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Lakes of Peru

Lakes of Peru

Posted by Juan Gavasa on February 23, 2014

Want to see a beautiful lake in Peru, but don’t want to make the trip all the way to Titicaca? This summer, take some time to cool off and visit one of Peru’s other gorgeous lakes.

Laguna 69, Ancash

Located in Huscaran National Park near Huaraz, Laguna 69 is a great choice if you’re in the mood for a bit of a hike. The lake is located at nearly 16,000 feet above sea level, so be prepared for a bit of a struggle to get there. But once you round the last switchback of the rocky path on the side of the mountain, you’ll be rewarded with a turquoise lake set at the base of a glacier. To get there and back takes an entire day, but if you leave Huaraz at six in the morning you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery.

How to get there

Buses depart regularly from Lima to Huaraz (nine hours). Once there, arrange with your hotel to get transport to the park entrance, about an hour outside the city.

Salinas, Arequipa

This salt lake completely drys out into a salt flat from May to December, but floods during the rainy season. It’s a great place to go bird-watching, and if you’re lucky you can catch a glimpse of the flamingoes that nest here. The lake stands at 4,300 meters, so be prepared for altitude issues.

How to get there

Take the bus from Lima to Arequipa (17 hours) or fly (one hour). From there, you can arrange a day tour or a mountain-biking expedition to the lake.

Huacachina, Ica

More of an oasis than a lake, Huacachina is set amid the giant sand dunes that are just perfect for sandboarding. You can also take an buggy tour, visit a nearby vineyard, or just relax in a hammock under a pair of waving palms.

How to get there

Take one of the many buses from Lima to Ica (about five hours). Once there, you can take a taxi to the oasis.

Lago Sandoval, Madre de Dios

This lake is known for the diverse wildlife that call it home, including different species of caimans, birds, and even the rare giant otters. You can take a boat tour from Puerto Maldonado (2 hours) and stay in one of the many lodges around the lake.

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