Planning to Hike to Laguna 69 in Peru? Opt for The Panorama Hike!

The hike to Laguna 69 is arguably the most beautiful day hike you can take in all of Peru. The landscapes that alternate are breathtaking. From valleys filled with flowers and plants you’ve never seen before to white mountain peaks that are hundreds of feet high. As the ultimate reward, the stunning Laguna 69 lies at an altitude of 4,600 meters (15,000 feet), the bluest glacier lake you’ve ever seen! The classic Laguna 69 hike is very popular and therefore quite crowded. Fortunately, there is an alternative hike to Laguna 69 that is not only more beautiful, but also where you won’t encounter anyone else. We introduce you to the Panorama hike to Laguna 69!

What is the difference with the classic Laguna 69 hike?

As far as we’re concerned, the Panorama hike only has advantages. The hike is relatively new and is undertaken only a few times a week by a small group of hikers. You start earlier and somewhere else than the classic hike, so you won’t encounter anyone else on the way there. Additionally, you’re likely to be the first to arrive at Laguna 69 and have this beautiful place all to yourself. Furthermore, on the classic hike, you walk the same route back and forth, while on the Panorama hike, you take a different route there and return via the classic route. Lastly, you climb 425 meters (1,400 feet) in altitude on the Panorama hike, compared to 700 meters (2,300 feet) on the classic hike. However, you start at a higher elevation, making the hike slightly more challenging.

The Panorama hike in numbers

Number of kilometers: 14 kilometers (9 miles)
Number of hours: 7 hours with breaks
Elevation gain: 25 meters (82 feet)
Elevation loss: 1,225 meters (4,000 feet)
Maximum altitude: 4,600 meters (15,100 feet)
Difficulty level: moderate to advanced

Our experience of the Panorama hike to Laguna 69

The day starts early because we want to be the first to arrive at Laguna 69. At 3 in the morning, the van arrives at the hotel, and after a short drive around Huaraz, we’re all set. With six travelers and the guide, we head towards the starting point where we finally arrive after about 3 hours of driving on bumpy mountain roads. The sun is just rising, and the view is surreal. We’re surrounded by snow-capped peaks that turn orange in the morning sun. We can see the Nevada Huascarán, which at 6,768 meters (22,205 feet), is the highest mountain in Peru. It’s time for a cup of coffee and a nice breakfast on the bus before we start the hike to Laguna 69.

The first hour is freezing cold because we’re walking in the shadow of the mountain, and there’s a strong wind. As soon as we turn the corner of the mountain, it becomes much more pleasant in the sun. Most of the hike that follows is downhill until we finally reach the valley. Here, there are dozens of cows, and a stream runs through the field full of large flowers. We can already see the toughest part of the hike ahead of us, a steep mountain about 180 meters (590 feet) high. That may not sound like much, but at this altitude, it definitely is. Once we reach the top, we’re finally at the beautiful Laguna 69 where we enjoy a delicious lunch and a fantastic view.

After a while, the other hikers who have done the classic Laguna 69 route start to arrive one by one. It’s time for us to start the return journey, and along the way, we meet about 80 people who ask us if we’re almost there. The way back is only downhill, but secretly it’s still quite challenging. After about 2 hours, we arrive at the parking lot, and the van is already waiting for us. What an amazing hike.

Booking and Costs for Panorama Hike or Classic Laguna 69 Hike

You can book the classic Laguna 69 hike anywhere in Huaraz for $11 per person. Only transportation is included. The Panorama hike costs $53, but this includes a guide, breakfast, and lunch. In addition, you also have all the benefits we described earlier. Besides these costs, you also need to bring 30 soles ($6) for the national park entrance fee. Currently, the Panorama hike can only be booked at Akilpo. If you want to do the Panorama hike, it’s a good idea to inquire a few days in advance at Akilpo because the minimum number of people is six. If you’re with fewer people, you’ll have to be lucky that more people want to do this hike. So, be sure to drop by Akilpo in time to indicate that you want to go.

Furthermore, they also offer an additional option for hiking enthusiasts. They offer an alternative day hike in Paron, which includes an English-speaking guide, breakfast, lunch, an entrance fee, and private transportation. The price for this package is $48.00 per person, based on a group of 6 or more participants.

Tips for the Panorama Hike to Laguna 69

  • First, do one or two easier day hikes to acclimate. This is really necessary and makes the hike much more enjoyable.
  • Wear layers, gloves, and a hat because it can be very cold. Also, bring a raincoat just in case.
  • Bring sunscreen, two liters of water and snacks, tip, and 30 soles.

More Tips for Huaraz

If you’re interested in more fun day trips from Huaraz or tips for a nice hotel, read all our tips for Huaraz here or click on the banner below for all our articles about Peru.