Santa Cruz trek and Laguna 69

Waking up to Huascaran, the highest mountain in the range, finally clear of clouds.

Waking up to Huascaran, the highest mountain in the range, finally clear of clouds.

Huarez in Peru is little town that is big on outdoor adventure. Whether it be rock climbing, alpine, mountain biking or trekking it has something for everybody. Located near here is a mountain range called the Cordillera Blanca, with some great hikes through it. The big summits here always have snow atop them so unless you possess the technical climbing skills these are out (there are sixteen 6000 m peaks). No matter there’s still beautiful and amazing hikes to do.

The Santa Cruz trek is usually done in four days with a tour but we chose to do it in three so that we could use the first (extra) day to hike Laguna 69, another popular day hike.

Laguna 69

Laguna 69

We actually did this by getting the bus halfway up to where Laguna 69 is and camping there overnight, meeting all the day trekkers on our way back. You can camp anywhere in the national parks but you do need to pay a fee. We only had a problem that no buses came along that had spare room to take us to the trail head of the Santa Cruz trek. We had to catch a bus back with the day hikers and then go back up again in a bus.

The trail

The trail

Amazing mountains

Amazing mountains

At the top of the Punta Union pass

At the top of the Punta Union pass

We were lucky enough to meet a guy on the bus that rents out a room in his house to hikers. This in itself was a great experience and gave us an insight into how everyday Peruvians live. Funniest part was watching the guinea pigs running around, over here they’re not pets but food.

Setting out from the trail head the next day we do a long hard days trek including a high pass, Punta Union at 4750 metres asl. As we get from one valley to the next the weather takes an abrupt turn and we head down to the camp in the rain. The clouds in this valley just roll over you and makes for such a beautiful place. In the morning you get a break from them and finally get to see what valley looks like.

Looking back on the trail

Looking back on the trail

Beautiful views

Beautiful views

Another laguna being fed from the snows above

Another laguna being fed from the snows above

Clouds coming through the valley

Clouds coming through the valley

Overall I would recommend this hike to anyone, it was definitely one of the best hikes we have ever done and really very easy to do it on your own. This is because you follow one valley up and over and down the next, There’s really no way to get lost, though we still took a topographic map. You’ll find everything you need in Huarez including the mountain guides association that you can log your trek with if you’re going to do it yourself.

Hope this has inspired you guys to get out there trekking and as always catch me on Instagram.

Campsite in the low low cloud

Campsite in the low low cloud

Walking out of the valley on the last day

Walking out of the valley on the last day

Advertisements

One thought on “Santa Cruz trek and Laguna 69

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: