About Huaraz & the Cordilleras
The Callejón de Huaylas, the Peruvian Switzerland, is an excellent destination for mountain sports, for discover cultural and archaeological places and Andean biodiversity with gorgeous landscapes.
The best starting point for all the attractions of the Callejón de Huaylas is the city of Huaraz, normally it is reached by road from Lima, as there are no regular flights. The trip by itself is a very pleasant experience for the beauty of the landscapes that runs between the road.
El Callejón de Huaylas is a paradise, and was named to the central section of the Andean valley formed by the Santa River, enclosed between the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountain Range) and the Cordillera Negra (Black Mountain Range). In this area you will find picturesque and pleasant towns like Recuay, Carhuaz, Yungay and Caraz. There are hot springs and spectacular lakes as those of Llanganuco.
It is a mecca for worshippers of outdoor adventure, it is an area perfect for adventure sports like hiking, trekking, mountain climbing, mountain biking and white-water rafting.
The Huascarán National Park is a Natural World Heritage Site. Inside the park is located the Cordillera Blanca, with glaciered white peaks and turquoise lagoons, the highest peak in Peru, named Huascarán of 6,746 meters above sea level (22,132 feet), the Alpamayo is considered as the most beautiful snowy mountain of the world for its almost perfect pyramidal shape.
The Huayhuash Mountain Range contend with the Himalayas, is another amazing area for mountain sports and outdoor adventures.
It was between the years 1200 b.C. and 200 b.C. that the ancient culture of Chavín lived in the region, the same that left as their legacy the impressive archeological complex of Chavín de Huántar, a Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Huaraz City Overview
Northern Andes 10,013 feet (3,052 m) above sea level
Distances to Huaraz:
In the valley, dry and temperate, semi-tropical, average temperature 16.6°C (61.88°F) during the day, and 12.6°C (54.68°F) during the night. Rainy season from October until April. The weather in the summits is freezing.
Huaraz City: Is the capital of the department of Ancash, and is located in the heart of the "Callejón de Huaylas". The city of Huaraz was founded in the XVI century by Jerónimo de Aliaga. Is the urban and commercial center of the area, it has comfortable tourist services from guides and equipment rental to accommodation and restaurants to enjoy the typical food.
Around Huaraz - The Callejón de Huaylas: Cities, towns, villages and native communities, like Yungay, Recuay, Carhuaz, and Caraz, where the lives culture, rich in folklore and in the kindness of the people, amid green fields, of multicolored flowers that perfume their atmosphere, the red roofs of their humble houses, make it a place without parallel. Towns in Callejón de Huaylas. Also archaeological places and hot springs.
Chavín de Huántar: 109 Km (68 miles) south of Huaraz (3 hours and 30 minutes by car). Archaeological Place. The complex includes ceremonial rooms and pyramidal structures built of massive stone blocks. The Old Temple has a group of subterranean galleries that open an access way to the Room of the Lanzón, an impressive stone knife-like sculpture. Those are the oldest buildings of carved stone in Peru and any other ancient culture did not overcome their highest architectural techniques. Due to this UNESCO considered as a Cultural World Heritage Site. Chavin National Museum.
Adventure and Outdoors: The adventure paradise in the Andes is located in Callejón de Huaylas, treks, llama treks, mountaineering, rafting, mountain bike, hang-gliding and paragliding are the main sport activities in this area with spectacular landscapes, the best season is between April to October. In Huaraz you can found experts mountain guides, facilities and equipment for rent. Peru is synonymous with mountains. Seen from above, Peru's territory resembles a colossal sheet of wrinkled paper. The reason is the presence of the magnificent Andes that, like a giant backbone of rock and snow, cut across Peru from north to south and mold its geography and with it, the landscape and the people
Huascarán National Park: Place of incomparable scenic beauty, natural landscapes in which outstand the Cordillera Blanca, and the fauna and flora characteristic of the Andean zone. Due to this UNESCO considered as a Natural World Heritage Site. The park was created in 1975 with the purpose of preserving the wild animal and plant life, geological formations, archeological sites and beautiful scenery. Among the 296 lakes of the park, the most outstanding are Churup, Parón, Culliconcha, Llanganuco, Auquiscocha, Rajucolta, Querococha, and Cuchillococha. It also houses a great diversity of birds and animals such as pumas, deer, Andean cats, and three endangered species, the spectacled bear, the Andean deer, the Andean condor.
Cordillera Blanca: (White Mountain Range) Natural scenery of captivating beauty, with more than 35 snowy mountains that overcome 6,000 meters (19,685 feet) of altitude and with more than 650 lagoons with turquoise blue waters. Of its 663 glaciers, the most impressive are Huascaran (6,768 m.a.s.l. / 22,199 f.a.s.l.), Huandoy (6,395 m.a.s.l. / 20,976 f.a.s.l.), Chopicalqui (6,354 m.a.s.l. / 20,841 f.a.s.l.), Hualcán (6,122 m.a.s.l. / 20,080 f.a.s.l.) and Alpamayo (5,947 m.a.s.l. / 19,506 f.a.s.l.).
Cordillera de Huayhuash: The spectacular Huayhuash Mountain Range, located south of Cordillera Blanca, in the Central Peruvian Andes, in spite of being only has 40 Km (25 miles) length, has become a favorite for both trekking and hiking adventures. Huayhuash is conformed by eternal snowy mountains, six of its many peaks reach heights of more than six thousand meters (19,680 feet), outstanding among those the Yerupajá (6,617 meters - 21,709 feet) above sea level, Siulá (6,536 meters - 21,443 feet) and Sarapo (6,143 meters - 20,154 feet). It has similar characteristics to the Himalaya Mountains. The starter point to reached this area is the town of Chiquián, 111 Km. / 69 miles) from Huaraz.
Callejón de Conchucos: Is a valley located to east of the Cordillera Blanca with amazing landscapes and Andean towns as Huari, San Marcos and Chavín de Huántar archaeological complex. Chacas town is a well-know for the woodcarving made by its craftsmen.
The advisable time to visit this area is a minimum of three days.