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A Guide to the Endangered Pastoruri Glacier image

A Guide to the Endangered Pastoruri Glacier

The Pastoruri Glacier is one of the last standing glaciers in tropical South America. Unfortunately, it is retreating at such a pace that it technically cannot be defined as a glacier anymore, as it is no longer building up ice during the winter. You can reach Pastoruri by means of Huaraz, the perfect town for trekking the Andes. Visiting Pastoruri Glacier is one of the most popular day trips from Huaraz, and for good reason. The trek is a thing of pure beauty. From the striking white snow-capped mountains reflected on the lake, to the lush landscapes you traverse to reach the glacier, It is a trek you need to put on your bucket list (and soon!). Here, we will give you an overview of what you need to bring with you, the difficulty of the hike, and what you can see along the way!

Laurel Thompson

Coming prepared is a vital part of thoroughly enjoying a trek. Be sure to bring a comfortable daypack for the tour, and carry a decent amount of water and some snacks with you. Sunscreen is a necessity even on cloudy days, as altitude amplifies the sun’s effects on our skin. A windproof and waterproof jacket will help keep you warm and protect you from the elements. Layers are always a great idea as the weather can vary between sun, rain, wind, and snow. Wearing layers allows you to adjust your wardrobe according to the weather on the day of your visit. Depending on the season, it is a smart idea to throw some gloves and a beanie into your bag as well.

The trek itself is not too arduous, although the altitude might be considered its most challenging aspect. The glacier lies 5,000 meters above sea level, so coming already acclimatized is ideal. It takes about an hour to walk the kilometer to the glacier from the trailhead. The incline is only about 150 meters, but at 5,000 meters, it can be strenuous for those not used to such high elevations. If you do find yourself struggling, there is an option to ride a horse halfway up and walk the remainder.

Along the journey, you will see incredible flora and fauna and views that will leave you breathless (or wait, is that the altitude?) You will have the chance to observe the impressive Puya Raimondi plant, belonging to the Bromeliad family. This plant, which can reach up to 15 meters, is nicknamed the “Queen of the Andes,” and can only be found in the high Andes of Peru or Bolivia. You will pass by Patococha Lake and admire the various birds that call this lake home.

The Pastoruri Glacier is an incredible sight to see. Unfortunately, experts estimate that this glacier will only be around for another ten years or so, barring a comprehensive fix for global warming . You won’t want to wait to book your trip. Reach out to our team today, and start planning to see the incredible Pastoruri Glacier before It’s gone for good.

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