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Laguna Paron is one of the most beautiful lakes tucked between the mountains.

Laguna Paron: A Jewel of Peru

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Laguna Paron is the largest lake in the Cordillera Blanca, on the Peruvian Andes, sitting at 4,185 meters above sea level. Its striking tuquoise color, and jaw dropping mountains surrounding it, make this place an absolute bucket list item if you are traveling to Peru.

This lake is often overshadowed by the more well known Laguna 69, therefore it isn't visited nearly as much. Not only is it just as gorgeous, but it feels more like a hidden gem being that it isn't flooded with so many tourists. Here is all you need to know about Laguna Paron.

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Where is Laguna Paron?

Laguna Paron is located in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range in Peru, 32 km away from the small town of Caraz. The largest hub to travel to in order to reach here is Huaraz, which is a few hours north of the capital of Lima.

Where is Laguna Paron

Laguna Paron is closest to the city of Huaraz, a few hours from Lima.

How to Get to Laguna Paron

The first step to getting to Laguna Paron is to go to the city of Huaraz. The city itself does not have much going on, but is the hub for reaching some really beautiful lakes and mountains.

First can get an overnight bus from Lima to Huaraz or if you are traveling from the North, you can come from directly from Trujillo or Chimbote.

The two options from Huaraz are to take a tour to Laguna Paron, or to go on your own. The tours are definitely the easiest way to get there, while going on your own will save you some money.

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How to Get to Laguna Paron On Your Own

Once you have arrived in Huaraz, you will need to take the local colectivo to Caraz, which is about 1 1/2-2 hours away from Huaraz. When we researched online it was difficult to find out where exactly the buses left from, but just ask a local upon arrival where the colectivos are.

View of Laguna Paron

Laguna Paron can take a while to get to, but it is definitely worth it.

They don't have a particular schedule, but its good to ask upon arrival when you can expect to leave. If there are plenty of people ready to go, they will leave on the spot, as long as their van is full.

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Getting to Caraz

Caraz is a little village in the mountains, with a small plaza and some side streets, but not much more than that. If you only plan on visiting Laguna Paron and not any of the other mountains or lakes in the area, one night will suffice. We suggest having an early night and then waking up extremely early to get your journey started.

We've learned that the cheapest and easiest way to book your accommodation, is to avoid doing it in advance, unless there is something special you have in mind. Upon arrival it isn't too hard to find a place to stay, and there aren't many.

As this is a village, don't expect a luxurious stay, but accommodation is sufficient for a night, and very budget friendly.

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Getting From Caraz to Laguna Paron

Now is your choice whether you would like to hire a taxi, or take the bus and hike. We're the adventurous type, so we would prefer to save money, have a local experience, and get some exercise in. However, not everyone is like this, and it's good to know the different options for any one's preference.

Taxis to Laguna Paron

Taxis aren't ridiculously expensive in reality, but they are defintinetly a huge rip off compared to what they should be. If you have a group, or happen to find a small group willing to share, a taxi could definitely be worth it, as it will save you a lot of time hiking, The ride is about an hour and a 1/2, and you will be taken straight to the lake.

Taking the Local Bus to Laguna Paron

The local bus will take you from the town of Caraz up until the entrance of the park of Laguna Paron. The ride is about an hour, and the transportation is pretty tight. The colectivo (bus) leaves at 6:30 am from the main square. We suggest getting there early just in case.

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The Hike to Laguna Paron

After your hour drive, you will arrive at the entrance of the park, where you will have a pretty intense hike. The locals claimed it is 2 hours hiking, but it took us 3 1/2, and we are in pretty good shape. We think at some point we may have taken a longer route, but we will never truly know.

hiking Laguna Paron

The hike to Laguna Paron is a great way to enjoy nature.

The way the hike works, is there is a main road, winding around, which can be followed. Going up the road there are several "shortcuts", which go through nature, and then will cut through to a higher point of the road. These are of course more physically enduring, as you are climbing through trees, and mud. However, this is the more scenic route and adventurous for sure.

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There is signage along the way, but it never really says how far along you are. We went through about 15 trails before we found an open valley which we then hiked through. At this point, it may have been easier to follow the road, but it surely was an adventure, and with some great views along the way.

hike to Laguna Paron

The views along the hike are really beautiful.

Once we hit the valley we were attacked by swarms of horse flies and some bees. We urge you to bring a very good bug spray! After an intense and sweaty hike, we finally arrived! The view of the lake nestled between the mountains was worth every minute of the suffering.

Laguna Paron entrance

The entrance to Laguna Paron

Enjoying the Lake of Laguna Paron

When you arrive at the lake, it is truly mesmerizing. There is not a whole lot to do, but you can definitely enjoy it for a couple of hours. The lake actually only had a few people there, which was the perk of going on our own. Here are a few ways you can enjoy Laguna Paron.

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The Hiking Trail to Laguna Paron

There is a small trail on the right of the lake, where you can do a quick climb and enjoy the views from higher up. It only takes about 10-15 minutes, and you can get some really great photos here.

The vest view of Laguna Paron

The best view of the lake can be reached in a short hike.

Rent a Boat

Our favorite part of our experience at Laguna Paron was that you can rent a small row boat. We rented it for a half hour, but we definitely recommend an hour, as due to the current of the water it took longer than we thought to reach the middle of the lake. We were out there completely by ourselves, and it was a truly magical experience.

boat rental Laguna Paron

Renting a boat is one of the best ways to enjoy Laguna Paron.

Have Lunch with a View

Being that we like to be prepared, and never like to be hungry, we hit a grocery store the night before, and prepared sandwiches and snacks for the hike. However, the journey took a lot of energy out of us, and luckily they have a little restaurant. Although a small menu, they have some nice local food for reasonable prices, and with a truly stunning view! 

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Stay Overnight

Imagine waking up to sunrise on this beautiful lake! Well there is a small guest house that is right on the lake. Accommodation is very basic and only costs 10 soles/person (about $3 USD).

hike Laguna Paron

Staying a night will give you plenty of time to enjoy in the morning if you got there late like us.

Price of Laguna Paron

There are many things to keep in mind when budgeting for this day trip. Here is the breakdown of the different options:

1. Excursion from Huaraz

The excursion is a 3 hour ride there and 3 hour ride back, and the tours leave very early in the morning, meaning you will need to spend a night to Huaraz, and schedule a tour for the following day.

Price: 60-80 soles (approx $17-$23/person in 2019 - online it is $75)

Advantages: This is the easiest way to get there, and there is no hassle.

Disadvantages: Huaraz is not the most beautiful place to spend a night, it is pricier than going on your own, and a long day. Tour groups go all at the same time, so it will be more crowded.

Want to book a tour? Here is a popular one with a company we know:

If you plan on staying in Huaraz, here are the accommodation options:

2. Caraz to Laguna Paron in Taxi

Taxis will ask for many different prices and usually shoot around 120 soles (about $33 USD) If you can get other people to share with you, this is a better option.

Price breakdown:

Room Caraz: $15-$40/room

Bus to Caraz: $2

Taxi to Laguna Paron: $30-$35/taxi

Entrance Laguna Paron: $1.50

Total: $26-$41/person (if traveling with 2)

Advantages: Caraz is a nicer village to stay in, you can experience the lake at your own time, and it is an easier option than hiking.

Disadvantages: It could become more difficult to find a taxi, or someone to share with, and it can be pricier if you are traveling by yourself or with just one other person.

Need a place to stay in Caraz? Just check the map below:

3. Caraz to Laguna Paron on Your Own

Price Breakdown:

Room Caraz: $15-$40/room

Bus to Caraz: $2

Van to Laguna Paron: $3

Entrance Laguna Paron: $1.50

Total: $14-$27/person

Advantages: This is the cheapest option, and will get you some adventure and exercise in. 

Disadvantages: It is much more time consuming, and not the most comfortable option.

Laguna Paron on your own

Going to Laguna Paron on your own will allow you to enjoy it more leisurely.

Things to Know About Visiting Laguna Paron:

  • The best time to see Laguna Paron is in the morning, as the visibility is clearest early in the day.
  • There are many bugs, so bring some good bug spray.
  • The altitude is very high, so make sure you are properly acclimated, and prepare yourself accordingly.
  • If you are hiking, remember there are no bathrooms, so bring some toilet paper and hand sanitizer just in case.
  • It can be very hot during the day, and temperatures drop when the sun sets, so bring a sweater if you are staying late.
  • Only cash is accepted, so make sure you bring enough. 
  • Even if it is cloudy, the sun is strong, so make sure you also bring sunscreen.
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Laguna Paron is one of our favorite places that we have visited in Peru, and in South America! Make sure you plan well and bring all of your travel essentials. 

Want to see some more beautiful places to visit in Peru? We have articles for the best places to visit in Peru as well as unique places in Peru like this one.

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