At 3850m above sea level, the Lagunas de Llanganuco are only 26km northeast of Yungay (83km from Huaraz), but take a good ninety minutes to reach by bus or truck, on a road that crawls up beside a canyon that is the result of thousands of years of Huascarán’s meltwater.
The first lake you come to after the park entrance is Chinan Cocha, named after a legendary princess. You can rent rowing boats by the car park here to venture onto the blue waters (80¢ for 15min), and, if you’re hungry, take a picnic from the food stalls at the lakeside nearby. The road continues around Chinan Cocha’s left bank and for a couple of kilometres on to the second lake, Orcon Cocha, named after a prince who fell in love with Chinan. The road ends here and a loop trail begins. A third, much smaller, lake was created between the two big ones, as a result of an avalanche caused by the 1970 earthquake, which also killed a group of hikers who were camped between the two lakes.