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Cancaraca Lake

Aka Laguna Cancaragá


No matter which way you spell it, this is the most beautiful lake that you can drive right to (besides Parón). It’s a 3 hour drive from Huaraz, by way of Carhuaz. Be ready for windy mountain roads: there are dozens of switchbacks on the way up to the Olympic Tunnel.

If you want to experience the Túnel Punta Olympica, made in 2013, this is the best way. At 4736m (15,538ft), it’s the second highest tunnel in the world, after the Monte Mila tunnel in Tibet at 4750m (15,584ft). It’s 1.4km long (0.87 miles), which gives you enough time in the tunnel to hope that no earthquakes coincide with your visit.

Laguna Cancaraca from Mateo

Just before the tunnel is the starting point for the climb up Mateo. (That’s why the only good photo I have of Cancaraca is a selfie on top of Mateo).

Cordillera Blanca & Huascarán NP

Cordillera Blanca Day Tours

Prepare for a drive

Text © Heather Jasper

Images by Heather Jasper, Paulo Tomaz