Laguna Churup. What can I say to truly reflect its magnificence? Cecilia gave us some beta on how to get to the trailhead so off we went going "... straight down the road. Just before it starts to curve left, turn right unto a herd path. You will see a partially built building. Turn just past the trees."
We were met at the trailhead by two park officials. Once our park passes were verified (we had purchased them at the trailhead to Laguna Llaca) and the requisite paperwork filled out (I wonder what they do with the profession information?), we started our hike up to 4,400m in full sunshine.
On the trailhead we met ... no one. So we found ourselves perfectly on our own in this expansive landscape. We walked at a pace that allowed us to be steady and have a certain rhythm. We had frequent stops to catch our breath and get oxygen back into our legs.
After a scramble up a rockface that had been equiped with cables, we headed up a waterfall which, we would soon find out, was not the way to go; it was much easier to stay right and hike up the slabs. Great fun, though.
I would have hiked more than twice the distance to set my eyes on the patterns of colours of the laguna. Cerro Churup with its glaciers (although you can tell that they are not as big as they once were) was poised as a stunning backdrop.