If I’m being honest, the beauty of Parón is comparable, if not more striking than the more famous Laguna 69. Only have a few days in Huaraz and want to know which one to do? Here’s what I think: The hike to Laguna 69 is better, especially as you walk through the valleys and see the lush flatlands and rivers. It will also be better for acclimatization. However if you’re not planning on multi-day hikes, Lake Parón is a much easier hike (a lot lower too). You can walk around the lake’s edge and up to the mirador for some epic shots.
Laguna Parón is about 3 hours by van from Huaraz and lies in the north of the Huascaran National Park. The lake itself is about 4,200m a.s.l. so it should be ok even those who have come from the cast. We also made a stop in Carhuaz, where you should also try some artisanal ice cream. It cost me S.60 for the tour, which included the S.30 national park fee. Also there’s a S.5 lake ticket fee.
A stunner at the end of a really, really, really long van ride
The tour van picked me up around 7am, which is a great sleep in comparison to the other tours I’d been on. We had a brief stop in Caraz
to have some ice cream and to use the free bathroom. Even though public bathrooms are often only S.1 or S.2, I recommend using the bathroom during these stops because the drive is pretty long and the road often windy.
I was in and out of slumber in the van, but I was glad I woke up during
the last hour as we got closer to the lake. There’s always something breathtaking about the tall, granite cliffs in the national park. Not to mention the glacier-fed, icy rivers that run parallel to the road. My eyes seem to transform in child-like, wide-eyed wonder and a goofy grin spreads across my face.
After 3 hours in the van, we pulled up to Laguna Parón. Even though it was a sunny day, by the time we started walking up to the mirador, the sun had hidden itself behind the clouds. There was a slight breeze, and without the sun, I had to add another layer and wear my beanie.
Walking up to the mirador is fairly easy and takes about 30 minutes. It’s a great viewpoint of the whole lake and you’ll get plenty awesome photos.
Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to walk around the lake’s edge, but I did manage to walk enough to see the lake from another viewpoint. From there I watched a few people from our tour take a boat ride out to the lake. If I had my telephoto lens, I would have offered to take photos of them from the hill.
I was happy that I had packed extra snacks for the long ride home. Even though I didn’t really get a hike in at Laguna Parón, the long day still gave me the munchies. I’m glad to have ticked this off my list and feel it’s highly underrated in its beauty - so if you have a few days up your sleeve and just want a chilled day out, add this one to your list!
fivefootronna is Ronna Grace Funtelar - a thirtyish storyteller, creative, writer and poet currently working and traveling in Peru. A woman with
a curious mind who lives for hiking mountains, outdoor adventures and eating pizza. She has a unique brand of optimism that is a combination
of her great enthusiasm for life and cups of coffee during the day.