Is the capital of the Ancash region and strategically located to get to know the nature, history and culture of the Cordilleras Blanca y Negra (Black and White Mountain Ranges). The area around Huaraz is known for its many trekking options, for example along the Huayhuas mountain ranges. This tour could be done as an extension of the North Peru circuit, or at the beginning of this tour, right after a visit to Caral or Lima.
Parque Nacional del HuascarÃ¡n:
Covers more than 340.000 hectares and is been declared â€˜Cultural Heritageâ€™ and Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. There grow several endemic plants, you can visit the small waterfall of Puya Raimondi and the wildlife you can find here include deer, pumas, spectacle bear, vicuÃ±as, etc.
The area covers 663 glaciers, with 27 of them reaching above 6.000 m altitude and 296 lakes including Paron, Llanganuco and Querocha.
The most used entrances are called Llanganunco (passing by the lake with the same name) and Carpa, from where you can appreciate the snow capped Pastoruri.
Recommendations to visit:
ChavÃn de Huantar:
From Huaraz it is a very scenic (3h30 min) route towards ChavÃn with views over snowcapped mountains and the attractive Querococha lake!
This impressive archeological site consists of temples, subterranean galleries and sunken squares and was constructed about 800 B.C. to honor the Gods of the local civilization. One of the main attractions is called â€˜El Lanzonâ€™ a huge sculpture of about 4 m high, in the shape of a knife. Other interesting signs include the â€œLa pared de las Cabezas Clavasâ€ or â€œthe wall of the Key Headsâ€.
During private tours we could take a short side-route to observe the impressive Puya Raimondi.
The green and turquoise waters of Chinancocha and Orcococha form together the beautiful Llanganuco Lake. This lake is surrounded by snow capped mountains of more than 6000 m high and often showed on postcards of the surroundings of Huaraz.
You can walk along the lake shore through small forest with rare shaped Andean Trees that have a skin that is like crispy dry paper. Sometimes there are also boats available to row over the lake.
The Orcoconcha is the starting point for various treks and has a great view over Chinancocha.
Passing by the villaje of Caraz thereâ€™s a bigger lake Laguna Paron, that receives its water from the Callejon de Huaylas and is surrounded by steep snow capped mountains like the Pyramid Garcilazo of 5885 m high.
In Caraz there are a few very good hotels.
Termas de Monterrey:
The hot springs of Monterrey offer a splendid view over the White Andean Mountain Range. There is a big swimming pool and several small and comfortable personal wells. The water reaches a temperature of 49ÂºC, which is ideal against rheumatic, nerve and paralysis disorders.
Ruinas de Wilcahuain:
Not far from Monterrey you can find the Ruins of Wilcahuain. This stone temple has 3 platforms and the galleries inside clearly prove the influence of the Wari Culture in this region. Both, the hot springs and ruins are not far from the city of Huaraz.
Ruinas de Honcopampa y baÃ±os de Chancos:
The archeological remains of Honcopampa belong to the Wari culture. They consist of 3 big enclosures with galleries and rooms which were probably used to store food supplies.
A 15 minute walk will bring you to the waterfall of Yuracyacu, where you can also take a relaxing steam bath in the caves of Chancos.
CaÃ±Ã³n del Pato:
This is a spectacular geographical accident of 15m wide and about a 1000 m deep was ones formed by the water of the Santa river. Here the black and white Andean mountain ranges have their closest meeting point. Within the CaÃ±on del Pato (Duck Canyon) theyâ€™ve build a hydro-electrical plant and the road they needed to build this construction now winds along the huge rocky walls and depths.
This road contains many tunnels, is difficult to drive along, but has great sceneries. It takes a day to drive from along this road from Huaraz to Trujillo, but if you leave early, there is enough time to bring a short visit to Sechin along the way.
Is one of the oldest astronomical and religious complexes of Peru. It is also the first place in Peru that suggests human sacrifices on a stone facade together with suggestive motifs of warriors in procession.
The museum on site shows the drawings of their gods.
Sechin is close to Casma which has a good hotel. From here you can choose to make several daytrips to nearby beaches and archeological sites.
Trekking en la Cordillera Blanca:
The long Santa Cruz trek:
This extended Santa Cruz Trek of 6 days and 5 nights (the trekking can also be done in 4 days/ 3 nights) follows one of the most complete and beautiful routes of this area.
The hike starts in the village of Cashapampa and passes by el Portachuelo at an altitude of 4767 m and with great views over the snow capped mountain tops of Huascaran Norte, Huandoy and Pisco. After, the hike continues towards â€˜El Paso Punta Unionâ€™ (the pass of the uniting point) at 4750 m altitude, from where you have a splendid view over the Jatuncocha and Ichicocha lakes and the snow capped Alpamayo.
The trek ends at Llanganuco.
Is an easy Trekking of 3 days and 2 nights to reach the archeological site of Chavin de Huantar. You reach the highest point during this trek, Yanashayash at 4700 m, just before you descend towards Chavin.
The trekking can be arranged with mules or llamas to carry your baggage.
The Cordillera Huayhuash is another amazing location in the south of the Cordillera Blanca. This area is considered one of the wildest and undisturbed trekking areas of Peru with tours of 7 till 20 days.
Tour in General-conditions
9 Days Huayhuas Full Loop Trek.
4 Days Santa Cruz Trek
FD Churup Lake Trekking
FD- Laguna 69 in shared or private service
FD- ChavÃn de Huantar y Querococha
FD- Laguna de Llanganuco + Portachuelo
FD- Laguna de Llanganuco (The Llanganuco Lake) Yungay at Campo Santo