Huaraz Tours, Travel and Adventures
Tourism in Peru


Huaraz is a popular base for expeditions into the Cordillera Blanca and the Huayhuash south of the Callejon del Huaylas. The peaks of the region have for many decades have been the testing grounds for mountain climbers.

Huaraz,Cordillera Blanca and the Huayhuash south of the Callejon del Huaylas

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Places to visit and celebration dates in Huaraz:

• Áncash Archeological Museum. This museum displays an significant collection of stone sculptures from the Recuay culture and ceramic and textile artifacts from other Pre-Incan cultures such as Chavín, Huaraz White on Red, Mochica, Wari and Chimú.

• Sanctuary of the Lord of Solitude. It was built after the 1970 earthquake and houses the statue of the Lord of Solitude, the patron saint of the city of Huaraz. The image was fashioned during the time of the city’s founding, in the 16th century.

• Monterrey. One of the most popular sites for visitors and locals alike due mainly to its hot springs, some with waters as hot as 49º C (120.2º F).
These are spread out in the form of pools (private and public). There are also country restaurants and lodgings in the area.

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Excursions from Huaraz:

• Huaylas Valley: Carhuaz, Yungay and Caraz. Three traditional towns are wonderful spots for losing oneself in the beauty of the landscape and for launching treks and outings.

• Mount Pastoruri. At an altitude of 17,191 fasl, it forms part of the main, high mountain tourist circuits in the Huaylas Valley. Extreme sports facilities are available for snowboarding, skiing and ice climbing. When hiking to this mountain, one will see Patococha Lagoon, puyas, rock paintings and Pumapashimi, a small pond with a reflective surface.

• Llanganuco Lagoon. Lovely glacier lagoon located in a narrow valley wedged between mounts Huandoy (20,981 fasl) and Huascarán. It impresses visitors for two reasons: its intense turquoise color and the queñual tree forest surrounding it.

• Wilcahuain. A 10th century A.D. archeological site that features a three story building made out of stone and mud. Huge flagstones were used to construct the roof in the manner of the Wari-Tiahuanaco style.

• Huascarán National Park. It encompasses the Cordillera Blanca and covers an area of 340,000 hectares. Inside its confines are 296 lagoons, 663 glaciers and some of the tallest mountains in Peru, like Mount Huascarán, Mount Huandoy, and Mount Alpamayo. It also protects rare Andean plant species like the puya and the queñual tree and functions as a wildlife refuge for species likes the Andean condor and the vicuña. The UNESCO conferred upon it the status of a Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and then, in 1985, of a World Heritage site.

• Parón Lagoon. One of the most beautiful lagoons in the Blanca Cordillera. Its intense turquoise waters are crowned by a spectacular ring of snow covered mountains, among them being Mount Huandoy, Mount Caraz (19,767 fasl), Mount Chacraraju (20,052 fasl) and Mount Artesonraju (19,767 fasl).

• Huayhuash Valley. The Huayhuash Valley is located at the southernmost edge of the Cordillera Blanca, along the border with the department of Huánuco. Highlights there include Conococha Lagoon, origin of the Santa River, and Mount Yerupajá, the second highest mountain in Peru and the most difficult to conquer. The most important town is Chiquián (10,499 fasl) where trekking routes of 8 to 15 days start.

• Chavín de Huántar archeological complex. UNESCO placed it on its World Heritage Sites List in 1985. It is a site full of temples, underground galleries, plazas and stone buildings, and was the most important ceremonial center for the Chavín culture. Hidden deep within one of its underground chambers is the Lanzón (Spear), a 14.9-feet tall monolith on which a fiery god is depicted.

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Adventure sports Fest. June. Taking place in the Huaylas Valley, it is site of international adventure sports tournaments.

Feast of Saint Peter (Corongo). June 29th. A religious feast day with the highlight being a performance called the danza de las pallas (the dance of the ladies).

Feast of Saint James the Apostle (Aija). Anniversary of the founding of Huaraz and Huaylas. July 25th. It is a celebration in honor of the patron saint of the community of Aija and it is unique because the entire town engages in the traditional rite of yucacanga (the giving of cassavas). Likewise, this is the day the towns of Huaraz and Huaylas celebrate their founding with civic, cultural and artistic activities.
Feast of Saint Rose of Lima. August 30th. This religious festival takes place in the city of Yungay.

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“Climb to the top of the Peruvian Andes in Áncash. Visit the city of Huaraz and encounter the greatness of its people: those from yesteryear and those of today.”
No other department capital city can boast such a spectacular view as Huaraz can. To the north, rising above the entire scene, is an immense snow peak: Mount Huascarán and its towering 22,204 fasl. And accompanying this majestic summit within the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains Range), 30 more rise above 19,600 fasl. At their feet sits the Callejón de Huaylas (Huaylas Valley), picturesque and inter-Andean, whose charming little villages were seemingly built at distances perfect for human travel; you can trek the roads that connect them all, and therein lies part of its fascination.
But, what really grabs the traveler’s attention are the snow covered mountains, most notably, Mount Alpamayo, that many experts consider the world’s most beautiful. And the picture is made complete with the silver snake of the Santa River flowing off towards the Pacific and with the road running off into the distance, lined along with the pungent scent of eucalyptus and the intensely yellow flowers of broom trees.
Mount Yerupajá (21,765 fasl) is the most distinctive mountain in the spectacular Cordillera Huayhuash (Huayhuash Mountain Range).
As one crosses the majestic Andean countryside, it will feel almost as if the trails lead the traveler backwards in time, specially when reaching Chavín de Huántar, an inspiring group of pre-Hispanic temples that is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Its buildings, plazas and underground galleries bear witness to it having been a sacred site.

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Huaraz is the adventure sports capital of Peru. You can find any number of agencies renting or selling all types of equipment as well as others offering trekking or mountain biking routes and white water rafting or hang gliding adventures.

Routes & length of stay

Churches: In the towns of Tauca and Pallasca.
Lagoons and villages: Llanganuco Lagoon and the Huaylas Valley.
Archeology: Excursion to Chavín de Huántar.
Mountains: Mount Pastoruri.
Archeology: Excursion to Sechín.
Áncash beaches.
Churches: in the towns of Chacas and Pumallucay.
Huayhuash mountain range.

1 Mount Huascarán
 2 Mount Alpamayo
 3 Mount Yerupajá
 4 Chavín de Huántar
 5 Sechín

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Accommodation and tourist services

The following locations offer hotels and hostels up to 3 stars: Huaraz, Carhuaz, Caraz, Chavín de Huántar, Chimbote, Casma and Huarmey. Lodging can also be gotten in Yungay, Recuay, Chiquián, Chacas and Pallasca.
All types of transport are available: tourist, personal as well as auxiliary and specialized for trekking and mountain climbing routes. Agencies offer all gear necessary for mountain assaults and other excursions.
Among the different services offered are mountain and tourist guides, mule riders, mules and cooks for the main trekking routes.

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Recommended for

People interested in ancient civilizations, who will be amazed by Chavín de Huántar, Wilcahuain and the temple at Sechín (Casma, on the coast).

Handicraft collectors, who should not pass on visiting any of the department’s charming villages, the likes of Tarica, Chavín and Chacas.
Plant and animal watchers, who, once inside the Huascarán National Park, will have a universe of possibilities at their fingertips, where they can see enormous puya plants (standing an average 39 feet tall), tarucas (type of Andean deer) with their striking fur and antlers and the majestic condor as it flies overhead.
Mountain lovers, who have in this area some of the most beautiful and tallest mountains in Peru (mounts Huascarán, Huandoy, Yerupajá, Alpamayo, etc).

Trekkers, who, with three well developed circuits, will have a tough time deciding which to take first: the famous Llanganuco – Santa Cruz circuit and its mesmerizing mountain vistas, or the Huayhuash circuit that takes 12 days, crosses forests and passes by multicolored lagoons, or the historic Olleros – Chavin trek, with its singular offer of llamas as beasts of burden.

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What to buy?

This is the area to find elaborate traditional outfits and intricately embroidered skirts (polleras) as well as the art of handmade candles, which people use in their religious processions. One can also find sheep’s wool blankets from Chavín, pottery from Tarica, wrought iron pieces, embossed leather articles, baskets and llama wool shawls and ponchos. The town of Chacas (in Conchucos) is famous for its wood carvings.

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What to eat?

The city of Huaraz has every type of restaurant for every type of taste.
 Finding international food is no problem, and there are good spots for Italian food and even those offering crepes. And for vegetarians, one can find restaurants offering made-to-order dishes. The regional cuisine boasts dishes like chancho al horno (pork roast), pachamanca (pit roasted meats, like beef, pork, chicken, etc., and vegetables, like potatoes, corn, faba beans, etc., as well as humitas – a type of corn roll).

Besides these, the most popular one is picante de cuy, a stew of sorts, cooked over an open flame, seasoned with chili peppers and spices, and featuring Guinea pig. Fresh trout caught in mountain rivers, lagoons or cultivated in farms abounds, and either fried or barbecued is a real treat. Speaking of fish, not to be left out are the coastal contributions in the way of fish and seafood.

Keep yourself well hydrated; it is cold and the altitude is considerable. As is the customary with any trip to the mountains, the first day’s meals should be light (no heavy fried foods). We recommend wearing sunglasses with UV protection when going on any excursion to the mountains. Activities within the Cordillera Blanca are governed by the Huascarán National Park’s regulations.

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Ancash is a land of contrasts. It has two, great longitudinal valleys, that combine the mountain characteristics of the Callejón de Huaylas (Alley of Huaylas) and the ones of the sylvan Alto Marañón. Miles of sandy beaches abut the blue waters of the Pacific. The territory of the coast, high plateaus and Andean punas of the Ancash Region are flat, while the rest of the territory, in the Andes, is very rough. In the west, slopes with strong declivity form narrow canyons with abrupt and deserted sides.
The rough territory of the region is crossed by two mountain ranges: on the western side, it’s the Cordillera Negra (the Black Mountain Range), which has peaks without glaciers, and on the eastern side, it’s the Cordillera Blanca (the White Mountain Range), which has many peaks covered with snow and ice, like the Huascarán and the Alpamayo. Between these two mountain ranges, the Santa River flows through the so-called Callejón de Huaylas. This alley narrows to form the Cañón del Pato (Duck Canyon). Also along the Pacific slopes, the Santa River has shaped a wide valley in the punas which narrows into the Cordillera Negra where the Cañón del Pato canyon was formed.
The snow-covered peak of Huascarán, highest summit of Peru and second of the Americas, reaches a height of 6,768 m (22,205 ft, 4.2 miles) and contrasts with the 6,263 m (20,548 ft) deep trough of Chimbote found in the ocean west of Ancash. Remnants of glaciers created many lagoons, such as Llanganuco and Paron.
Following the Pan-American highway north from Lima, the territory of the region of Ancash begins just beyond the Fortress of Paramonga, between wide fields of sugarcane, and across the Fortaleza River, 206 kilometres (128 mi) from Lima.

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Huascarán National Park

The Puya raimondii, a gigantic inflorescence, unique to Peru and Bolivia.
The Huascarán National Park is one of the most outstanding conservation parks in Peru, due to its landscapes that are full of peaks, lakes, canyons, torrents and waterfalls. Inside its borders, it can be observed the whole Cordillera Blanca and seven peaks of more than 6000 m height. They constitute one of the main international focuses for climbers and mountaineers. It was stated as a National Park on July 1, 1975 with a surface of 340,000 ha and a length of 158 km. This National Park includes parts of the following provinces: Recuay, Huaraz, Carhuaz, Yungay, Huaylas, Pomabamba, Mariscal Luzuriaga, Huari, Corongo, Sihuas and Bolognesi. This park has also been stated as a Biosphere reservation and as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
The park territory is very uneven. It has snowy summits, which altitudes vary between 5000 and 6768 msnm. It also has gullies, that are deeply encased because of the fluvioglacial erosion, and a great number of lagoons. Inside the borders of the park, there are 663 glaciers that are distributed throughout 180 km, from the Tuco peak in the south up to Champará in the north.
Regarding its climate, there are two very well defined seasons:
The dry season, from April to September, becoming worse between the months of June and August; and
 The wet season, from October to May, which highest rainfall is between January and March.
Its flora is countless and beautiful, including important groups of Puya Raimondi. In its fauna, there are brown brockets, tarucas, spectacled bears, vicuñas, pumas, foxes, vizcachas, weasels, andean mountain cats, opossums, hog-nosed skunks, etc.
There is also a great number of birds, predominating ducks, american coots and hummingbirds.

Further information: Huascarán National Park

Mountaineering: The glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca constitute one of the most important world scenarios for ice climbing.

Mountaineering can be practiced the whole year but the weather is best between the months of May and September.
Trekking: The prehispanic paths offer excellent opportunities for trekking during the whole year. On the way, it can be observed varied flora, fauna, impressive snowy mountains, gullies and deep canyons, archaeological sites and several typical villages. There are several routes that last from one day to three weeks.
Camping: It is a pleasant and a relaxing experience to spend the night under the moonlight, having as a unique companion: the stars and some constellations like Capricornus, Crux, Centaurus and others. This sport can be practiced at any time of the year.
Canoeing: The Santa river has the technical characteristics and different difficulty grades for practicing river sports as canoeing, kayak and others. For example, there are some rapids between Anta and Caraz that are good for those who are just beginning to practice this sport. The lagoons of Langanuco and Querococha also offer some special characteristic for a boat ride.
Cycling: The cyclists that ride on the highways and roads enjoy the practice of this sport by traveling inside and outside the Huascarán National Park. This sport can be practiced at any time of the year. The north area, near Caraz, offers the best rides, single tracks and down hill tracks.
Rock climbing: The granite belt that goes round the glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountain range) constitutes the suitable place for practicing this sport. There are walls from 100 m to 1000 m of height that have many kinds of technical difficulties to get through. There is an odd scenario for this sport called Rocódromo de Monterrey.
Alpine skiing: It consists on slipping from the glaciers. The most favorable ones for practicing this sport are: Pastoruri, Copa, Hualcán, Huascarán, Vallunaraju and Perlilla, the latter being recently discovered and promoted by the local government of the province of Asunción, with 6 km of moderate and steep slopes where competitions were held soon snowboarding and alpine skiing. These snowcapped mountains are ideal for practicing the slide on snow (also known as siquiesqui) and for making snowmen.
Paragliding – Hang gliding: Along the Callejón de Huaylas, there are several places that are favourable for the practice of these flight sports. They can be practiced at any time of the year.
Horse riding: It is a sport of big emotions. It is practiced on bridle paths with Peruvian horsess that were raised in the Callejón de Huaylas.
Fishing: The rod fishing of trouts can be practiced in rivers and lagoons of the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra at any time of the year.

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Cordillera Blanca Range

The Cordillera Blanca ( White Mountain Range ) is located at (408 km) north west of Lima with 180km long approximately, covered by large snow caped, Cordillera Blanca has more than 35 highest Mountain peaks over 6000m and is crowned by the Huascaran, whose peak reaches (6768m); Cordillera Blanca has 663 snow caped in total, 269 Lakes, 42 Rivers and more than 33 archeological places.
Eight hours driving Traveling from the capital city to the Huaraz will take you through many wonderful sites. The first mountain pass is called Conococha at 4100m /13448ft . From this point you will see the beautiful peaks along the Cordillera Blanca including Mt. Huascaran (6768m /22199ft ).
Huaraz City is located in the Ancash region between Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra at (3091m /10138ft ).
There are numerous hotels, hostels, Restaurants, Banks, and travel agencies where you can find other convinent amenities. Huaraz City is the starting point to organize your trekking or climbing expedition to different circuits

Trekking Cordillera Blanca

Cedros Alpamayo trekking
Olleros Chavin trek
Olleros Carhuascancha trek
Quilcayhuanca Cojup trek
Santa Cruz to Vaqueria trek
Santa Cruz Ulta trek
Santa Cruz – Pomabamba trek
Trekking Cordillera Huayhuash
Huayhuash trekking – 10 days
Huayhuash trekking – 13 days
Huayhuash to Cajatambo trek
Queropalca to Llamac trek
Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca
Alpamayo (5794m/19506ft)
Artesonraju (6025m/19762ft)
Chopicalqui (6386m/20946ft)
Copa (6188m/20296ft)
Huascaran (6768m/22199ft)
Quitaraju (6100m/20008ft)
Tocllaraju (6035m/19794ft)
Ranrapalca (6162m/20211ft)
Pisco (5750m/18860ft)
Ishinca (5550m/18204ft)
Urus (5497m/18030ft)
Maparaju (5326m/17469ft)
Vallunaraju (5686m/18650ft)
Yanapaccha (5497m/18030ft)

Combination trips (trek + climb)
Santa Cruz trek + climb Pisco
Quilcayhuanca trek, Ishi. & T.
Cedros trek + climb Alpamayo
Huayhuash trek + Diablo mudo 

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