Lomas de Lachay is located just outside the Pan-American Highway (Carretera Panamericana) North Km. 105 and is a place that I would recommend to anyone. Here is my adventure and some advice for anyone who reads this:
First of all Lomas de Lachay was made a national reservation on the 21st 1977 and this reserve is located in the region of Lima and the province of Huaura. It expands across an area of 52,070 hectares. The best season to visit the place is in winter, between July and November because the humid season is notable for its green hills and vegetation which creates more wildlife especially birds and insects. , this mostly due to the sea air currents that create humidity, 100 % in winter with frequent showers however, during the dry season humidity is less 79 % in summer and precipitation is very rare making this place baron and brown.
Here you will find 74 plant species registered, among them 25 are on their way to extinction. Among the most notable, you will find the Peruvian papaya (Carica candicans), (Capparis prisca), (Caesalpinia tinctoria) and the nettle (Loasa urens), which cover the reserve with yellow attractive flowers. Also, you can observe numerous gramineous, tillandsias and succulents.
The common mammals found here are the rodents, but you can also find other species like the Sechuran Zorro(fox) (Pseudalopex sechurae), the Andean Skunk (Conepatus rex), the mountain mouse (Phyllotis spp.) and the vizcacha (Lagidium peruanum).
Throughout the reserve there exists approximately 55 bird species pertaining to 16 families, among them are: the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), the Andean Tinamou (Nothoprocta pentlandii), the American Krestrel (Falco sparverius peruvianus) and diverse species of hummingbirds.
Among the most notorious reptiles, you can observe the peruvian snake (Bothrops pictus) and the Curl Tail Lizard (Tropidurus sp.). There are also many arthropods.
I would recommend that you travel to the street called Jr. Sandia and look for the company called “Empresa de Transportes San Martín de Porres” it is a small bus company that goes all the way to Huacho, there is only one bus fare from Lima either to Chancay or Huacho (S/.12.00 soles). Remember to ask the travel assistant on the bus to tell you when you reach km 105 because Huacho is past Lomas de Lachay, to get to this location from Lima is about 2 to 3 hours.
When you get off the bus you will find yourself in the middle of the desert there are buses that are running to Lomas De Lachay and if you are lucky like I was you can hitchhike on one of these buses to the entrance if not you may find yourself walking for a good 1 to 2 hours to the entrance.
The entrance is mark with a small cabin and you can see the Peruvian flag waving there, there will be a park warden there who will sell you the tickets, the price for entrance is S/.10.00 soles per a person and it is cheaper for children (S/.3.00 soles) and elderly people (free ticket).
OK so now you have your ticket but guess what? This is not really where the trek begins if you don’t have transport you will have to walk for a further 40 minutes till you reach the visitors centre. In my opinion it is a much better option to walk, you get to see soo much more and can take a lot more pictures to.Remember to vigilant when walking as there are many vehicles that pass, just move to the side and let them pass and you shall be fine.When you reach the visitors centre another park warden will be there and he or she will inform you about the different routes there is.
There are two main routes the “The Circuit of the Fox” this will take you approximately 20 mins to complete and then you have “The Circuit of the Piquial” which can take up to 2 hours to complete both connect so you can complete both in the same walk if you wish.
The routes are lined with signs to guide you through but be careful over time people who have the tendencies to be lazy have carved short-cuts that sometimes can be a bad idea to follow as I found out.
The paths can be rough to walk on so bring good walking boots as there are holes, uneven ground and steep winding paths up the mountain side. As I mention one such shortcut I took, took me up a steep part of the mountain and it became soo steep and hard to climb I had to stabilize myself my climbing up on all fours, this was hard but I must admit it was fun.
When you reach the top of the mountain you can really appreciate the breath taking view of the landscape around you, the green valleys below and in the distant you can see the harsh desert sands and the sea. The sun can be harsh here and if you are like me who roasts under the sun then bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen; I made the mistake of not doing this and paid a high price. I am now the colour of freshly cooked lobster hahaah. When looking down on the valleys you may see some structures, these structures are from the Pre-Columbian cultures. At the same time, you can appreciate the huge granite and diorite rocks which have worn away over time leaving concavities and soft contours.
Regarding animals and insects you may not find many depending on the season and due to the amount of people most of the animals go into hiding however, you may see a lot of snails and bird and oh if you dislike wasps then be warned this can be seen and heard flying around for most of the trek. Finally you will start to climb back down but be careful as some paths as mentioned before can be difficult at the bottom you can buy yourself something to eat at the café that is located there.
Again, if you are like me who did not bring transportation you will have to walk all the way back to the highway this is very tough especially if you are tired and then faced with a long walk under the sun but I truly enjoyed it and always love to face a good walk with good spirit.
When you reach the highway there is neither an official bus stop nor a place to catch the bus so just take care when crossing the road and when you make it to the other side just wave down a bus that comes by and ask if they will take you to Lima, the cost once again is about 12 soles. Another important note to remember is that not all buses will stop especially buses from large well-known companies such as Cruz Del Sur, Exclusiva and Tepsa but buses like Z Bus and Barranca Tours are more likely to pull over for you.
All in all this place is truly a wonderful site to visit and we all should do our best to look after it, if you see some litter on the way it would be a nice gesture to pick it up and place it in the bin that are on the route. If you travel here and find something new or a new route lets us know and once again sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and good boots are essential.
There is some amazing pictures on my blog of this place at: http://gringoperu.blogspot.com
[ Edit: Edited on 31-Aug-2015, at 11:44 by oranphil ]