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“Excellent views of the tallest mountains of the Cordillera Blanca on this countryside hike through local farming.
— Llanganuco Mountain Lodge
Birding · Views · Wildflowers
ATMA HILL VIEWPOINT(3500m) - No transport required
This walk offers excellent views of the Cordillera Blanca, whilst being a very easy going and pleasant acclimatisation walk past locals´ dwellings and farms. Set off direct from the lodge along a ridge-line that runs out from the Cordillera Blanca to the view point, where the Huandoy and Huascaran peaks reveal their full immense scale and beauty. After a enjoying your pack lunch with 360 degree views, head back along the other side of the ridge to arrive to the lodge.
Need to Know
Beware local dogs, to scare them off pretend to pick up a rock and pretend to throw it. if still aggressive carry out the threat.
This walk affords exceedingly good views of the Cordillera Blanca, whilst being a very pleasant doable walk for all, whether recently arrived or fully acclimatised. Affording perhaps the best close up, earth bound views of the Cordillera Blanca. If there is a better location for such views I would like to hear about it so that I can pay it a visit.
A lovely stroll takes you past adobe abodes, along an ancient irrigation ditch (which can be seen from the lodge). Through the small village of Chuhuarca, which is part of the comunidad campesina (peasant community) of which I am proud to be a member. This is the village where we buy our quinoa, and in July you may well see fields ready to harvest of Quinoa (yellow/red) and Kiwicha (red).
Climbing a small hill past the cemetery of Chuhuarca, you'll reach the hilltop of Atma where there are two very old sets of ruins, mostly buried, separated by the dirt cart track. You´ll have to have a keen eye to spot them, but when you do, you´ll realise how extensive they are.
This is a killer spot for a picnic, affording views of the Huantsan massive which is obscured from view at the lodge by the rock outcrops below Huascaran.
The route is a figure of eight, allowing a slightly different route and correspondingly different views on your return
START: From the driveway (roundabout), in front of the main accommodation block, head out on the compacted track that you originally arrived on.
On the pasture land turn right on the T junction after 200m, this is at a 1m high standing stone (we worked hard on that) this will take you down a more worn mud track through pine trees planted down either side. After 200m this reaches the compacted gravel road as the mud track comes out of the pasture land. GO STRAIGHT AHEAD onto this compacted gravel road, after 50m walking with the mountains on your left hand side this road bends 90 degrees to the right, follow this road now leading you AWAY from the mountains now at your back, after 350m you'll reach a T junction, at this T junction take the RIGHT hand arm, noting the CONCRETE 17KM MARKER on your left hand side.
After a few hundred meters you'll reach the quarry where they get the aggregate from for the road works. GO THROUGH THIS QUARRY. joining a small trail on the other-side of the ridge-line.
Follow this trail, staying parallel and just above the irrigation ditch. Contour round the hillside, passing various inhabited adobe abodes, and ruins of older ones.
Reaching a dirt cart track, turn left onto it, to reach a small football pitch in Chuhuarca cross this to teh far corner and join another track to the right - which leads you further along the ridge-line, at a junction keep left, skirting by a small adobe house before heading straight up the hill, or taking the road which zig zags up.
Reach the highest point and choose your picnic spot.
Return by the dirt cart track, with the ridge-line now on your left, on the last small hill on your left before reaching the quarry is a small fortress and corrals for animals, A good spot for panoramas.
Flora & Fauna
Local farming, and soaring hawks taking advantage of lift pockets off of this ridgeline.
History & Background
Ancient Inca trail has caused a huge landslide of various hues of red.