Northern Peru- Visiting a Glacier from Huaraz and the Beach in Huanchaco

Northern Peru- Visiting a Glacier from Huaraz and the Beach in Huanchaco

South America is full of every terrain and as I didn’t make it to Patagonia I knew I wanted to see some sort glacier elsewhere and luckily Huaraz just 8 hours north and slightly inland of Lima has just this.

I took an 8 hour day bus to Huaraz and was greeted by rain and cold weather when I arrived at 10pm (lovely!), I gave myself a day to re acclimatise and just walk around the town as is suggested as Huaraz is at 3100m and for the last week or so I had been at sea level. Huaraz itself is just a very local town, there are a few hostels and nice places to eat for tourists- I stayed at Aklipo hostel for 20soles/£4 but there’s really not that much to do, it’s just a base for avid hikers.

Huaraz from my hostel room

Huaraz from my hostel room

 

The following day I set off on my trip to the glacier. The bus journey there was roughly 3 hours with a few stops to get some coca tea to help with the altitude. As we got closer we started to see snow capped mountains and started to climb higher and higher.

Getting out of the bus where you start walking I could feel the height and the cold! The glacier and this point is roughly 5000m which is the highest I have been so far!
The walk to the glacier is only 2km which is nothing at lower altitudes but at that height and with some inclines on the path it definitely is hard!
After nearly an hour walking at a very slow pace (hard for me as I walk naturally very quickly) and lots of deep breathing we caught glimpse of the glacier.

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First glimpse of the glacier

 

It was like nothing I had seen before, there were 2 sections to it so we had a good walk around and got fairly close to the water and took some photos, at this point it was pretty much snowing too and very very cold so we didn’t hang around for too long before heading back down.
Although the trip is very short and most is spent driving to the glacier I thought it was well worth it as I had never seen a glacier before.

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I booked this trip with the hostel and it cost 45soles/£9 including national park fees so very reasonable.

I did want to visit Laguna 69 as I had heard amazing things and seen amazing photos but this again is very high and takes about 5 hours to walk in total and as I struggle with the altitude I decided to leave it.

To get out of Huaraz there are basically 2 options, back to Lima or to Trujillo. Trujillo is further north and on the coast which is where I needed to be to head to Ecuador so I took this overnight bus (7 hours) and woke up at a horrible 5am in the city. I had read that there’s not much to do in the city and it’s not overly safe or has many accommodation options so I had booked to stay in  which is a beach village just 15 minutes away.

 

I didn’t have many expectations of this place but I ended up really liking it! The beach was a long stretch so although the middle was busy with holiday makers and hawkers, both ends were very quiet and pretty much empty. Huanchaco is a good spot for surfers too so there were plenty of cheap places to eat with English menus. I stayed at Hostel Casa Fresh for 20soles/£4 which was run by a few Irish guys which was a welcome change.

Huanchaco beach

Huanchaco beach

 

I only stayed here a night but pretty much 2 full days seen as I arrived at 6am one day and left at 11pm the next. I did head into Trujillo on the second day via the public bus, there’s some nice buildings around the plaza but not much else of interest there and I was happy to return to the beach and once again due to the fact the beach is west facing I saw 2 amazing sunsets.

A beautiful sunset.

A beautiful sunset.

 

Then it was onto Ecuador! I left Trujillo at 2am (although it should have been midnight as the bus was 2 hours late!) and took the 18 hour journey up north and across the border!

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2 Comments

  1. March 20, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    Omg, it looks stunning! Absolutely love your first photo

    • March 31, 2015 / 5:26 pm

      Thank you! It was incredible to see and just appeared out of nowhere!

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