A few years ago on my second trip in South America I ended up in a place called Huaraz in Peru.
Sitting in the valley of the Andes, Huaraz is a city sitting 3000m above sea level and most people arrive there to mountain climb, hike, snowboard and other outdoor pursuits.
I arrived with my only plan for the whole trip in mind; have no plan.
This is largely how I have travelled over the years, arriving to a place and taking it as it comes. If I find a place I like then I stay for longer and one I don’t like then I get out early.
I had a hostel recommended to me by a few fellow travellers.
The hostel is unlisted online, down a back alley with no signage, cost about 5euro per night and was one of the best hostels I have stayed at which is exactly why I stayed for over 2 weeks.
I have learned that the people in a hostel tell how good a hostel it is.
In the first few days after settling I ended up doing a day hike to Laguna 69, a glacial lake sitting in the valleys mountains.
"Laguna 69 is a breathtaking turquoise lake that is literally hugged by snowy mountain peaks, jagged rocks and trickling waterfalls some 4,600 metres above sea level. It is both a steep and demanding ascent beginning at 3,800 metres, but the overriding challenge is being able to cope with the high altitude"
I took the above description from this travel blog because they describe it better than I was about to.
There were a lot of tourist groups who did the hike, it was fairly tough but I managed to win the race to the Laguna.