Turqoise lagoons, perfectly blue morning sky, white snow-capped mountains, that raise over 6000 meters…this was the daily view of a 4-day trek through Huascaran National Park in northern Peru.
Early the first day we left from Huaraz and began 5 hour ride to the starting point of the trek. From there we hiked for around 3 hours to the first campsite at around 3500 m. Next day was the hardest of the trek and it involved hiking up for around 6 hours to the highest point – Punta Union (4750 m). The fact that I wasn’t acclimatized to the altitude at all definitely did not help in any way…but I have made it to the top, just to walk down again to the second campsite at around 4250 m. From this place we could enjoy the most beautiful views of the trek and peaks like Caraz and Artesonraju (both are 6025 meters high). On the third day we were woken up by our guide at 5 in the morning and around an hour later we set of to a 3 hour walk to Laguna Tintacocha. For me personally it was the most amazing part of all 4 days that we spent in the park. After that we had to walk up again to Punta Union. The reason for that was a huge landslide that covered half of the Santa Cruz trek. Fortunately, this day the trek up was much easier. After another 7 hours of walking (last 3 hours in the snow and rain) we finally arrived to the 3rd campsite. The last day was a piece of cake. Just a 3 hour walk back to the place we were left at on the first day. From there another 5 hoursnin the car back to Civilization to enjoy a nice and hot shower:)
The Santa Cruz trek was probably the most difficult thing I have done so far. Partly because I suffered from altitude sickness. But if anyone asked me to do it again, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second. The views that you see on the way, quickly remind you why you are doing it in the first place!!