Altitude: 3.850 m.
Duration: 01 days.
The tour to Llanganuco Lakes is a classic acclimatization trip of exceptional beauty, as well as a cultural experience. The trip starts in Huaraz, at the base of Cordillera Blanca, from where the road follows the right bank of Santa River up to the village of Jangas, in Cordillera Negra. From this point we can observe the high summits of Huandoy, Huascarán, Hualcan and Copa. We the pass the villages of Yungar and then Anta. Crossing a bridge on the right bank of Santa River, we reach the village of Marcara, then Carhuaz where we visit the main square, with the virgin “Mercedes”. After trying the famous ice-cream of Carhuaz, we continue to the small settlements of Toma and Tinco up to a small plateau at the settlement of Tahuantinsuyo. This is an excellent lookout point which on clear days offers a panoramic view of the snow capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. We pass the fisheries of Tingua, and reach Mancos, observing on the side of the road the oldest ruins in the region: “Guitarreros“ Cave dating from 12, 560 years BC. From “San Roque” bridge at Mancos, the summits of Huascaran are visible. The trip continues through the village of Ranrahirca, where we observe traces of the landslide that started from the north face of Huascaran on May 1970. We then reach the town if Yungay. The original town was completely buried under the landslide in 1970, and at the site of the old town there is now a Sacred Camp. In the upper part of the town we will visit the white statue of the Christ, now used as a cemetery site. We'll visit the place that used to be the main square of Yungay before 1970, the only remains being 4 palm trees and part of the cathedral tours, witnesses of the disaster. We cross the new Yungay, and then start eastwards through a 25 km dirt road to Llanganuco Lakes, passing small settlements to the entry of National Park Huascaran, where we pay the entrance. After the control point, we continue on the road bordered by quenual, and enter the impressive valley with vertical walls on either side, that form the base of Huascarán to the south and Huandoy to the north. Flora includes “hueclla“ – yellow, orange and red flowers. We reach the trailhead marked as ”Maria Josefa“, and follow this trail for 1.30 hours parallel to Shacsha River, to Chinancocha Lake. These trails were explored by Andes Avelino Cáceres in 1883. The walk offers a diverse flora, bushes and quenuales, as well as local fauna. After admiring the scenic lake, we return to Yungay, and continue to Caraz for a visit of the main square, shopping for manjar blanco (sweetened condensed milk) and a traditional lunch, and then return to Huaraz at the end of the day.
ORIGIN OF HUASCARAN AND HUANDOY
(THE LEGEND OF HUASCAR AND HUANDI)
Long time ago, at the base of the Cordillera Blanca there was a powerful kingdom whose king was a good hearted man.
He had promised his daughter to the son of a neighboring king, union which would strengthen the kingdom in the valley of Santa River. But his daughter, Huandi princess, was in love with one of the soldiers, and they were meeting secretly. One night, while the princess went out secretly to meet her lover, she was seen by a servant, who told the king. The king was angry for the disobedience of his daughter, and wished to give an exemplary punishment. Feeling the danger of the punishment, the princess decided to run away with the soldier. They left before dawn, but the king sent a group of warriors on their traces. They were easily captured, unable to defend themselves from the king's soldiers.
Once captured, they were tied to big rocks, and taken to the heights of the mountains, where they were separated on either sides on the mountain and abandoned to the forces of nature. The cold, the hunger, the rain and the suffering of being separated, weakened them little by little. Legend says that from so many tears the Llanganuco Lakes were formed. They were sentenced to a cruel death.
The God of Huaylas, seeing so much suffering, took compassion and transformed them in two beautiful mountains, rising to the heights above the other summits: the Huandi princess was transformed in HUANDOY and the soldier Huascar, inl HUASCARAN. The feminine character of Huandoy shows itself from the summits of Cordillera Negra, in its elegant summits. The two summits of Huascaran remind the muscled chest of a soldier.
And so they remained forever, an eternal symbol of impossible love...
From: Libro de "Oro de Yungay"
Compiled by Victor Robriguez l.