Portachuelo de Llanganuco
Portachuelo de Llanganuco

Portachuelo de Llanganuco hike

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Mountains surrounding Portachuelo De LlanganucoBeautiful valley of Portachuelo De LlanganucoLooking down the shore of Portachuelo Do LlanganucoTurquoise waters of Portachuelo De LlanganucoHikers relax near Portachuelo De LlanganucoMountains overlooking Portachuelo De LlanganucoBeautiful Portachuelo De Llanganuco in HuarazHikers take photos by Portachuelo De Llanganuco

Portachuelo de Llanganuco hike

Distance: 14.0km
Elevation: -1,130m
Time: 5h

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The Portachuelo de Llanganuco hike differs from most trails: it takes you down rather than up, making it a decent route for those who aren’t in the mood for an excruciating hike, but want remarkable views! At the highest point, you’ll get a front-row vista of the emblematic peaks spanning the Cordillera Blanca before walking down along the path, where two beautiful lakes - Orqoncocha and Chinancocha - will keep you aesthetically entertained. These sparkling lakes are formed from the snow melting off of Huascarán, Huandoy, Pisco, and Yanapaccha.

Portachuelo de Llanganuco hike Map

Getting there

Drive through the Huaylas valley below the Cordillera Blanca to the town of Yungay. Take the dirt road to Portachuelo de Llanganuco, which is located at 4700m. On the way, pass through the Huascarán National Park checkpoint.

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When to do

April - October

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Route Type

One Way

Portachuelo de Llanganuco
Elevation Graph

Route Description for Portachuelo de Llanganuco

This hike is an excellent choice for hikers craving a few hours outdoors and a myriad of picturesque views. It’s also great for those working to acclimatize, as you start high and go progressively down all day. However, the highest point of this hike sits at 4700m above sea level, propelling the risk of altitude sickness. Thankfully, the hike is near the road, so you can always wave the trail goodbye and hitch a ride!

You may think that this hike—due to its downhill formation—won’t enchant you with spellbinding views, but that’s not the case! As soon as you get out of your vehicle, the peaks of Huandoy, Pisco, Chacraraju and the south face of the Huascaran, jetting into the sky, will have you pulling out your camera and snapping photos.

The start of the hike follows a narrow path, and the Llanganuco lakes will shift into view. After 3 hours of walking down, you’ll arrive at the first lake: Orqoncocha. Admire the dark green shade blanketing the water due to the significant presence of algae and aquatic plants.

Continue walking along the road for another 30 minutes before arriving at the second lake, glimmering in turquoise hues: Chinancocha. Walk for 30 more minutes on the right bank of the lake until descending for another hour along the ‘Maria Josefa Trail’ until the trail ends at 3570m on a dirt road.

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Insider Hints

  • This hike is best done with a guide, and they can arrange travel to the start and back from the finish.

  • Bring water from the city. You can drink the water from the lake, but it’s suggested to use some sort of purifier.

  • You can find food near Chinancocha lake, but it never hurts to pack your own snacks!

  • Bring mosquito repellent! The last part of the route winds through a forest, where the mosquitos flourish.

  • It may be helpful to bring hiking poles due to the trail descent.

  • It’s possible to feel sick from the altitude on this hike, so consider carrying something like sweets or paracetamol to ease the symptoms.


MIlani Pitl 1 year ago

It was exhilirating! trails were challenging and beautiful. Don't forget to bring mosquito repellent, they could get in your nerves sometimes.

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Mike Luster 2 years ago

The sparkling lakes look so magical. The peaking summits were also an excellent subject for photography.

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