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Huaraz is a city in Ancash. It’s 3052 meters above sea level and a place I recommend spending at least a week: two or three days to acclimatize without doing demanding activities and the rest to venture in the beauty of nature. In the search for attractions (I love mountains and hiking)), I found a small company that offered tours at a good price (you will realize that Peru is a very cheap country, at least much cheaper than Costa Rica and for some activities, a guide is a must).
I contacted them to see if they could personalize a tour and since they offered lodging and transportation, we decided to give it a try. I’m used to plan and do everything on my own but it was a pretty good deal. The company is called Enrique Expedition Tours and I can assure you that Don Enrique is

excellent, his family amazing (who are responsible for preparing breakfasts for customers and cleaning), the customer service is wonderful and the rooms super comfortable. We had such an incredible experience with them, that last year 2017, we hired the services again to go up to Laguna 69.
We traveled with the bus company Cruz del Sur in the middle of the night, surrounded by semi-deserted roads and changing nature. It was cold and we arrived with the sunrise. You may experience tiredness, agitation, nausea, headache and minor aches but do not be scared, this is normal. The body is not used to the height (remember that the higher it is, the less oxygen) so we respond with this series of symptoms that decrease after a few days.
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What you can do to feel better is take acetaminophen or similar, drink a lot of coca tea or chew the leaves (you can find them eveywhere, even at the airports for free), not doing efforts, breathe deeply and go to a drugstore to buy pills against altitude sickness or soroche (they are called soroche pills).
If you don’t follow recommendations, your body may fall into a crisis and in extreme situations you can develop severe complications. I, for example, did not acclimatize as I should’ve, went camping at 3850 meters above sea level, made a hiking of hours with a lot of physical effort and my body collapsed. I was not even able to walk, my head was going to burst from the pain, I could not see well and I was an hour and a half from the camp, our guide was not around and it was about to get dark (I will tell you later what happened). As you can see, it should not be taken lightly and to enjoy the trip, it’s better to prevent these situations.


It’s located in the National Park Huascarán (16 snowy peaks are above 6000 msnm and is perfect for those who are looking for climbing or mountain hiking.) You can find more information about the National Park here . I can’t describe in words what I felt when I first saw that beauty of landscape.

The lakes of Llanganuco are wonderful (conformed by two lakes Orconcocha and chinacocha). You can see different snowy peaks around it, the water is crystal clear, with an incredible blue color and breathtaking views. There is pure air everywhere and nature is as imposing as ever. Why try to describe it? Watch it!


I dreamed about going to a glacier since forever. Costa Rica doesn’t have places as high as Peru, so the snow and the intense cold is not part of our day to day. It felt more exciting to know I was about to experience something unique.
Pastoruri is at 5240 meters above sea level and although it’s still a beautiful place, I must tell you that it’s in retreat due to global warming. I knew this before visiting it and became more important for me to be able to see it before its total disappearance (it’s predicted that in 10-20 years will no longer exist). It’s a shame that climate change is creating chaos in ecosystems and proofs are before our eyes.

To get to the glacier, you have to walk but if you feel like you can’t and have problems with the agitation, there is a transportation service with horses at additional cost. There is nothing like the wind blowing on your face slowly, the gradual pressure on the lungs that forces to admire more closely the landscape, the dry air and the cold that makes you tremble inside.
Reaching the top is a challenge and my first thought when I succeeded was: Pastoruri is amazing!


Yungai was a city that disappeared in 1970 after an earthquake. The alluvium that was generated from the Huascaran buried the population with ice, mud and stones. The survivors were the only ones who managed to climb to the cemetery at a high area.

Today, there is a graveyard that can be visited, you can see part of an old cathedral, palm trees and remains of objects that due to erosion have been discovered. It is forbidden to excavate in there and the visit is worthwhile. It emanates a special energy and is a tribute to the memory of the souls that perished.


Someone told me once of the extraordinary color, the crystal clear water and the view of the nearby snowy peaks, but I’d have never imagined that arriving would be exhausting and satisfying at the same time. To go to lagoon 69 you need a good acclimatization as it is 4,600 meters above sea level and requires considerable physical effort. It’s a 6 to 8 hours one-way walk so the best thing to do is leaving early.

We decided to sleep in front of Llanganuco’s Lake, there is a campsite where it’s allowed and Don Enrique prepared everything we needed: a guide who was also a cooker (there are certain foods that are more advisable to eat when you’re on high areas), camping equipment and everything else.

We walked slowly around the Huascaran’s National Park during the afternoon, breathing fresh air, resting near the lake. I felt a pressure on my head and a bit of pain but I ignored it. The sunset came and we sat to enjoy the sounds of nature in complete darkness, without internet, electricity or cellphones. We detoxified from society by talking around the campfire, laughing at stories and watching the eyes shinning and sneaking in the gloom: there were foxes.
The camp had bathrooms available but ironically, they locked them up at dusk. The guide told us where the night toilet was: a latrine located 100 meters from our tent with tiny bushes around. We didn’t see it until we were next to it. I actually had never used one and felt exposed to the environment, frightened that an animal could appear and bite my ass. What can I say? A strange vulnerability, where thoughts flew with the insects of the place.
When we returned to our campsite, we watched the stars with a delicious silence only interrupted by the singing and the movements of the animals. It was surreal to see a sky painted with lights: a map of constellations that we discovered slowly. The overwhelming landscape kept us in a capsule of exquisite intimacy.
Finally, the fatigue dominated us and I was awakened two hours later with a sharp and unbearable headache. The cold was ridiculously intense and we realized that the sleeping bags we brought were not appropriate for that type of weather. I drank coca tea, chewed the leaves, took an acetaminophen and put two more coats over me to try to rest. 
At 6:00 a.m. we were ready to go, had breakfast and were motivated. We started with a lot of energy although I still had a headache. We walked slowly and very soon, other hikers went ahead of us. I won’t lie: if you do not have excellent physical condition, a good acclimatization and a good rest, it will be a difficult walk.

Two hours later, I felt that I couldn’t keep moving anymore but the desire and the beautiful landscape forced me to do it. We paused from time to time but my symptoms worsened. It didn’t matter to me, I was determined to get there: we saw cows on the road, the snowy peaks as imposing as ever and the sun caressed our skin.
We ate a snack during a break in front of a lagoon. My feet ached, my muscles were so tired that I have no idea how I continued. I chewed coca leaves all the way with the hope that the pressure in my head and the pain would ease but it didn’t.
I won’t lie about this either: it’s an uphill road most of the journey and again, it requires physical effort although people from Huaraz consider the walk as moderate (I don’t want to imagine what difficult walk means for them). This is the thing: French, Spanish, Chilean and foreigners from countries with high peaks that have hiked in these conditions before, may feel the same as peruvians. Ticos, Central Americans in general, who come from a tropical zone where  15 C degrees feels like freezing require a different preparation. If you’re planning to visit Lagoon 69 start training.
After 8 hours, stopping from time to time we made it. I was amazed by the view but after a couple of minutes, I fell on the floor: the headache was getting worse every second. I fell asleep for a while and woke up with a pressure on my brain, feeling exhausted, dehydrated and with nauseas. People around me were eating, enjoying nature but I was not feeling well.  However, I used the little energy I had left, got up, put on a smile on my face, and took the only photographs I could as a proof that I was really there.

After a while, we knew that we had to start descending because I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. Also, we were walking slower than before and couldn’t risk to get to the campsite after sunset. The nausea was increasing, I couldn’t see well and the lungs ached from the effort. 
After another 5 hours, the guide said he was getting ahead to cook a soup inmediately and a good tea. My boyfriend agreed because he said he remembered the trail. An hour later, we realized that we were lost and my legs stopped responding. I began to cry, couldn’t think clearly, the pain was so strong that i couldn’t open my eyes, I couldn’t continue. Luis motivated me to keep on going until we found ourselves on the side of a road. That’s where I collapsed and sat down, unable to speak or move, we didn’t know what to do until a touristic bus passed us by and stopped to help.
We got to the camp and I fell to the floor again, exhausted with a headache so strong that I couldn’t think. I drank coca tea and we were immediately taken down to the center of Huaraz, back to the hostel where, little by little, the symptoms of altitude sickness decreased considerably. We were very lucky.
No joke, if I insist on proper acclimatization (not one day but at least 3 or 4) is because I’ve already lived the consequences of a recklessness. So I assure you, the effort is worth it but avoid by all means doing something so stupid as I did or you won’t enjoy it.
Photographer, aspiring film maker, dreamer, in love with the world!! Everything you want is on the other side of fear!!