Part 4 of Peru Travel Blog Series: Day Tour to Laguna Paron, Peru. The most stunning glacial lake you will ever witness with your own eyes.
Blog Part 2: Complete Peru Travel Itinerary for 2+ weeks
Laguna Paron is one of the lesser known lakes in Peru but oh, so charming! You will have to see it with your own eyes to believe the beauty that nature has created. The water sparkles, as the sun rays shines into it leaving you completely awestruck. This beautiful azure lake, is situated at 4200m above sea level and surrounded by majestic snow-clad Andes.
Laguna Paron is also the gateway to the mountain you see in the Paramount Pictures logo. The mountain is called Artesonraju and you can possibly arrange to go on a hiking trip via Laguna Paron to view this mountain better. But more on that later.
To be honest, we added this small town called Huaraz in our itinerary, only because we wanted to see this incredibly beautiful azure lake, Laguna Paron, with our own eyes.
How to get to Laguna Paron
Laguna Paron is the largest lake in the Huascaran National Park, in the north of Peru. There are two gateway towns to Laguna Paron and the Huascaran National Park i.e. Huaraz and Caraz. Huaraz is more popular, and a bigger town with better transportation, accommodation and other facilities, but a bit far from the national park.
We stayed at Huaraz, but were later regretting the travel to and fro from the lake. It takes around 3-3.5 hours, to reach Laguna Paron. However, since Huaraz is the hiking capital of north Peru, it’s a much bigger city and there are more dining options. You would definitely need a nice glass of South American wine or beer after all that hike. 😉
Alternative Hikes to Laguna Paron
In Huaraz, we stayed at Akilpo hostel, and highly recommend the place. Not only the rooms were super comfortable, but the guys who own the hostel are super friendly and helpful. They offer a lot of alternative hiking tours around Huaraz. If you plan to do a few hikes during your stay there, we highly recommend checking out the day tours offered by them. We wanted to do the Alternative Paramount hike offered by them. However, since we were the only people interested in the hike, they didn’t go ahead with it.
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Day Tour to Laugna Paron
Public transportation is incredibly difficult and unreliable in the remote parts of Peru, so the best option is to go with a tour operator. If staying at Huaraz, there are plenty of tour companies offering day trips to the lake. Most of the hotels offer tours themselves or can arrange one, so enquire with the hotel. The other option is to hire a taxi to and from but we did not try this option and went with a tour company.
All tour companies have the same agenda. The tour has a guide, will pick you up early around 7:30 am, drive for sometime and stop at a village called Carhuaz to pick up snacks and water. Then they would continue towards Caraz and the lake. The road from Caraz to the lake is rough and winding. The ride was so bumpy and shaky that my fitbit counted 10k steps when I was just sitting in the bus! Once at the lake, you would get a couple of hours to explore. There is a toilet at the entrance of the lake to freshen up. All the day tours to Laguna Paron from Huaraz costs around 50 Sol per person.
What to do at Laguna Paron
Once at the lake, we highly recommend you to hike up to the Mirador. The view of the lake from the Mirador is absolutely mesmerising! It’s a relatively short hike of 1 km and 100 meter elevation gain. However, please be aware that this is located at above 4100m, so high altitude sickness is quite likely if you haven’t been acclimatised. The last part of the trek is completely rocky and you should take care while hiking to avoid serious injuries. The guide will be around but it’s best to not get injured at such remote locations.
Also, make a note of the crowd / tour buses around you. If you are the first ones to arrive, we recommend hiking to the Mirador first to avoid crowd later.
Other than the hike, you can also rent a boat and enjoy some time on the lake itself. Laguna Paron can be extremely windy, so be mindful of that before planning a boating tour.
Once everyone hikes back down from the Mirador, the tour bus would drop you back at the hotel. Expect the whole agenda to take approximately 8 hours.
Tips for your Day Tour to Laguna Paron
- We highly recommend acclimatising to the altitude before the visit. 4200m above sea level is no joke, and you can suffer serious health problems like headaches, breathlessness etc, if you aren’t acclimatised. Huaraz is at an altitude of 3000m, so you can spend a day or two relaxing in the city before making the trip to the lake. It would make your day tour to Laguna Paron much more enjoyable.
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes. This is the second most important thing to keep in mind, as the rocks at the Mirador are huge, uneven and scary. If your hiking gear is not good, there are high chances that you will slip and fall and probably break some part of your body. Seriously, no jokes here.
- Along with comfortable hiking shoes, carry a headband / hat, sunglasses and sunscreen location. At that high altitude, you will easily get sun burnt, so it’s recommended to take necessary precautions. Also, bring your rain jackets along and the weather can change in the matter of minutes.
- Carry water and snacks as typically lunch is not included. Also carry, coca leaves or coca candies to tackle high altitude