Huaraz – Destinations for Mountain & Culture
Vibrant Exciting Huaraz!
Huaraz is a mecca for outdoor adventure and is considered to be the centre for trekking, hiking & climbing in Peru. It is also a very relaxing place to stay and “chill out” for those who appreciate terrific mountain scenery and local culture but maybe are not quite so active. With its very close proximity to the snow capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca Huaraz has one of the most majestic surroundings of anywhere in Perú or even in the world!.
The city is nestled into the valley Callon de Huaylas and is flanked by mountains – on one side the dry Cordillera Negra, the “wheat basket” of Ancash province, and the other side the snow capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. The city skyline is dominated by the massive Huascaran, the highest peak in Peru at a daunting altitude of 6,768m.
Huaraz is the capital of the department of Ancash located about 400km north of Lima at altitude 3090m. It is a lively friendly city of around 150,000 inhabitants with colourful local markets, cafes, hotels, restaurants, night clubs, museums, archaeological sites, local crafts & ceramics, and natural hot springs.
The city and people have endured a series of past natural disasters, including a 1941 massive avalanche from Palcaraju mountain which unleashed a flood of ice & rock completely destroying most of the city and then the 1970 earthquake & subsequent avalanche from Huascaran again demolishing the city of Huaraz and obliterating the satellite city of Yangay, with total loss of life estimated at more than 20,000 souls. The local people have tremendous spirit and fortitude, have rebuilt the city and surrounding villages and have a zest for life that shines through in their big smiles and cheery natures.
The city and surrounding area has a relaxed atmosphere; the local people retain a traditional way of life and are warm, friendly, open hearted and welcoming to visitors.
The atmosphere is much more relaxed and “laid back” than the other busier more touristy areas of Peru, and Huaraz offers the perfect place to escape from the frantic pace of the busy tourist circuits to appreciate local culture and spectacular mountains.
Huaraz is also LESS EXPENSIVE and SAFER than some of the more publicised areas of Peru. You can browse though shops and streetside craft stalls without being hassled to buy. Local people are friendly and helpful without being “pushy”.
Huaraz combines countless possibilities for cultural and day tours, trekking, hiking or climbing adventures with relaxing in the city in the sun in the many outdoor plazas and cafes.
*Pre Inca Archaeological Sites
*Cafes, Restaurants, Outdoor Plazas
*Museum of Ancash
*Bars and Nightlife
*Hikes, Treks, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding
*Friendly welcoming local people
And much more!
Huaraz has it all!
ESCAPE to Huaraz for the holiday of a lifetime!
The Cordillera Blanca is a mountain range extending almost 120kms from north to south and is about 20km wide. Most of the Cordillera Blanca falls within the boundaries of the Huascaran National Park and offers a huge variety of unique plant life, flowers and wildlife which come under the protection of the national park.
The Cordillera Blanca includes more than 50 peaks of altitude more than 5500m and a multitude of lakes and mountain streams.
There are countless trekking and hiking trails passing through beautiful valleys with lakes and impressive waterfalls and vertical rock faces, and crossing passes that reach 4850m in altitude. Among the many trekking options is the famous 4 or 5 day Santa Cruz Llanganuco trek, one of the most highly rated short treks anywhere in the world.
There are also many climbing peaks – from peaks suitable for first time climbers through to technically difficult peaks for experienced climbers.
For those not so keen to do multi day trekking trips, there are options for easy hiking and camping, day tours by vehicle to see beautiful lakes or glaciers and cultural tours to visit pre-Inca ruins.
And all of this is within easy access of Huaraz!!
Situated 50 km to the south east of the Cordillera Blanca and 4 hours by car from Huaraz, the Cordillera Huayhuash is a smaller, more rugged and more remote mountain range. With 7 peaks above 6,000m and many more above 5500m, it is one of the most spectacular mountain trekking & hiking circuits in the world.
The Huayhuash peaks include Peru´s second highest peak – Yerupaja and also Siula Grande made famous by Joe Simpson`s book “Touching the Void”.
The landscape surrounding the Huayhuash range tends to be open with rolling grassland and beautiful trout–filled turquoise lakes lie at the foot of many of the glaciers. The trekking circuits in the Huayhuash pass very close to the majestic rugged peaks and glaciers, and every day hikers are treated to awe inspiring mountain views.
The trekking circuits cross up to 8 passes, the highest at 5000m. Often campsites are at one of the beautiful trout filled lakes situated at the foot of rugged peaks and glaciers.