How to get to Laguna Paron, Huaraz: Ultimate Laguna Paron Hike Guide

Laguna Paron in Peru is the most incredible blue lake I have ever seen. There is nothing like it.

But it’s not the easiest to get to.

No, it doesn’t involve a long, strenuous hike.

And no, it’s not an expensive tour.

Instead, you’ll need to take an overnight bus from Lima to Huaraz. Then, another 3.5-hour bus from Huaraz to Laguna Paron.

I didn’t think it would be worth the long journey. But with a serious case of FOMO, I decided to hit the road and visit Laguna Paron.

Here’s absolutely everything you need to know (and whether I regret adding it to my Peru itinerary or not).

two people standing with their hands in the air at Laguna Paron in Huaraz, Peru
There’s nothing like Laguna Paron in Peru

Laguna Paron summary

  • Time needed: Full day from Huaraz (8 am to 6:30 pm)
  • Distance: 45-minute walk to the viewpoint
  • Costs: S/50 tour + S/5 park entrance (2023)
  • Altitude: 4,200 m | Viewpoint 4,500 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Short out and back trail

How to get to Laguna Paron, Huaraz

Laguna Paron is a 3.5-hour drive from the town of Huaraz, Peru. There is no direct public transport from Huaraz to Laguna Paron, and the easiest and cheapest way to get there is with an organized tour, which will cost you S/50.

A woman sitting on a rock with a blue lake behind her
It’s a 45 minute hike to the Laguna Paron viewpoint

How to get to Huaraz

There is no airport in Huaraz, so you’ll need to take an overnight bus from Lima. This bus takes 8 hours to get to Huaraz.

It’s a long journey, but the buses are safe and incredibly comfortable with clean toilets. They also have large reclining seats, and I slept most of the way.

I booked this bus with Cruz Del Sur, which departed Lima at 9:45 pm and arrived in Huaraz at 6:15 am.

What to expect

You’ll have views of Laguna Paron the moment you arrive at the car park. This makes it an even more appealing day trip from Huaraz, as you don’t need to hike to get there.

From the parking area, you have two options for exploring the lake. You can either follow a short path that leads to its shores. From there, you can rent a kayak or walk around the lake.

Or, for the best (and most popular) views, take the trail on the right that goes to the upper viewpoint. This offers the best views of Laguna Paron.

How to get to Laguna Paron Peru
The view of Laguna Paron from the parking area

Laguna Paron viewpoint (Mirador Laguna Paron)

This iconic viewpoint is what attracts people to Laguna Paron in the first place.

It’s a 30 to 45-minute hike from the parking to Mirador Paron. The hike is short, with a gradual incline. But don’t underestimate the effects of the high altitude.

There are also large rocks and boulders you need to scramble over near the final stretch to the top.

Most tours allow 2 hours at Laguna Paron, where you can walk around the lake, kayak or check out the viewpoint.

Laguna Paron hike
The iconic Mirador Laguna Paron

How difficult is Laguna Paron hike

Getting to Laguna Paron is one of the easiest hikes in Huaraz, Peru. It’s not even considered a hike, and you do not need to be fit to get here (unlike the hike to Laguna 69, which is nearby).

But the altitude can and will get to you!

This is because Laguna Paron sits at 4,200 m. The air is much thinner at altitude, so you’ll get headaches and experience shortness of breath. You may even feel nauseous and vomit.

You will start to feel better when you leave and go down to a lower altitude. But you shouldn’t underestimate how your body will react. We had people throwing up on our tour!

Laguna paron hike difficulty
The last section to get to the Laguna Paron viewpoint is a bit of a scramble

How much does the Laguna Paron tour cost

It costs S/50 for a tour to Laguna Paron from Huaraz plus a S/5 park entrance fee. This is what I paid in July 2023.

How to visit Laguna Paron without a tour

It’s no secret that I don’t like group tours. I prefer to travel independently and use local transport when possible.

Considering that a guide is not necessary, I had initially planned to get to Laguna Paron without a tour. After weighing up the pros and cons, I settled on a group tour as it really is the easiest and cheapest way to visit the lake.

Here’s what you need to know about Laguna Paron without a tour.

A woman hiking a mountain to get to the Laguna Paron viewpoint in Huaraz
It’s a short walk to the viewpoint, but the high altitude makes it a struggle

Private taxi

If you have the budget to pay for a private taxi, this is undoubtedly the best way to visit Laguna Paron.

Taking a taxi will ensure you arrive before the hordes of tour buses, and you can enjoy the viewpoint with fewer people.

But it will cost around S/350 for the return trip from Huaraz.

Public transport

There are no public buses that go directly from Huaraz to Laguna Paron. You’ll need to take a series of colectivos and walk 10 km from the trailhead to the laguna.

Still interested? Here are more details!

Things to do at laguna Paron Peru
If you book a tour, you’ll have 2 hours to either kayak on the lake, walk alongside it or take a short hike to the viewpoint

Step-by-step directions

To get to Laguna Paron by public transport, you need to take the first colectivo from Huaraz to Caraz, which departs at 5 am.

You then take another colectivo from Caraz to Pueblo Paron, a small village that is a 5-minute walk to the Laguna Paron trailhead. This colectivo departs Caraz at 6:30 am and follows a dirt road for 2 hours. This windy road has many switchbacks, but the scenery is spectacular.

From the trailhead, it’s a 10-kilometer hike to the parking area of Laguna Paron. This hike takes around 3 hours, and you’ll climb from 3,200 m to 4, 200m. This is a considerable elevation gain and will be pretty tough for most people.

Note: You don’t do this 10 km hike if you go on a tour, as tour buses go directly to the Laguna Paron parking area.

Laguna Paron tours
The scenery from Caraz to Laguna Paron

Getting back to Huaraz is another story

If you do the return hike from Laguna Paron to Pueblo Paron, you’ll arrive late afternoon. This means you may not return in time for the last colectivo that goes to Caraz at 4 pm. Remember, you must still take another colectivo from Caraz to Huaraz.

You can try to hitch a ride with one of the tour buses, but they might not have space.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in this! Those with an adventurous spirit will make a plan, so don’t be put off by doing it independently.

But regardless, it will be a long day.

Staying in Caraz

Another option is to stay in Caraz before and after your Laguna Paron visit. It’s 1.5 hours away from Huaraz and closer to Laguna Paron.

I considered doing this. But I’m glad I didn’t. The town is tiny, and there’s not much to see there. This would’ve also added more time to my overall itinerary.

If you decide to stay in Caraz instead of Huaraz, the tour buses pass through here, so they can stop and pick you up along the way.

Laguna Paron vs Laguna 69 in Huaraz
Laguna Paron in Huaraz, Peru

Best time to do the Laguna Paron hike

Huaraz is the hiking capital of Peru, and the best time to visit is during the dry season from May to September. The temperatures are lower at this time, but you’ll have more chance of clear skies and sunshine.

July and August is high season for travel in Peru. I did the Laguna Paron hike in July, and the weather was perfect. I was expecting Peru to be super busy and crowded with tourists, but it wasn’t as hectic as I imagined.

October to April brings frequent rainfall, which is not recommended for the Laguna Paron hike. The weather will be unpredictable, and you can get rain, sun, and snow in one day!

Is it crowded

I went on a tour, and it was quite busy. Little did I know that it was a local holiday on the day of my visit! My tour guide informed me that it’s not normally like that and the day before was very quiet.

Did the crowds ruin my experience? No! The lake is spectacular, and nothing can beat it.

How hard is Laguna paron
Hiking to the Laguna Paron viewpoint

What to pack

  • 2 litres of water per person
  • Lunch (if you don’t want to pay for lunch at the lunch stop)
  • Snacks
  • Windbreaker/rainjacket
  • Gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat

Tips

  • Bring small change for the toilet at Laguna Paron. You can also buy snacks here.
  • Most tours make a quick lunch stop on the return trip from Laguna Paron. This lunch is not included in the tour costs, so bring some cash with you. I paid S/25.
  • There are shared dormitories at the visitors’ building at Laguna Paron if you want to stay the night.
  • If you’re spending a few days in Huaraz, I recommend adding Laguna Llaca to your itinerary. It’s completely off the beaten track with no crowds. You can either take a taxi all the way to the Laguna parking area or do a short hike. You can find out more about Laguna Llaca here.

Laguna Paron FAQ’s

How hard is the hike to Laguna Paron?

The hike from Laguna Paron car park to the Mirador is only 45 minutes and relatively easy. If you choose to do the trail from the Park entrance, it’s a lot more challenging. This is a 10 km hike that gains over 800 m in elevation.

Where is Laguna Paron

Laguna Paron is a blue lake that’s a 3.5-hour drive from Huaraz in Peru.

Is Laguna Paron worth it?

Laguna Paron is the most spectacular blue lake I have ever seen, and worth the journey to get there. It’s also a great acclimatization hike if you plan on doing more strenuous day hikes from Huaraz.

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How to get to Laguna Paron Huaraz Peru

Looking for more Peru travel inspiration? Check out my other posts!

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About Carryn

Hi, I'm Carryn. I’m an adventure travel blogger trying to figure out my way through life by traveling and exploring. Join me as I share my travel guides and tips for life abroad. Find out more about me here.

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