The city of Huaraz, in Ancash, is known for being one of the main tourist destinations in Peru for adventure tourism. It is the preferred place for travelers looking for a different experience next to nature. There are mountaineering options, sighting of Andean biodiversity, and other activities. Thus, among the favorite attractions is the famous Churup Lake, located at the foot of the snow-capped mountain of the same name. It is also known as "Laguna de los Siete Colores".
Its waters are clean, cold and crystal clear. When the sky is clear during the day, the sun's rays create a natural spectacle. The range of green and turquoise tones give it the seven colors by which it is known.
The road to Churup Lake is full of dreamlike landscapes. On the way you can see the mountains of Shaqsha and Cashan. These have beautiful waterfalls adorned by giant rock walls.
From Lima to the city of Huaraz, the bus ticket costs 60 soles. The journey takes 8 hours on average. When you arrive, check which is the tourist agency that offers you the best services. You will need a full day tour to complete the trekking route to the lagoon.
In order to get to the Churup lagoon, you must initially access it from the town of Pitec, and then continue the walk to where it is located. Near the lagoon you can see the beautiful snow-capped mountain that has the same name and that is part of the attraction of the Churup circuit, in whose water it is reflected.
Those who are interested in doing the trekking route that takes them to Churup must bear in mind that in most tourist agency programs the route is scheduled for at least one day. This presents a beautiful ascent from Pitec, which is recommended to start early so that later there is no rush on the route, which could make the walk not fully enjoyed, in addition to preventing possible accidents and giving the possibility of making stops so that walkers can rest.
The route is one of the favorite trekking routes in the city of Ancash, in the same way, for those who are interested in the sport of mountain climbing, the Churup snow-capped mountain is also interesting for its practice. Although you should always have the necessary equipment and preparation.
It is one of the most important in Huaraz and is among those preferred by travelers. If you are going to do it on holidays, such as Easter, National Holidays or during year-end activities, try to book a tour days or weeks in advance.
The tour lasts at least one day (the walk can take four hours one way and four hours back). We recommend that you first visit the historical attractions in the city of Huaraz, in order to acclimatize. Churup Lake is located at 4,450 meters above sea level and the difficulty of the route there is moderate, so previous experience in trekking routes will help you.
The road begins in the town of Pitec, which you can get to by bus or private mobility from the tourist agency from the city of Huaraz. From this town you leave first thing in the morning (almost at dawn) so that there are no time problems on the journey. Remember that the walk is not easy and that to enjoy the landscapes more and without physical impediments it is better to take your time. The route is full of rock formations, so you have to be very careful not to slip and for this you also need the correct footwear. Almost the entire walk is through the Quebrada de Churup, as is the return journey.
Once in the snowy Churup, it is possible to go mountaineering, always accompanied by an expert guide in this practice. The agency in charge will provide you with the necessary equipment and supplies.
Remember that there is also another route that lasts two days (spending the night in the middle of nature before returning) for those who want to enjoy one of the best sunsets in the mountains of Peru. There are authorized areas to set up a camp and spend the night in the sector. If you choose that the route lasts two days, you will have more opportunities to enjoy other landscapes with more time, in addition to the fact that the sunrise and sunset near the lagoon are unmatched.
Laguna Churup is located within this protected area. The Huascarán National Park is considered a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It covers part of the Cordillera Blanca and the Callejón de Huaylas, with snow-capped peaks that exceed 6,000 meters in height. There it is possible to observe more than 10 species of mammals and 120 of birds. Among them, the torrent duck, the slang duck, the Andean gull, the Andean condor, the puna partridge, the vicuña, the spectacled bear, the gray deer and the puma stand out.
There are several rock formations along the way, all of which can be climbed if you so choose. For this you need experience in this activity and follow all the instructions of your guide. This way you can reach the beautiful waterfalls that will add to your adventure.
Do not trust the independent people who will offer you the tour guide service. It is important that you go to an agency duly authorized for this purpose, which will have a professional and highly trained guide.
Before taking the tour, keep in mind that you must register at the Sernanp offices or at the control booths in the town of Pitec. Thus, in case of any problem, they will come to your aid.
We recommend that you bring mountaineering shoes, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, comfortable and warm clothing, hats, gloves, and sunglasses. Do not underestimate the difficulty of the route to the lagoon and do not separate yourself from the group you are accompanied by.
The climate in Áncash is varied, while that of the city of Huaraz is dry and temperate, with sunny days and cold nights, in open and high-altitude places –such as the route to Churup–. Throughout the year temperatures can drop to zero degrees. However, to better appreciate the landscapes and have more feasible walks, it is better to avoid the rainy season between the months of November and April. This rainy season features an average weather of 11 degrees.
The first recommendation to visit the Churup Lake is that it should not be done without company or a guide, since although the route is a pleasant route, it has a degree of difficulty that ranges from moderate to high in certain areas where it is necessary to climb, especially all in the areas where there are beautiful waterfalls. To be able to travel through these sectors it is important to have the necessary equipment, including special boots that prevent or reduce the risk of possible accidents, remember that there are many areas where it is easy to slip.
There is the possibility of camping in the place, this is also recommended to be done in groups in addition to having the necessary resources to spend the night in the area. Overnight in Churup will give the visitor the opportunity to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets that can be seen in the Cordillera Blanca. If you do not want to camp in the place, the Churup descent must be done before sunset between 3 or 4 in the afternoon to avoid traveling through the place at night.
Near the lagoon you can also go to other smaller ones that surround it and which are accessed by minor climbs. The route to Churup is a beautiful road where adventure sports such as trekking and mountain climbing are present for the most intrepid, but where you can also enjoy the scenic beauty of the mountain range and the tranquility of the snowy mountains.
On the other hand, if what you want is to plan an adventure trip and, in addition, enjoy the festivities that Ancash has for you, we recommend you choose one of the following dates for your journey.
The main one is in the month of February, when the festival of the Virgen de la Candelaria is held, in the province of Aija. There you will see or participate in artistic and religious activities, with processions, dances and an exuberant culture.
You can also travel in June, when the Feast of the Immaculate Virgin takes place in the province of Raymondi. Gastronomic, agricultural, native dances, musical contests and even bullfights are presented there.
In August, the Festival of the Virgin of the Assumption takes place in the provinces of Huari and Huaylas, which is celebrated in the mountains in honor of the arrival of the Virgin. Ribbon races, rooster fights, medieval-style competitions on horseback, among other activities, are the most curious things you will see.
In November, All Saints' Day is celebrated. Locals in most cities of Ancash visit cemeteries to remember their loved ones. This custom is accompanied by alcoholic beverages, dances and live music throughout the night.
If you leave the city of Huaraz, there you will find many tourist attractions to enjoy. You can go to the Archaeological Museum of Ancash, with samples of the Chavín, Wari, and Chimú cultures, among others. Also, visit the Sanctuary of the Lord of Solitude, the archaeological remains of Willcahuain or the Thermal Baths of Monterrey. If you want to enjoy the gastronomy of the region, walk along José Olaya street every Sunday, as gastronomic fairs are held.
This is how the town of Chiquián is known, at more than 3300 meters above sea level. This place has various archaeological destinations, mansions built in the Republican era and scenic attractions. It is also the starting point for the Cordillera de Huayhuash, where you can see the majestic snow-capped peaks of Rondoy, Yerupajá and Jirishanca. Chiquián is located four hours south of Huaraz.
Located three hours from the city of Huaraz. It is characterized by having cobblestone streets and mansions with striking balconies. The architecture is one of the most attractive details. You will also find the Chacas Museum, which has a collection of ancient ceramics and sculptures belonging to the Recuay culture. From here you can reach Punta Olímpica, another great tourist destination in Huaraz.
Located two and a half hours east of Huaraz. It is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and has historic structures such as the Plaza Mayor, the Pórtico de las Falcónidas, the Cabezas Clavas, etc. It is a great vestige of the Chavín culture, also accompanied by the National Museum that has collections of ceramics, stones and pututos that were used in ancient rituals.