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Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 24-04-2024

Millpu in Ayacucho, Peru is a hidden natural wonder nestled in the heart of Peru, renowned for its stunning turquoise waters. You can head there on Peru adventure tours which are approximately 125 kilometers from the city of Ayacucho. Accessing this remote paradise requires a Peru adventure trip through the picturesque Andean landscapes of The Andes, where the journey itself becomes part of the adventure. The name Millpu comes from the Quechua meaning ‘throat‘ or ‘swallow‘. Local legend will tell you that the water flowed from the mouth of the devil, and so local people rarely visited out of fear of the devil. Today, this natural wonder offers a tranquil escape for travelers seeking a unique and memorable experience during their Peru adventures. Millpu offers more than just its stunning waters, however,  it is also a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. Here's how you can experience the thrill of adventure in this breathtaking destination.


Millpu Gorge

The Turquoise Waters

Millpu's main attraction is its series of spectacular turquoise pools, created by mineral-rich waters flowing down from the Andes mountains. These crystal-clear pools are a sight to behold, offering a mesmerizing display of color that changes with the light.

Ecological Importance

Millpu is not just a natural wonder; it is also an important ecosystem, home to a variety of plant and animal species. Conservation efforts are in place to protect this fragile environment, ensuring that future generations can also enjoy its beauty.


Turquoise Waters

Cultural Significance

Millpu holds cultural significance for the local communities, who have long revered the area as a sacred place. Visitors are encouraged to respect the local customs and traditions, adding a deeper layer of meaning to their experience. 

Responsible Tourism 

The natural Pools of Millpu are a recent addition to Peru tourism, and only in 2015, did tours begin to Millpu, after the local community started to allow visitors to view the natural phenomenon. However, the infrastructure and ease of access for tourists to visit the incredible Aguas Turquesas Millpu were lacking somewhat. In 2016–17, trails were built to allow easier access to the turquoise waters. And sure enough, which meant that the Millpu Lagoons continued to grow in popularity.  Visitors were able to swim and relax in the many beautiful natural pools and Millpu became a true natural wonder and gained worldwide recognition. The number of visitors was taking its toll on Millpu and by 2018, swimming, paddling, or walking over the rimstone edges was banned. The positive of this is Millpu Pools look as awe-inspiring as ever, and you can admire them from the trail, without the need to jump into its pristine waters.



Trekking and Hiking

Explore the surrounding Andean landscape through a network of hiking trails that offer panoramic views of the turquoise pools and the lush greenery that surrounds them. Trekking in Millpu is a truly immersive experience, allowing you to connect with nature in a profound way and make sure you stick to the hiking trails. You can enjoy the lower section of the trail when you first arrive when there are fewer people and when the sunlight hits the turquoise waters perfectly!

Bird Watching and Wildlife Spotting

Millpu is home to a diverse array of plant and animal species, making it a haven for nature lovers. Bird watching and wildlife spotting are popular activities, allowing you to observe the local Andean flora and fauna in their natural habitat.

Cultural Immersion

Immerse yourself in the local culture by participating in traditional ceremonies and learning about the customs and traditions of the local communities. Engaging with the local people adds a deeper dimension to your adventure in Millpu.

Relaxation and Meditation

While swimming is not allowed, you can still enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of Millpu by finding a quiet spot to relax and meditate, surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature.

Photography and Sightseeing

Capture the beauty of Millpu with your camera as you take in the stunning scenery and unique geological formations of the area.


Local Ayacuchano at Millpu

Why Do This Adventure?

Millpu is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. The turquoise waters are a sight to behold, and the surrounding Andean landscape adds to the beauty of the experience. This adventure is worth it for those seeking a unique and unforgettable experience in nature.

How to Get There

The first step of the journey is to arrive at Ayacucho. You can reach Ayacucho by bus or plane from Lima or other major cities in Peru. From here, by far the easiest option is to take a Peru adventure trip. This is because a full-day trip involves driving long distances on windy, bumpy, and unpaved roads. Visiting the Pools of Millpu is off the beaten path so a guided tour can take the stress out of getting there. Bear in mind that to get to these magnificent pools, you will need to hike a 4 km trail.

When to Visit

The Millpu Pools in Peru change color depending on the time of year you visit. So, if it’s the famed turquoise you’re after, you will have to plan ahead.  January to March sees the pools turn a brownish color. This is caused by the rainy season in The Andes and heavier flow from the glacier higher up, picking up sediment as it goes. April to October (dry season) sees the return of the brilliant blue-turquoise color. And then, by November to December, the water turns green, as the rainy season returns. The green color is caused by seaweed that grows during the wet season.


Greener Tones

Altitude at Millpu

Ayacucho, in Peru, is 2,761m above sea level. Therefore, if you arrive on a bus or flight from Lima (at sea level), you’ll notice straight away. You may find that you’ll be short of breath without exerting yourself too much, or, have a slight headache and general fatigue. These are the immediate effects of high altitude. Given that Ayacucho is a high-altitude destination, you must take measures to avoid altitude sickness. The Millpu pools can be found at an elevation of 3600 m. Before your Peru adventure trip, it's important to acclimatize to the altitude by spending a few days in Ayacucho. This will help reduce the risk of altitude sickness. To avoid altitude symptoms,

1, don’t rush around.

2, eat light meals.

3, Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, little and often is a good trick.

4, you may benefit from coca leaves, tea, or sweets. This is what the locals always recommend.

5, Finally, you could use altitude sickness tablets (such as Diamox). But, if you acclimatize properly, you shouldn’t need them.


Point of View of Some Passengers 

"Visiting Millpu was a magical experience. The turquoise waters were unlike anything I've ever seen, and the surrounding landscape was breathtaking. It's definitely worth the trip!" 


Must-Have Packing List for This Trip

Sturdy hiking shoes
Water bottle

Pro Tips During This Trip

Start your day early to avoid crowds.
Respect the environment and local customs.
Take breaks and drink plenty of water to avoid altitude sickness.


Peaceful Millpu

How Much does it cost?

The cost of the trip can vary depending on the options chosen. A day trip to Millpu can cost around $50 to $100 per person without accommodation.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is swimming allowed in Millpu? No, swimming is not allowed in Millpu.

Are there accommodations near Millpu? Yes, there are accommodations available in Ayacucho. This is about 4 hours away.

Are there guided tours available to Millpu? Yes, there are guided tours available that include transportation and a local guide.


Millpu From Above


Millpu in Ayacucho like Machu Picchu,  is a destination that offers a unique and unforgettable Peru adventure trip for those seeking to immerse themselves in nature. While swimming and camping, are not allowed, there are still plenty of ways to experience the beauty of the turquoise waters and the surrounding Andean landscape.  Millpu promises to be a highlight of your adventure travel in Peru. Remember to respect the environment and local customs, and to prepare accordingly for the high altitude. With its stunning turquoise waters and tranquil atmosphere, Millpu is a destination that is truly worth exploring on your Peru adventures.


Energetic Millpu