The Andean Shangri-La of Jancapampa
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Panoramic photo by Arroz Marisco EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 01:34, 08/05/2013 - Views loading...

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The Andean Shangri-La of Jancapampa

The World > South America > Peru

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The small hamlet nestled below the hanging glaciers of the towering peaks of Pucahirca (5,810m), Rinrihirca (5,810m) and Taulliraju (5,830m) above a precipice of dark granite wall at the head of the valley where several waterfalls tumble down into quebrada Jancopampa below is in my opinion the ultimate get-away from civilization. I was greeted by extremely friendly locals along the way passing herds of cattle, sheeps, alpacas and horses. Meandering along the valley floor is a milky-blue stream that hums and sings as one follows its course.

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Nearby images in Peru

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A: The Grazing Ground below Laguna Sactaycocha

by Arroz Marisco, 2.9 km away

The trail leaves the beautiful valley of Jancapampa behind by turning north through a lush and shady ...

The Grazing Ground below Laguna Sactaycocha

B: Twilight over Paso Tupatupa at 4,400m

by Arroz Marisco, 3.7 km away

At long last I made it to the mountain pass of Tupatupa just before darkness had descended to make ne...

Twilight over Paso Tupatupa at 4,400m

C: Sun Setting over Mt Taulliraju

by Arroz Marisco, 4.1 km away

My legs felt like jelly by the time I reached this ridge but the night was fast approaching and still...

Sun Setting over Mt Taulliraju

D: The Valley of Laguna Sactaycocha

by Arroz Marisco, 4.6 km away

The trail peters out eventually just before the valley where Laguna Sactaycocha lies - quebrada Janaj...

The Valley of Laguna Sactaycocha

E: The Western Face of Taulliraju

by Arroz Marisco, 4.9 km away

Having bagged one pass too early on during the day, my legs were yearning for another challenge as th...

The Western Face of Taulliraju

F: Laguna Sactaycocha Enroute to Paso Yanacon

by Arroz Marisco, 6.4 km away

Laguna Sactaycocha began to disappear into the shadow as the valley below, quebrada Janajanca was slo...

Laguna Sactaycocha Enroute to Paso Yanacon

G: Yanacon Pass and Beyond

by Arroz Marisco, 6.5 km away

The final climb on a really sandy and slippery slope nearly sent me hurling back down to the scree be...

Yanacon Pass and Beyond

H: The Grazing Field below Mt Pucaraju

by Arroz Marisco, 7.3 km away

The plain below rolls out gently as a green grazing field on the other side of Mt. Pucaraju. There is...

The Grazing Field below Mt Pucaraju

I: Descending Alto Paso Pucaraju

by Arroz Marisco, 7.5 km away

The descent is first via a rocky path before it peters out into the green slope half-way down the eas...

Descending Alto Paso Pucaraju

J: Cordillera Blanca from Paso Pucaraju

by Arroz Marisco, 7.6 km away

A well-formed rocky path zig-zags its way up the steep slope of black Mt Pucaraju to this mountain pa...

Cordillera Blanca from Paso Pucaraju

This panorama was taken in Peru, South America

This is an overview of South America

South America makes up the southern half of the Americas and a large part of Latin America. It's home to the world's longest mountain range, biggest waterfall and largest river -- even these mammoths pale in comparison to the stunning variety of life forms thriving in the rainforest.

To the northwest, off the coast of Ecuador, lie the Galapagos Islands, which are unique for hosting species not found anywhere else on earth. These were the subject of study for Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution, which he himself said will require proof in every single case.

The main languages in South America are Spanish and Portugese, which basically tells you which European countries colonized the place. The South American wars of independence took place over two decades in the early 19th century, led by Simon Bolivar of Venezuela and Jose san Martin of Argentina.

Following liberation from Portugal and Spain, South America took off into its own development, capitalizing on the rich deposits of oil, gold, copper, silver and tango musicians.

Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to one of the world's best parties, Carnaval. Have you heard of samba music? How about bossa nova? Maybe dancing for three days straight?

I can't say enough good things about South America. All the world's continents have amazing secrets and treasures laying in wait for your discovery, but in South America... just have a look at our pictures while you're waiting for online confirmation of your plane tickets to hit your inbox.

Text by Steve Smith.

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