If you have just arrived in Huaraz and plan a longer trek such as the Santa Cruz Trek or the Huayhuash Trek, you should definitely take some time for some acclimatization hikes first. There are several beautiful day hikes around Huaraz. The following weeks I want to present you my favorite ones. Besides the more known hike to Laguna Churup I really enjoyed the absolutely lonely hike up to Laguna Llaca (4450m). I met just two other hikers on the entire way.

To get to the starting point, take an early bus from Huaraz to the village Marian. Busses leave as of 7am in Antonio Raymondi street, in proximity to the central market (bus line 15). It’s no problem at all to organize some breakfast in the streets before 7am. Street vendors sell breakfast around one or two soles (25-50 Cents). The bus takes will take you approximately 20 minutes. The driver will let you know when to get out. It is the final stop in the village of Marian. The bus is just one sol per ride. Since the last bus leaves around 5pm make sure you’re back before.

 

 

From Marian to Laguna Llaca

Marian is a country village, all people I met were very very friendly. The way to the lagoon is 13 kilometers each, which is quite a lot. First, follow the forest road through the village. When you already passed the “Lazy Dog Inn”, you’ll reach a road fork. Do neither follow the left nor the right way. If you look carefully you’ll see a small path that goes up straightly. There’s no sign around, but this is by far the fastest way. A spectacular valley

 

An amazing location

It starts to get a bit steeper now. After the path you’ll reach the entrance of Huascarán National Park. During the rainy season (as of October) the checkpoint has not been occupied. During the dry season you should either get a 21-days ticket (65 Soles) for all your treks or you have to buy a 1-day ticket (10 Soles). After the checkpoint another small path goes straight up on the right side. Still, there are some kilometers to walk. One now reaches an open valley with a truly spectacular meandering river. If you take your time to explore the area, you’ll find some superb photographic opportunities around. After four hours of walking (three if you’re hiking really fast) one finally gets to the lagoon. Although it was already raining when I got there, the color of Laguna Llaca was still impressive. An absolutely stunning location in the Cordillera Blanca. Do not forget some warm clothes for the way back and to properly enjoy the place.

 

 

It’s possible to see the impressive glacier already from the village.

 

Besides some local people I just met two other hikers that day.