I’ve spent the past four days in the incredible town of Huaraz, nestled in the Cordillera Blanca in central Peru. The first 24 hours I was wiped out from the altitude change and didn’t do much of anything, and the second day I did a short hike just outside the city to acclimatize. Finally, on my third day, I was ready to tackle a 4,600 meter high trek up to the glacial Laguna 69. I booked a day trip through through Galaxia Tours for 106 soles (includes guide, transportation, and lunch) plus the park fee of 5 soles. I was picked up at my hostel at 6 am, and after picking up two additional hikers we made our way north to Yungay, then headed up an extremely bumpy and dusty road to the beginning of the path. By 10:15 we were off hiking, kept company by cows, chinchillas and bright blue birds.
Although we were told the hike would be 5 hours total – 3 up and 2 down – it actually took us a full 5 hours to get to the lake, mainly due to the altitude and several breaks that we took along the way. The suffering only made the payoff that much sweeter.