Never in your life have you witnessed such an intoxicating shade of turquoise. Here at the mesmerizing Llanganuco Lakes in Huascaran National Park, twin dollops of turquoise water shine brilliantly against the snowcapped spine of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca. The first lake, Chinancocha, has rowboat rentals for enjoying a view of the mountains from out on the water, and the second lake, Orconcocha, has a loop trail that offers spectacular views of the lake and surrounding peaks. The tallest mountain in Peru, Huascaran, is visible from Llanganuco Lakes, which themselves are 12,631 ft (3,850m) where the air can feel thin when hiking. Even if you’re simply just standing by the water, there’s a sense of enchantment and mountain slope magic surrounding these lakes and this valley, where rugged cliffs rise in all directions as they seem to explode from the lakeshore. On tours that depart from Yungay or Huaraz, visitors will also make stops in villages and towns while en route to the lakes.
Insider's Tip: Try to visit early in the day to get the best colors in photos.
Since the Llanganuco Lakes are at such high altitude, be sure to bring jackets and winter clothes—even when visiting in summer. Be aware of the dangers of trekking at altitude and know the signs of altitude sickness, and by going with a guide you can experience much of the beauty you might otherwise miss.