Caraz District | Warning

Peru

Details

Verified:
8 days ago
Altitude:
3478.3 masl
Contributor:
Sigi

Amenities

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Description

Sept '23: Road is generally in better shape than it apparently was several years ago, but it is still very narrow, bumpy, and rutted in places. A large landslide has taken out the road 1 KM from Laguna Paron, necessitating a short hike to get to the lake. 

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A narrow, windy, bumpy single lane dirt road ascends 2000m over 32 km from Caraz to Laguna Paron. There are countless very tight hairpin turns. Quality of the road varies widely depending on the season, large ruts, rocks, and washouts may be encountered. Expect 2.5-3 hours to complete the trip. After the park gate, the road is very narrow, spots to pass another vehicle are few and far between, meaning you need to back up when meeting other traffic. There is almost nowhere to turn around a larger vehicle if you want to turn back.

Small collectivo vans travel the road daily to bring tourists to the Laguna.  A small 4x4 will have no problem, but if you are driving anything other than that, read the comments below carefully to determine if you want to make the drive. Multiple people have attempted it in lower clearance vans/motorhomes and have done significant damage to their vehicle. Public transport to the lake is easy to obtain in Caraz.

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Can confirm this road is totally ok with a van. Ford Transit van with AWD and medium clearance. If you’ve driven all the way to Peru and done some offroading, this road isn’t too challenging. Some tight passes, but everyone takes it slow. Nothing too steep. Our van is 6m long and 2.2m wide.

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Just an update that the land slide has not been fixed yet and does not look hopeful in terms of repair any soon. Drive to the landslife and hike up the lagoon ✌️

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Sept '23: Road is generally in better shape than it apparently was several years ago, but it is still very narrow, bumpy, and rutted in places. A large landslide has taken out the road 1 KM from Laguna Paron, necessitating a short hike to get to the lake. 

We camped and hiked from the iOverlander spot but it is possible to drive up to the landslide on the road and hike from there, there were at least a dozen vehicle parked there on a Sunday.

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we don't have a big car but also recommend people to get a taxi/driver to go up the mountain. the road is definitely bumpy, but a local driver will drive more confidently (aka faster) so you can enjoy more time on the mountain instead of on the road. our driver got us there in 1.5 hrs...

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road is blocked 2km before the lake due to wash out

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We drive a campervan (6 meter, 3.5 ton, 2WD) and we decided against this road and used an organized transfer.
After having seen the road we would do it again, with an organized transport.
After the gate the road becomes really one lane, very rocky and with steep hairpin turns.
Is it doable with a 2WD? Yes, even with low clearance.
Do I need to do it, when my whole interior is shaking and smashing left, right and center? Maybe not...

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We went just after 5pm and meet guy with keys from gate on way down, but he still opened it. Road to the gate is super nice gravel (1 hour, 24km). 13 km after gate (1 hour) is rock and bumpy but ok with Mercedes sprinter 7m long 2wd. Of course only when weather is good.

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We drove in our Chevrolet Sail 1200cc. it's bumpy but driving slowly it's not a problem. it took about 2-2,5 hours one-way

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Not a problem at all, regular cars do it as well. Just try to go up before 13:00 and down before 8:00 or after 13:00, otherwise you will have a lot of traffic coming the other way.

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It’s just a dirt road, nothing difficult. Expect bumpiness and a lot of switchbacks though.

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We did the road with our 2WD Ford e350 with high clearence. The road IS though, lots of high rocks. If you dont have a high clearance you will bumb a lot. We went at 4:30pm up and had to pass just one vehicle. They fixed some parts of the road.

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Yea it's bumpy, but not as dramatic as the previous comments mention. It's a slow uphill, but tons of long and tall sprinters do it everyday, not to mention the little Nissan collectivos. There are plenty of places to pass, just stay calm and take your time and enjoy the view. ◡̈

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Our truckcamper: length: 7,5 m - width: 2,52 m - height: 3,45 m - weight: 5 ton.
We did drive this road without any problem. But very carefully and slowly.
Main issues to take care about, for big rigs:
- low hanging branches that make scratches (but we have had worse).
- deep washouts on the first part (before park park entrance) because of rainy season, but mostly nothing to worry about,
- big rocks and stones on the second part,
- many many very sharp hairpin curves, the lower ones on the second part (gate to lake) are more narrow, as is the road.
All of this doesn’t look to us as a big problem for smaller cars, we’ve seen Toyota Corolla’s driving up. Think better to have high clearance! Our size of vehicle made it more difficult, but still perfectly doable. In about 5 hairpin curves we had to drive backwards a little (up and down), because of our length. Indeed, turning around with our rig would not have been possible, except for a few places. It’s a narrow road, but mostly places to pass are near. At some stretches, no way to pass, no way to drive backwards up for a rig like ours in those hairpin curves ...
Tour buses drive up between 10 AM and 12 AM. Time absolutely to avoid to drive down with a big rig, some are Mercedes Sprinter size. Might be very hard to pass. They return between 2 PM and 3 PM. So at this moment don’t drive up. We stayed overnight at the gate, drove up at 7.30 AM, at opening time (normally 7 AM, but guard showed up late). Didn’t see any other vehicle. We returned at noon, to avoid being in the way of faster vehicles driving down. Had 3 vehicles to cross, all small width, no issue at all.
Up from the main road to the gate took us 2 1/4 h., down 1 3/4 h.
Up from the gate to the lake took us 1.50 h, down 1.45h.
Entrance fee: 5 PEN pp. - in case you stay overnight (one or more nights): 10 PEN pp.

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We were really afraid to take this road because of the main comment on it...and to be honest this road is not so bad. I think that maybe it has been improved lately. However, it is a dirt, rocky road. Some part are rough but nothing crazy. We saw many 2x2 doing it. High clearance is recommended of course. We left from the Laguna at 8Am and crossed many minivan going up. The road is wide enough 80% of the time to easily cross someone. For 20% left there is some pull-outs. We have a Tacoma pickup, so not so wide but still I don't think crossing people should be a concern. You CAN turn around easily along the road if you don't drive a rig longer than 6m (I think). It took us 30 minute from Caraz to the NO gates and 1h15 from gates to Laguna (10km/h).

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It’s rainy season and we still passed 7 2wd collectivos that did it no problem.

2.5 hour drive from caraz. We are a 4x4 delica no issues coming up and down

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This road should be passable, by most vehicles in dry weather... just take it easy.

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Made it with a VW T5. Sure it's a dirt road, but it's totally fine.

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We did it with a 4x4 but also with a Toyota Yaris (2wd). Not recommended especially if you don't want to damage the vehicle from underneath (in the case of unadapted vehicles as the Yaris) but clearly doable. A bit of patience needed though.
Entrance is 5sol pp

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Ok! So we went there by bicycles and it's doable in one day! We left from Caraz at 5 am. Were near laguna at 12. Left 13:45 and were back in Caraz at 17. So be sure to leave early because up there it is wonderful!

Forget the Laguna 69 and go there because it's better and just for 5S! Dirt is not that bad condition.

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Went up and down in a truck camper with some clearance. It’s rough, but not all that bad. CAUTION- if your rig is low or hangs far beyond the back wheels, this may be a problem. We did not need 4x4. Many vans and small wagons do this daily. Spending the night up there is beautiful if you can take the cold and the elevation. Go up in the morning (before 12) and come back down in afternoon (after 1) to avoid oncoming traffic in narrow sections.

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Some parts are very rough, narrow, high clearance necessary.

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Suite de l’aventure :
Il y a seulement 32 kilomètres entre Caraz et la laguna Parón. Nous avons mis 2h30 pour parcourir cette distance à l’aller et 2 jours pour le retour. Nous avons arraché l’intégralité de notre système de vidange des eaux usées, ce qui a entraîné un affaissement du compartiment qui contient nos 2 batteries qui alimentent notre partie habitation. Nos 2 amortisseurs à l’avant se sont brisés. Les arbres ont rayés une bonne partie de notre carrosserie. Et nos plaquettes de frein se sont glacées à cause d’une surchauffe importante. Cette piste a clairement défoncée notre Van. Sans compter l’énorme stress que nous avons vécu.
La piste s’est beaucoup dégradée depuis quelques mois à cause des pluies fortes qui ont déformées la route au point de creuser de nombreuses crevasses. Même les 4x4 et les gardes-hautes ont désormais des difficultés à parcourir la route.
Ne prenez pas cette route avec votre véhicule. Préférez un colectivo pour environ 50 soles par personne (aller/retour).
Soyez prudent !

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Carretera peligrosa - Road dangerous

Bienvenue en enfer !!!
Cette route est TRÈS dangereuse. Plus vous avancez, plus la route est défoncée. Trous, crevasses, gros cailloux, virages très serrés. Il y a une seule voie sur les 15 derniers kilomètres. Mieux vaut ne pas croiser de véhicules.
Notre Van de 5,90m a souffert et nous avec. Nous avons arrachez notre dump. Nous aurions aimé faire demi-tour un moment donné tellement la route fut angoissante. Mais impossible au vu de l’étroitesse.
Si nous aurions su la réalité du terrain, jamais nous serions montés, même si la vue est magnifique en haut. Nous ne conseillons pas de prendre cette route.

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We did it with our 4Tons rig. Doable, however we used 4wd & high gear to go up. Not sure if that was absolutely necessary. Parts are very stony, if we knew before we would have considered a taxi as our tires didn’t like it so much. The best is to go up in the morning and return in the afternoon to avoid traffic in the opposite direction. It’s sometimes difficult to cross on the single lane road. We came down around midday and still several cars were going up, although the weather was seriously deteriorating. Big rigs might need to take some curves in 2 times.

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