Both the Cordillera Blanca mountain range as well as the rare Puya Raimondii are worth a visit to the Parque Huascaran in Peru.
Viele Reisende hatten uns empfohlen, die schneebedeckte Cordilliera Blanca sowie die seltenen Pflanzen des Parkes zu besuchen. So machten wir uns dorthin auf den Weg und sind nicht enttäuscht worden. Auch ist der Park beliebt für Trekking. Die wilde Landschaft wird wohl einer der Höhepunkte unserer Reise bleiben.
Parque Huascaran can be entered at 3 different gates, necessary in order to see the various attractions. We started at the Carpa Section.
Driving towards Huaraz we first entered the Carpa section close to Pachocoto and were permitted to sleep in the parking lot for the night and use the baños at the gate in order to enter the park early in the morning.
Close to the parking lot is a little lagoon with some birds which made for entertaining bird watching, especially the quarrel between an Andean Gull and a female Giant Coot.
The sunset was also spectacular from our location, the evening icy cold.
Driving into the park we soon came across the rare Puya Raimondii in clusters and up the hill slopes.
This unique plant reaches an age of around 40 years and only flowers once in its lifetime, then dies.( Puya raimondii, also known as queen of the Andes, Titanka or Puya Raimondii, is the largest species of bromeliad. It is native to Bolivia and Peru and is restricted to the high Andes at an elevation of 3000 – 4800 m- also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puya_raimondii )
A bonus was to spot the giant hummingbird that is assumed to pollinate this plant on one of the flowers.
We continued towards the parking of the Pastoruri glacier which we reached finally by horse. The Nevado Pastoruri is 5240m high.Unfortunately this glacier is receeding due to global warming.
On driving back we briefly stopped at the clear blue Ojo’s (eyes), water holes with bubbling gases coming up from deep below and at some rock paintings on the way.
We journeyed to Huaraz and stayed at the Real Hotel Huascaran for the night where we slept in our vehicle on a large grassy area behind the hotel and paid for the use of the bathroom(S09° 30.7751 W077°31.8703).