So you have reached here that means you are up for exploring Cordillera Blanca and Lake Paron is great to give you brief introduction to this slice of heaven. The adventure to lake Paron
is just as gorgeous and awe inspiring as the rest of the well known places in the Peruvian Andes such as Laguna 69, Lake Humantay and Santa Cruz trek without the crowds- so you must have it in
your itinerary. So without further delay , lets start with all you need to know for – Day Trip to Lake Paron – Huaraz.
Why Laguna Paron?
I will give you 3 simple reasons :
1) If you plan to do multiple hikes in Huasacaran national park , day trip to lake Paron is great for acclimatization.
2) If I compare the amount of physical exhaustion it takes to see the other Andean lakes like Laguna 69 or Lake Churup , Lake Paron is literally piece of cake.
3) This is one of few places that you can enjoy in complete solitude aka without crowds.
Things to bring to the Day trip to Laguna Paron:
Doesn’t matter if you decide to do a day trip or day trek to Laguna Paron , following things will come handy. So do bring them.
1) Cash of atleast 5 sols to be paid at the main entrance of the park. Again , bring the cash.
2) Warm clothes – You will be at 4200 mts of altitude and slightest of winds can make you feel chilly.
3) Rain jacket or poncho – weather is unpredictable.
4) Water – Minimum 1 liter per person.
5) Snacks – Nuts , trail mix or protein bars
6) Good hiking shoes
7) Medicine for altitude sickness and motion sickness and coca leaves
10) Camera – I mean you will want to capture every moment , trust me.
How to get to Laguna Paron?
There are several ways to enjoy this sea blue water beauty. If you are visiting Lake Paron as one of the first places in Huaraz with an intention to get acclimated , I will suggest to arrange for a
day trip and go in a group tour. If you are a seasoned hiker and prefer walking for miles and high altitude does not bother you , you can attempt it on your own and make it a day trek. Either
way , you are sure to have a great time.
In a group tour :
You will be most likely in Huaraz and most of the hotels and hostels have contacts of different tour companies and can arrange for a group tour. You need not pre-book as you would loose the advantage of negotiating the rate. Also make sure when you book your tour that you get an English speaking guide else you will not understand the history , fun facts and other important things about Laguna and Huasacaran national park. You will be bored.
A day trip to Lake Paron is long and most of it will be spent in bus. So if you suffer from motion sickness , carry Dramamine with you. Most of the companies do a pickup at about 7:30 am from the hotel. So depending on where your hotel is in the route of all pickups , you might spend 40 – 45 minutes in picking up your fellow passengers.
Finding a tour for Lake Paron is relatively easy. There are 2 flavors of the tour :
1) Departs at 5 am and involves 3 hrs of hiking.
2) Departs at 8 am and the bus drops you at the edge of lake. From there its about 45 mins hike up to the mirador ( view point).
Note : This was our first day trip in Huaraz and we wanted to keep it a bit easy , we opted for option 2 , means pick up at 8 am.
Your day will look something like this :
– 50 minutes to the small town of Carhuaz, for a 30 min stop to pick up snacks or enjoy an ice- Cream at Helados Porvenir.
– Another 45- 50 minutes to reach to the nearest village of Lake Paron , Caraz.
– Once you reach Caraz, take Dramamine as the next 2 hours are along a very very bumpy and winding dirt road to the lake
– Quick stop at the park gate to pay the entry fees of 5 sols. Yes it has to be in Peruvian currency.
– Reach Laguna and hike up to Mirador. You will get roughly about 2 hours to explore the lake and area around independently.
– 3 hour journey back to Huaraz
On your own :
When I was planning my day trips in Huaraz , I really tried finding out the information that could help me in skipping the group tours and do those trips on my own. With not knowing the S of Spanish and places being isolated with limited connectivity, I decided to take the group tour. However if you want to visit Lake Paron on your own , here is what it will look like :
You can stay at Caraz , the nearest town to Lake Paron and can take a collectivo to the lake base. Else if you are in Huaraz , take the collectivo from Huaraz to Caraz and then further from Caraz to Pueblo Paron. The real times of collectivos is not known so please inquire a day before you plan to visit Lake Paron.
The collectivo will drop you at a trail head and from there you can either walk along the dirt road where many other group tour buses will pass you by. Or hike up to lake Paron via hiking trail – about 10 km one way.
Return back to Pueblo Paron in time , mostly by afternoon so that you may catch the rumored collectivo to Caraz. From Caraz find another collectivo to Huaraz.
I want to stress on the fact that there is no timetable to these collectivos , so you are really on your own. If you think you have got late in Lake Paron itself , request a group tour company to take you back to Huaraz. They will charge you in case they have any spots in their bus. But that is pretty much the only option.
What to do once you reach ?
1) Boating in Lake Paron. :
So you have reached Lake Paron and you really want to feel the lake . There are boats lined up right at the edge- A Kayak for about
20 sols per person and row boat for about 10 per person. You can rent a boat and head out on to the glacial lake.
2) Hike up to mirador and Paramount view point.
The best views of the lake are from mirador which is will take about 45 mins of hike to reach. From there you can trek further up to see the
3) Short walk along the Lake’s edge:
You can hike along the shore of the lake (left side from the refuge) and get glimpses of more mountains and hike back to another series of small lakes, or even the base of Artesonraju’s glacier
If you want to sleep under the stars , you can camp next to the lake for free. There is also a refugio with basic amenities and bunk beds that you can rent for 20 sols per person , to stay at the lake.
What did we do?
Laguna Paron was the first thing we explored in Peru. We reached Huaraz a day before our day trip, some time in the evening. We stayed at Villa Valencia and they had connections with some tour companies. We booked our group tour in the hotel after meeting and haggling on tour prices with company representative. Since, I get motion sickness in winding roads , the tour company was kind enough to accommodate my – ‘give me first seat , right behind the driver , next to the window’ request. They picked us from the hotel at around 8:30 – 8:45 am. Being last in the route of pick-ups it worked best for us. And then we were on our way to Lake Paron as a usual group tour with exact same times as explained above. The only problem I faced was hiking up the Mirador as I was not acclimatized but yes Coca leaves to rescue . We were back in our hotel at about 6:30 pm with gigs of photos and excited for next adventure.
I really hope if you are travelling to Huaraz , Lake Paron makes it to your bucket list. If you have any questions, let me know I will be happy to help. You can check out the things that you absolutely need to know before travelling to Peru , here and my 9 day itinerary to Peru here. Do let me know in comments below, how did you like Lake Paron , your experience. Thank you so much for stopping by.