GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 4/5 - Hard
Track length: 5 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 946 Meters
Total Descent: 26 Meters

B-6.0 Laguna Congoya, Sacapo, San Pedro de Vilcabamba


Distance         10 km - roundtrip

Time               9.0 hours (roundtrip)

Altitude          2015m - 2950m

Ascent            985m

Descent          985m

Rating             Difficult 4/5

Start               End of the motor road in Sacapo, San Pedro de Vilcabamba

End                 End of the motor road in Sacapo, San Pedro de Vilcabamba

Even though this Laguna is one of the easier Lagunas of PN Podocarpus to reach, nonetheless it’s a hard days Hike to make the roundtrip without camping out. Set out early in the morning! The terrain is slow going and finding your way isn’t that easy at all. If you’re not confident about what you are doing, it’s better to get a Guide. Since the trail follows mostly a ridge, the hiker is rewarded with impressive views over the Malacatos- and the Vilcabamba valleys and beyond. Carry plenty of water, there’s none along the way and the water of the Laguna is unpalatable.

Access:            To get to the trailhead from Vilcabamba, use a 4 WD drive pickup taxi or private car. From San Pedro de Vilcabamba, continue past the hamlet of Sacapo, heading straight uphill past the little Church to the end of the ever steeper road, or as far as your vehicle can make it.

Hiking directions: From the end of the road, a hiking trial continues uphill. Follow this trail for about 40 minutes or one kilometer, where you find a black metal gate to your left. Enter through the gate and continue uphill. After about thirty minutes or 500 meters following the main trail, you come to a wooden farm gate, which marks the entrance to a farm, whose Farmhouse you will find 400 meters above, overlooking the steep western drop on the ridge. Keeping always near the ridge, you have to pass some quite exposed, narrow burrs. About one and a half hour along the ridge you find a Lookout with some impressive views on the Malacatos valley and the mountains of the western Andes. A difficult 200 meters later, you enter the limits of the Podocarpus national park. From here it’s difficult terrain with deep trenches and steep climbs and never ending ups and downs. Always when you think you should long have reached your goal, there is just another hill to climb. From the NP Podocarpus sign it’s another hard two hours to reach the Laguna Congoya, which is nestled away in a small side valley of the Congoya ridge.

You should set off for the descent not after 2 pm, in order not to get caught by the nightfall. 


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