Undoubtedly, Huaraz is the ideal travel destination for those who love mountains and aren’t afraid of heights. The region is surrounded by the tallest mountains in northern Peru, being the Pastoruri snow-capped peak, one of the easily accessible natural attractions within the Huascaran National Park.
The Nevado Pastoruri is one of those gems that will be lost overtime. Unfortunately, climate change has impacted this region drastically, causing thaw in most of the glaciers and snow-capped mountains part of the Cordillera Blanca.
The towering mountain sits on an elevation of 5,240 meters above sea level. However, as we mentioned before, the struggle isn’t linked to how you get there but the altitude itself. As you increase in elevation, the air becomes ‘thinner’ and if you’re not properly acclimatized, you could suffer from altitude sickness.
We don’t mean to scare you off, but to highlight a common issue while traveling to high-altitude locations. Therefore, we came up with this guide so you get to know everything about the Pastoruri mountain and its surroundings.
Are you up to this adventure? Continue reading and start planning the trip of your life with Viagens Machu Picchu. You’ll surely wish to visit this incredible natural wonder after reading this blog!
Going back in time, right at the root of the Andean traditions, these majestic mountains were part of the beliefs of the population, and potentially still are. According to the region’s folklore, these imposing mountains were worshiped and respected since they provided life and water.
On the other hand, they also were feared by many due to the catastrophes they caused over the years. As in many other parts of the Andes, Locals feel a strong connection with these living ancestors, and some of them claim to communicate with them through rituals and dreams.
These beliefs weren’t eradicated during colonization, on the contrary, they remained in the heart of its inhabitants and have prevailed across the region through generations. Therefore, just like the Inca civilization, other cultures also see the Nevado Pastoruri and other peaks as their spiritual protector in this world.
The Pastoruri Glacier sits on the northern side of the Pastoruri Mountain, it is one of the main attractions on the site. However, the route to the glacier was closed from 2007 until 2011 due to the impact of climate change in the area.
As aforementioned, the snow-capped peak has suffered a 40% ice reduction due to global warming since 1962. About 60 years ago, the glacial surface of the mountain covered over 720 km2, now black patches have appeared due to thawing on its peak, and the glacier continues to disappear as time goes by.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that the Nevado Pastoruri could lose its entire glacial surface in 10 years from now. Reason why many travelers are eager to know this natural wonder before it fades away from our world.
Unlike the Rainbow Mountain in Cusco, this peak doesn’t have color underneath the snow. The colored mountain in Peru was there all along but hidden in plain sight until one day, the ice melted away unveiling the beautiful colors hidden under its white snow layer.
Nowadays, as tragic as it may sound, tourism in Nevado Pastoruri is oriented to raise awareness of climate change and the impact that we, as humans, have caused to our planet. The special tour is called The Climate Change Route, focused on exploring the site showing the effects of global warming on the region.
As you may know, the towering Nevado Pastoruri is located in Huaraz region, only 2 hours away from the city. It is worth mentioning that transport is limited to this attraction, which is why it’s best to book a tour unless you have your own vehicle.
The Nevado Pastoruri Tour will take you through one of the most visually striking landscapes within the Huascaran National Park, where you’ll be able to spot the majestic ‘Queen of the Andes,’ the Puya Raimondi, an endemic plant of the region, and beautiful lagoons on the way.
If you’d like to take part in this adventure, we have the perfect excursion for you! We have included this destination on our Classic Peru & Huaraz package, make sure to know everything about it while you’re here.
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Since Nevado Pastoruri 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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