For our final day hike together with Katy & Dale we choose the famous Laguna 69. We all hate tour groups but for this occasion we had to succumb due to the difficulty of getting there and back via public transport. In hindsight it wasn’t too bad as they mainly provide the transport and the walking you do at your own pace.
It was an early start with the tour picking us up at our hostel at 5am (ouch). The journey to the trail head was about 3 hours in total with a breakfast stop and a photo opportunity at Laguna Chinan Cocha.
The hike to Laguna 69 took just under 3 hours starting with a walk through a lush green valley with a few stream crossings and finishing with a set of switchbacks up the rocky mountain.
The terrain varied the higher in altitude we climbed. The green valley was left behind and grey rocks and shrubs took its place.
The weather on this particular day was quite overcast, but every now and again, the clouds would part slightly and we got a glimpse of the snow capped mountain range looming above us. I can only imagine how spectacular this would have been on a clear day.
After much huffing and puffing we got our first glimpse at the turquoise water of Laguna 69 with the icy peaks of the surrounding mountains. It was a perfect spot to have lunch and take in the scenery for an hour. It was a very peaceful place, even despite the tourists on the lakes edges.
The walk out was pretty easy – We chatted and cruised along and really hardly noticed it. We did, however, stop quite a few times to admire the view – it was just as spectacular on the way out as it was coming in.