The Resplendent Laguna Palcacocha
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Panoramic photo by Arroz Marisco EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 14:06, 23/07/2012 - Views loading...

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The Resplendent Laguna Palcacocha

The World > South America > Peru

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At the end of the valley, sitting right below the massive glacier of Palcaraju (6,274m) is the turquoise lake of Palcacocha. The proximity of it to the provincial capital of Huaraz is both a blessing as well as a curse  - supplying water as it does but it also kills by breaching its moraine wall as it did in 1943 when an avalnache of ice, mud and water claimed the lives of approximately 7000 inhabitants in its path.

The mighty Ranrapalca (6162m) has seen its glacial cover receding fast in the last 20 to 30 years and now large chunks of glacial debris are commonly seen in its expanding glacial lake of Llaca at its southwestern face.

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Nearby images in Peru

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A: On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 7

by Arroz Marisco, 300 meters away

The broad peaks of  Palcaraju (6,274m) appears like a giant curtain of ice near the end of  quebrada ...

On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 7

B: On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 6

by Arroz Marisco, 690 meters away

I made the drastic and stupid decision to descend back to the valley floor and proceeded along the he...

On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 6

C: The Glacier of Pucaranra

by Arroz Marisco, 830 meters away

After much clambering up another lake fed by the glacier of Pucaranra appears by the foot of Nevado H...

The Glacier of Pucaranra

D: The Green Peat Below Nevado Huapi

by Arroz Marisco, 840 meters away

The following morning I gathered correctly where Nevado Haupi is and slogged up a steep scree to reac...

The Green Peat Below Nevado Huapi

E: Sunset over Quebrada Cojup

by Arroz Marisco, 860 meters away

In my frentic attempt to find a way to the mountain pass of Huapi I climbed up the tussock-slope of t...

Sunset over Quebrada Cojup

F: On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 5

by Arroz Marisco, 2.1 km away

A trail climbing up the slope soon peters out and ends at this rock here. Ranrapalca (6,162m) now com...

On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 5

G: On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 4

by Arroz Marisco, 2.2 km away

As I reached the edge of this plateau a series of minor peaks slowly came into full view on my right ...

On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 4

H: On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 3

by Arroz Marisco, 2.4 km away

The riverbank soon rises to reach this plateau where there is good view of the surrounding mountains ...

On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 3

I: Laguna Cuchillacocha

by Arroz Marisco, 2.8 km away

Surrounded by jagged mountain peaks and fed by the beautiful glacier of Pucaranra (6,156m), Laguna Cu...

Laguna Cuchillacocha

J: On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 2

by Arroz Marisco, 3.0 km away

Just another view as I edged deeper into the valley. Right infront are the glaciated peaks of Palcara...

On the Wrong Trail in Quebrada Cojup 2

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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