Now that we were all acclimatised to the altitude it was time to tackle Laguna Churup. We’d heard from others at the hostel that it was a rather challenging hike – not long distance, but steep!
With a starting altitude of 3,850m, and ending at 4,450m it was definitely going to test our lungs.
We left our hostel at 7am and headed for the collectivo bus stop. When we arrived, we saw the bus overflowing with people as it departed in front of us. While waiting for the next one, a clever taxi came up to us and offered to take us there for only s./10 more than the collectivo would have charged us. This was an offer we couldn’t resist and we immediately opted to take the more comfortable (and more immediate) ride.
An hour later we were dropped off at Pitec – the beginning of the hike. What looked ahead for us was a whole lot of uphill. Off we began, one step in front of the other, with a stop every 5 steps to catch our breath.
After about 2 hours we came to a fork in the trail. To continue up to the mirador, or over to the lake? We’d gone this far, why not continue up! It was a hard uphill climb, but a very rewarding view when we finally arrived to the top.
This lake was stunning! The water was shades of greens, blues and yellows and the lake was surrounded by grey and black rocks. In the background were snow capped mountains. Seriously what a lake!
It was still early in the day so we decided to head downhill a bit before stopping for lunch. Heading down at times required some rock scrambling with the help of sturdy ropes.
When we were almost at the bottom, back at Pitec, we took a side trail which took us to a nearby village were we were to catch our collectivo back to Huaraz. Midway down the weather started to turn and we had to put on our wet weather gear. It wasn’t pouring but a slight drizzle over a long time. Zig-zagging through pastures with donkeys and cattle and through a little village we eventually arrived at the end of the hike.
A short collectivo ride back to Huaraz and we found ourselves with a cold beer in hand celebrating another spectacular hike accomplished.