
FYI – Beck and I paid for a Huascaran National Park 4–30 day pass for S/150 ($38USD) per person. Of course, we didn’t need to use this pass to go to Laguna Paron. But, it was required for entry to Laguna Churup, Laguna 69, Pastoruri Glacier, Laguna Hualcacoccha, Laguna Llaca, Laguna Shallap and twice required for the Santa Cruz trek. By visiting more than 5 places at Huascaran National Park, it’s worth buying this pass. Otherwise, you’d need to pay S/30 ($8USD) for each of these destination visits.
Hiking to the Laguna Paron Mirador: Trail Description
Once you arrive at Laguna Paron in Ancash, we highly recommend you start the hike to the Mirador as soon as possible. Even though you’ll be arriving with the other larger tour groups, many people will initially wander to the shores of the lake or rent a kayak. By starting the hike straight away, you’ll get to experience, at least a few moments of peace and tranquillity atop the exquisite Laguna Paron Mirador.
The trail to the Mirador is very short (only 1km). But, it’s quite steep (+100 metres elevation gain), considering the short distance. Given the altitude, the hike is tougher than you’d imagine. Specifically, Laguna Paron sits approx. 4,200 meters above sea level. The Mirador is around 4,300 metres above sea level.
The easily navigatable track is fairly even with small loose rocks underfoot. Once you arrive at the Mirador signpost, the views of Laguna Paron really start to pop! Certainly, from the Mirador, you’ll enjoy the best views of Laguna Paron in Ancash. There’s an opportunity to explore the Mirador by climbing over and negotiating large boulders. By doing so, you’ll enjoy slightly different views of the spectacular Laguna Paron. Be careful though!
Once you’ve enjoyed the splendid views, it’s time to head back down to the shores of the lake. Besides, after a little while, the hoards of tourists will arrive at the Mirador, spoiling the tranquillity. Overall, the hike only takes an hour or so (depending on how long you stop at the Mirador). Thankfully, once you’ve finished the Laguna Paron Mirador hike, there’s still enough time to enjoy other activities at the lake. Before we talk about the other great things to do during your visit, let’s have a quick look at some quick stats concerning the Mirador hike.
Laguna Paron Mirador Hike Overview
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 1.9km
- Time: 1–1.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 130m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Laguna Paron Car Park
- Map: Wikiloc
Other Things to Do at Laguna Paron in Peru
There are many other awesome things to do at Laguna Paron in Ancash, Peru. Personally, Beck and I think the Laguna Paron Mirador hike is the highlight. The views from there are simply unbeatable. But, there are other hikes you can do at and around Laguna Paron. Let’s start by looking at these hikes, and then we’ll talk about other things to do at Laguna Paron.
Other Laguna Paron Hiking Trails
Other than the Laguna Paron Mirador hike, there are two other main Laguna Paron hikes, AKA Lake Paron hikes. Although, in terms of trekking Laguna Paron, it’s not possible to do either of these two other hikes if you’re doing a tour. You simply won’t have time. We suppose that is an added benefit of visiting independently. You’ll get a chance to explore the lake in more depth.
The first hike, we’ve mentioned previously, is from Pueblo Paron to Laguna Paron. It’s a roughly 20km return hike, taking around 5.5–7 hours. Of course, if you add on the Laguna Paron Mirador hike and wandering around the shoreline, the total distance would be closer to 22–24km. Here, you’ll find a rough map of this hike.
The second hiking option is to hike to the other end of Laguna Paron and back. This way, you’ll get unique views of the lake along its shores. It’s about a 10km return hike, which would take 2–3 hours. You can see a rough map of this hike here.
Again, this hike wouldn’t be an option if you were doing a tour as you won’t have enough time. Besides, you’d want to prioritise doing the Laguna Paron Mirador hike for the best views. As a compromise, you could simply do a little bit of this hike, and walk along the side of the lake for a km or so.
Wander Along the Shore
Certainly, walking along the shore of Laguna Paron is a must during your visit. After doing the hike to the Mirador, we recommend heading to the shores of the lake. That way, you can get close and personal. The shores are also a great place to photograph Laguna Paron. There’s also a slightly elevated position at the car park where you’ll also have a decent vantage point for photography.
As mentioned above, by wandering around the left side of the lake, you’ll also enjoy unique views of it. Keep in mind, that there isn’t a defined trail on the right side of the lake. So, it’s not possible to walk around the lake completely. Besides, even if that was possible, you wouldn’t have enough time if you were doing a Laguna Paron tour.
Besides hiking, kayaking is the most popular activity to do at Laguna Paron in Ancash, Peru. After doing the Laguna Paron Mirador hike and wandering along the shores, you should have enough time to kayak – even if you’re doing a tour. To hire a kayak, you’re looking at S/20 ($5USD) per person, and for a row boat, it’s S/10 ($2.50USD) per person. Kayaking at Laguna Paron is a serene and unforgettable experience. Probably best done on a day with nice weather. We can’t imagine paddling in the rain and heavy winds to be enjoyable.
Camp at Laguna Paron
If you’re able to visit independently with a van and want to extend your time at Laguna Paron, it’s possible to stay overnight. Of course, this isn’t a typical option. But, it’s possible to do it for no extra cost other than the S/5 ($1USD) entrance fee. There isn’t a campsite as such. But, if you’re self-sufficient in a van, you could simply park and stay in the car park.
Stay at Laguna Paron
It’s also possible to stay overnight at the Refugio at Laguna Paron if you visit independently. Again, this isn’t an option that many tourists choose. But, there are a couple of basic shared dorm rooms at the Refugio available for S/20 ($5USD) per night. Because this isn’t a popular thing to do, you’ll probably have the dorm room to yourself! By camping or staying overnight, you’ll probably have the lake to yourselves in the morning before the tour groups arrive. We imagine this would be heavenly!
Things to Know Before Visiting Laguna Paron
Before you visit Laguna Paron in Ancash, there are a couple of things worth noting.
- The entrance fee isn’t usually included in a Laguna Paron tour. It’s easier if you have the exact change for the S/5 ($1USD) entrance fee.
- It’s a long drive, some of it, on an unpaved winding road. If you get motion sickness, you might want to pop a few motion sickness tablets before hitting the unpaved road.
- Expect crowds: Laguna Paron is one of the most popular day trips in Huaraz and Ancash. Don’t be surprised by the large group tours.
- The guide provided on a tour may speak English. But, this isn’t guaranteed. We were lucky to have an English-speaking guide.
Best Time to Visit Laguna Paron in Peru
Unfortunately, the typical Laguna Paron weather is cloudy and overcast conditions. This generally holds true whether you visit in the rainy or dry season. Of course, your chances of good weather are better in the dry season, which runs from May to October. But, this is the peak tourist season. So, it can get very busy during the dry season.
If you can time a nice day during the rainy season, then you’ll have a much quieter and more relaxing visit. Naturally, mountain weather is unpredictable. So, good luck when you visit! The awesome turquoise colour of Laguna Paron is at its best when the sun is shining on it. But, don’t worry if you don’t have a clear day. We visited on a cloudy day and the colours of the lake were still incredible.
Where to Stay in Huaraz
Of course, if you’re doing the Laguna Paron tour from Huaraz, you’ll need a place to stay. We’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury options.
- Budget – Accommodation Bella-Vista: this is a solid option for the budget traveller. At Accommodation Bella-Vista, you can expect a decent stay that’s great value for money. There are private and dorm rooms on offer.
- Mid-range – Krusty Hostel B&B: Beck and I really enjoyed our time here. Krusty Hostel B&B is one of the most highly-rated accommodations in Huaraz. The hostel is also a tour agency, known as Huayhuash Expeditions. But, this tour company doesn’t offer the Laguna Paron day trip. As mentioned, you can simply book day tours here and the owner will kindly organise this for you with another company. Best of all, there are no added costs for using the hostel as a middle man. The hostel itself is very spacious. It features a large shared kitchen, which includes a free breakfast.
- Luxury – Cordillera Hotel: this is one of the best hotels in Huaraz. Cordillera Hotel is a modern hotel with nice rooms and excellent facilities. If you’re exhausted from hiking in Huaraz, this would be the perfect place to relax and recover.
Where to Stay in Caraz
Of course, it’s possible to visit Laguna Paron from Caraz. As mentioned, it’s possible to visit Laguna Paron independently from Caraz. But, there are also a few tour companies in Caraz that offer Laguna Paron tours. We imagine these tours would be a similar price to the tours in Huaraz. The advantage of doing a tour from Caraz is a far shorter drive time (around 1.5 hours each-way). Of course, this option isn’t as common as doing a tour from Huaraz. But, if you’re keen on the idea of visiting Laguna Paron from Caraz, here are some of the best accommodation options.
- Budget – Hostal y Restaurante Business Rosh: this is the least expensive place you’ll find in Caraz. Don’t worry, Hostal y Restaurante Business Rosh isn’t cheap and nasty. It’s actually good value for money and highly rated. They provide nice meals and comfortable rooms.
- Mid-range – Hotel Cordillera Blanca: another highly-rated option that’s a bit nicer than the cheaper hostels in the area. The rooms at Hotel Cordillera Blanca are spacious, stylish and fairly modern. You’ll definitely have a nice stay here.
- Luxury – Los Alamos: well, Caraz doesn’t really have much in the way of luxury options. But, in terms of the best accommodation option, Los Alamos has to be close. Featuring a pool and lovely rooms with mountain views, Los Alamos is a fantastic option if you decide to explore Laguna Paron from Caraz in Peru.
At the Refugio/visitor centre at Laguna Paron, you’ll find a restaurant. Meals are between S/5–15 ($1–3USD). This is a good option for lunch if you haven’t brought any with you. Personally, Beck and I packed our own lunch, which we enjoyed from the Mirador. What an awesome spot for lunch!
The use of toilets at the visitor centre is S/1 ($0.25USD).
Before you visit Laguna Paron, you should acclimatise properly. Altitude sickness (AKA Acute Mountain Sickness) is a common illness experienced by travellers when they reach high altitudes. The main symptoms include headache, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, indigestion and loss of appetite. It’s impossible to predict who will get altitude sickness. Even if you have avoided altitude sickness in the past, that doesn’t mean you won’t get it the next time.
You’ll hear about different ways to avoid altitude sickness. But, the single most important way to reduce your chances of altitude sickness is to avoid going up too high, too quickly! Generally speaking, you shouldn’t go higher than 500 metres a day, once you’re beyond 2,000 metres above sea level.
In practice, if you arrive in Huaraz (3,050 metres above sea level), you should have at least two days’ rest before you explore. This should give your body time to adjust and acclimatise. In theory, by the third day, your body should be able to tolerate approx. 3,550 metres. So, by the third day; hopefully, you’ll be able to tolerate a trip to Laguna Paron, which reaches a height of 4,300m. But, this isn’t a guarantee.
Like many travellers, Beck and I had acclimatised in and hiked in Cusco before going to Huaraz. Given Cusco is around 3,400m and we hiked up to heights of 5,200m, we didn’t experience any altitude sickness when we visited Laguna Paron. Still, when we arrived in Huaraz, we had two rest days. We then started with the Laguna Wilcacocha trek (3,710m) and then worked our way into higher altitude hikes.
How to Avoid Altitude Sickness
If you’re not visiting a high-altitude destination before arriving in Huaraz, there are other ways you can reduce the likelihood of getting altitude sickness. As mentioned, upon arrival, have at least two rest days. Then, start your Huaraz hiking itinerary with the Laguna Wilcacocha hike.
Besides this, there are some other tips you can follow. Firstly, don’t rush when you’re hiking up to the Laguna Paron Mirador. Walk slowly and take it easy. Secondly, eat lighter meals and don’t eat them too quickly. Also, drink plenty of water. In addition, you may also benefit from coca leaves, tea or sweets. This is what the locals recommend. Finally, there are altitude sickness tablets (such as Diamox) available. But, if you acclimatise properly in the first place, you shouldn’t need these.
Travel insurance is an absolute must if you’re doing high-altitude trekking in Peru. SafetyWing is an excellent budget-friendly travel insurance provider. Personally, Beck and I have used SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance many times. This insurance isn’t just for digital nomads, it’s for everyone and anyone needing travel insurance for their trips. The Nomad Insurance is great value for money with just a small additional cost to add a partner. Unlike most other insurance companies, there’s an option to pay on a monthly basis, similar to having a prepaid phone plan. Better yet, there’s no lock-in contract – you can cancel any time you want, which will take effect the following month.
For shorter trips, it’s also possible to use Nomad Insurance for trips lasting days or weeks. Indeed, SafetyWing is cheaper than almost all other travel insurance policies and covers just as much and sometimes more. Specifically, Nomad Insurance includes medical cover as well as standard cover for travel-related mishaps.
SafetyWing is a modern travel insurance company that is certainly leading the way in terms of how travel insurance should work in the future. Press on the image below to find out more.
Other Hikes to Do in Huaraz
There are so many outstanding hiking trails to do in Huaraz other than just Laguna Paron. That’s why Beck and I spent over a month there trekking. We highly recommend doing the following trails when you visit:
- Laguna Wilcacocha: the perfect acclimatisation hike.
- Four Lagunas Trek: possibly our favourite day hike in Huaraz.
- Laguna 513: if the Four Lagunas Trek was our favourite, then, Laguna 513 would be a close second.
- Laguna Hualcacocha: a lesser-known hike that has a sensational turquoise-coloured lake.
- Pastoruri Glacier: a popular day trip that includes a short hike.
- Laguna Churup hike: a day hike that’s easy to do independently.
- Laguna Llaca: this is probably the most underrated day hike in Huaraz.
- Huayhuash Trek: a world-class multi-day hike.
- Laguna Shallap: this trek leads you to a breathtaking green lake!
- Laguna Queshquecocha: probably the least known day hike that we did, which actually passes three lakes.
- Santa Cruz Trek: another well-known multi-day trek that’s an absolute must.
- Laguna Rajucolta: one of the easiest day hikes in Huaraz. We enjoyed speed hiking here.
- Laguna Yanacocha and Uruscocha: conversely, one of the most challenging day hikes in Huaraz.
Which is Better – Laguna 69 vs Laguna Paron
Of course, we didn’t mention Laguna 69 above – this day hike deserves its own section! That’s because the common dilemma for travellers visiting Huaraz is whether to visit Laguna 69 or Laguna Paron. After all, these two lakes are the most popular to visit. Well, there’s an easy solution. Visit both! Personally, after hiking Laguna Paron, we then hiked Laguna Churup the day after, which reaches 4,450m. We then hiked Laguna 69 the following day, which reaches 4,600m. If you decide to hike both, bravo! In that case, hiking to Laguna Paron before Laguna 69 is a good idea to help with the acclimatisation process.
But, you might be wondering, ‘which is better – Laguna Paron or Laguna 69?’ It’s a hard call. Both lakes are downright unbelievable. Personally, in terms of the sheer beauty of the lake, we probably preferred Laguna Paron. But, in saying that, the hike to Laguna 69 was more enjoyable than the short Laguna Paron Mirador trail. So, can we call it a tie?
What to Wear and Pack
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
When hiking to Laguna Paron in Ancash, Peru, you should also take sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat.
For a more complete hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Accessories That You Must Travel With. Or, for a general summary of everything you’d need for a backpacking trip in Huaraz, read our Ultimate Packing Checklist.
- Explore other lakes in Huaraz: visiting Laguna Paron in Huaraz is barely scratching the surface! Read our Huaraz hiking guide to find out information on other great hikes to do in the area.
- Use Busbud: a convenient way to book bus tickets in advance at a very reasonable rate. We used Busbud to book our bus tickets from Lima to Laguna Paron, or, specifically, Lima to Huaraz.
- You should take your own food and water: it’s a fairly long day trip. No meals are provided on the tour. So, make sure to take plenty of snacks and water. There is a restaurant at Laguna Paron if needed. Find out more about it here.
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