Chacas Lagoon – Juliaca District

Patterns of water, patterns of air, patterns of earth

Juliaca city has populated since thousands of years ago, the main Apu (sacred hill) is Huaynarroque, a hill with two peaks that shows the unity in the duality. But there are another secondary apus and places with its own communities. Chacas lagoon has two towns: Kokan and Chacas. They are something similar to satellite towns but they’re more like part of a body of sacred hills and the lagoon that I guess has the status of a cocha (sacred lagoon). Apus and Cochas are like ancestors to us, in our mythology there is no creation but breeding so every community has to care its Apu and Cocha with specific rules.

The first signal that you are near a sacred place in Peru is to see an old catholic temple. To indoctrinate us priest built temples near Apus.

The door of the red star

But well, you know once one church and usually you already know the rest and my goal was to walk in the lagoon where I played when child. I followed the road…

The road

Spirit of Wayra

Chacas lagoon is at 3829 masl (approximately 12 000 feet) in a weather where usually there is just cold.

A yellow flower in the green field of the blue heaven

A road of sky crossing an earthy way

Cover me


A road in earth, a road in the sky

Near the lagoon I met three kind persons attending the fields of papas. The lord of the fields asked me for some photographs. The Qashwa, a mythological warrior dance with a symbolism of fertility, was nearer so there was a kind spirit.

Hard word of hands

The lagoon

I drink to forget

The school used to hire a little bus, but I went walking and the lagoon seemed so far. But I get the shores. Although I took another road from a side I didn’t know, so the place was like go for first time again.

A little point in a vast universe

Crossing patterns

Sentinels of the forgotten lagoon

Sea of Metal


Running for your life

Classical landscape of the highlands

A storm seemed closer so I scape… err, I mean, I did a strategic retreat. Just kidding :P, I had to return so I came back to the road.

Soft rain in the sleeping hills

Storm hungry of light

Road to come back

Juliaca’s airport is near the lagoon so it’s common to see the planes…

Time to say good bye


24 thoughts on “Chacas Lagoon – Juliaca District

    1. Merci bcp Melanie!, un paradis en effet ^_^
      Of course you say it in French, because I learnt the phrase about to drink to forget reading the Little Prince in the part of a man in an asteroid with several bottles ;-) Unforgettable as all inside that giant story u_u

      1. désolée, mais j’ai “oublié” que tu lis beaucoup…:-)
        * * *
        ah, I’d like to have some “papas”=patates(normales ou douces, j’aime les 2!), por favor… merci d’avance!;-)

      2. Oh, I sounded harsh and that wasn’t my intention, sorry :$ I value more my little conversations with you than the books, there are millions of copies of the books but just one Mélanie ;-) (and actually I’ve read just a few compared with what I think you’ve read, perhaps I’ve read less than five hundred books)
        I’d love to send you papas (to the candy ones we call them “camotes”), Did you know that genetic manipulation was an obsession in Incan Empire and before? even with us, humans; for that we have thousands of varieties and our local “NASA” is precisely a center of genetic conservation of our papas (
        I’m going to search for papas that could be send by post (everything needs a sanitary permit) to you :-)
        The lord of the lands said me that to me would be papas for free, what a pity that my work and travels take my time as an ouroboros.

  1. Hi Francis :) A beautiful tale of a mysterious, beautiful corner in earth. Juliaca, a city located high up in the mountains there are many secrets to discover. I am glad that you like your adventure that you’re beautiful images and send it to the world. I was at the highest top in the Alps at a height of 3300. Was beautiful as in heaven. I like mountains, space, nature. Splendid harbour :) :) :) Blessings to you :) Wanda

    1. 3300. Wow, my home would be really high in Europe then :O, now I understand why Europeans seems to suffer specially when they are around the city (I suffer a lot too in the coast at level sea with the humidity and the heat)
      An interesting fact Wanda: actually my home is in a plateau in the highlands. There is no mountains near because our land was the bottom of an interior sea millions of years ago, but today its remain is the tallest navigable lake on the world: The Titicaca, that is at 3812 masl. The Apu Huascaran is our tallest mountain with 6768 masl. Definitively smaller than the Everest but considering the shape of the Earth is possible that its peak is farther to the centre of the Earth than the latter.
      Happy to read you Wanda, thanks and a big hug from far away ^_^

  2. Excellent, as always.

    I think your photos are great because they are taken with an artistic element. Some of the shots are primarily yellow, or purple, or green, etc. and you have an excellent eye for composing an artistic photograph, rather than just taking a picture. It’s pretty difficult to do that.

    Can I ask, do you take a very long time when taking a given shot? Do you manually adjust your shutter speed and aperture? Or do you shoot in a priority mode? Just wondering because your shots are so strong and I would like to know how it’s done.

    1. I’m very grateful for your kind words and your keen observation James :-)
      Actually I didn’t study photography but a bit of painting when kid, but I learnt a lot with a broken previous camera that just can shot in manual XP
      My dearest photographs took or so much time to compose and others were just snapshots at 1/2000 of second from the window of a bus in motion, I guess I’ve a bit of luck.
      I usually shoot in aperture priority, white balance in sunny, adobe rgb to try to conserve the colors (specially reds that to film are not problem but in digital…), and if the composition ask it I use a Marumi Super DHG polarizer to cut reflections (I used it to this walk) , a 84.5 reverse ND grad to balance clouds or to avoid that distant hills seemed soft (as in the first photograph), and a Haida ND1000 to express the motion of the day (as in the third photograph) I shoot also in fully manual mode but usually I use aperture and modify the shutter speed dialing the exposure bias of the camera. And I’m forgetting a very compact Sony tripod that can be save in a normal backpack.
      Lastly I shoot raw and process them in Photo Ninja but for an important reason: My Sony R1 is a wonderful camera but it’s from 2005 with an antiquated processing, my processing try to reflect what I saw, so I turn off the noise reduction to get a detailed photograph but not sharpened; I usually desatured the colors a bit (but in adobe rgb mode that is just not so needed) and recover burnt hightlights. and fine tune the white balance to correct the little shortcomings of a camera that use an strong noise reduction and have a hidden broader dynamic range. Except when I stich I don’t heal or clone as the garbage and the power lines in my photographs can show :-)
      And wow, I think that’s all, I guess someday I could did a post about it.
      Best wishes from Peru, James, thanks for came to my little corner.
      Post-Data: I forget my faithful bubble levels of three axis, without them the landscape could seem weird.

    1. Thanks lady, happy to transmit that feeling :-)
      Wayra means Wind, Juliaca is know as the Windy City and the “little Chicago” (but that last is besides for the smuggling XP) Kind regards.

    1. Toni, thanks for the beauty of your words that, I didn’t know, are now also mine. I’m longing the same as you but I couldn’t find the way of expressing them, Thanks a lot :-)
      Update: When I saw your profile with your avatar almost my eyes pop out of their sockets, I couldn’t believe the kind commenter was also the artist I saw days ago published in Steve Huff’s blog. Honored for your visit and success in your projects, Toni. Best wishes from Peru.

    1. Thanks for your visit, so I could just know your world of words and images. I think in them as emotions, pure and without distractions, giving meaning to a silence circular like your name Anna, that starts as it ends and starts again… Thanks :-)
      Your words were exactly my thoughts there, just to let the road and see and walk in that place without time. Best wishes, Francis.

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