The so-called Peruvian Switzerland holds this name over its mountainous roads, snow-capped peaks, and crystal-clear water lagoons. For that reason, Huaraz is considered the Trekking Capital of Peru since it offers a variety of activities and adventure sports across the Andean lands.
There’s a bit for everyone in this region, whether you are an experienced trekker, a history enthusiast or just want to feel connected with nature and the imposing mountains in the area. However, there are some hidden gems that make this place so special and one of those is the Churup Lagoon.
Laguna Churup is one of those dream-like locations that make you feel as if you were part of a real life fairytale, where it’s colorful and clear waters will leave you spellbound to its greatness while the majestic Churup snow-capped mountain blesses your way to it.
Without a doubt, this turquoise water body is one of the most sought after attractions within the Huascaran National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds the most beautiful natural attractions within the Cordillera Blanca in the Ancash region.
Nonetheless, we want you to experience it by yourself and feel the energy that overflows the entire place as your own. Did we get your attention? Well, here’s everything you need to know about the Laguna Churup and the trail ahead!
As we hinted earlier, the Churup Lagoon is located a few kilometers away from Huaraz. It is situated at a 45 minute drive from the Generosity City. However, don’t let its closeness fool you since it sits on an elevation of 4,450 meters above sea level.
For that reason, you shouldn’t underestimate this trail since it could be very difficult depending on your physical condition and acclimatization. However, all that hard work will be paid off as soon as you reach the destination.
Thanks to its mineral-rich water, the lagoon has a peculiar coloration that makes it even more impressive. While in direct sunlight, you can spot around seven colors in its water, which is why it is also known as the Lagoon of 7 Colors.
The Churup snow-capped mountain supplies water to this beautiful lake. The peak is located over 5,490 meters above sea level, and the lagoon sits just below its glacier, a total paradise on earth that you certainly shouldn’t miss.
If you’re up to this adventure, you’ll have to take a guided tour to the place since transport is limited to this location. The tour takes you on a a 45 minute car ride to the starting point of the trek, to later continue walking for around four hours until reaching the lagoon
The path will take you on a journey through the Churup creek, where you’ll be able to see the imposing Shaqsha and Cashan mountains. It is worth mentioning that this is a very steep hike, though most travelers take it as an “acclimatization” hike before venturing out to a more challenging one.
However, the trail has a moderate to challenging difficulty level, which is why you need to be prepared for climbing steep and slippery rocks, so make sure to wear the right shoes and clothing since it can get very cold up there.
There are different tour operators that offer this excursion, however, we advise you to avoid those independent street vendors and choose a highly capacitated company. Remember that you’ll be over 3,000 meters of elevation and altitude sickness could strike at any time.
Luckily for you, we have a special tour to Laguna Churup, make sure to know everything about it while you’re here!
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Since the Churup Lagoon is located on a high elevation, it is usual to see travelers experiencing dizziness, tiredness, headaches, and shortness of breath upon arrival, particularly if coming from low-altitude destinations. Make sure to follow these recommendations that will surely help you avoid and deal with altitude sickness:
- Keep yourself hydrated. Water is the best ally to fight and prevent this condition.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking at all costs. Alcohol is dehydrating, and smoking can worsen or cause shortness of breath.
- Eat a light but high-calorie diet. High altitude increases the need for fuel since you get dehydrated and burn carbs faster.
- Drink Coca tea or chew Coca leaves. This is a medicinal plant of the Andes, known for helping to ease any altitude sickness symptoms and improving acclimatization.
- Take it easy. Don’t commit to a physically demanding activity on the first 2-3 days upon arrival.
There are some medicines that can help with any altitude sickness symptoms. You can find Diamox or Soroche Pills in almost any drugstore in Peru, nonetheless, we highly recommend consulting with a doctor before taking any of these medications.
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