Huaraz, Peru

Located beneath the towering snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca mountains, Huaraz serves as the launching point for adventures into the breathtaking Parque Nacional Huascarán and surrounding mountains. Travellers and serious mountaineers flock to the city to gear up for and rest between the countless treks in Peru´s most spectacular mountain range, the Cordilleras.

The charm of the city itself certainly isn´t found in it´s aesthetics, having suffered from a heritage of natural disasters including floods, avalanches, and earthquakes. The most devastating being the quake in May of 1970, which caused an estimated 70,000 deaths, including half the population of Huaraz. Nevertheless, today Huaraz is an active city of over 100,000 inhabitants, with a laid-back small town vibe. The real gems lie hidden behind the walls of many fantastic cafe´s, restaurants, and lodging facilities. And of course, in the jaw dropping views of the mountains surrounding Huaraz.

The possibilities of outdoor adventures in the near by areas are nearly endless and include adrenaline pumping activities such as rock and ice climbing, mountain biking, and rafting to the less extreme horseback riding and day hiking. However, the most popular and certainly not to be missed, is trekking in the Cordilleras.

The Cordilleras boast over 600 glaciers and numerous peaks reaching over 6000 meters, making this range the second highest in the world. Most popular for trekking is the Cordillera Blanca, which includes the 4 day Santa Cruz Trek, known for it´s stunning views of the jagged snow-capped peaks and numerous crystal blue lakes. Equally amazing but less visited is the Cordillera Huayhuash, which offers challenging multi-day treks for more experienced mountaineers and adventurous trekkers. To the west lies the Cordillera Negra, which has no snow-capped peaks but offers excellent mountain biking opportunities and serves an important role in protecting the Cordillera Blanca from the warm winds of the Pacific.

Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or a novice hiker, the Cordilleras are a must-experience for anyone who loves mountains. They offer something for everyone in terms of challenge and time availability. Just be sure to spend a few days acclimatizing in Huaraz, as altitude sickness can be serious. You can spend your time getting outfitted by the many places to rent gear or looking around for a good tour company. Local cafés are great places to meet other trekkers and organize groups.
Hostels...
Aldos Guest House
Jr. Julián de Morales No. 650
Huaraz
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Alpes Huaras
Alpes Huaraz Hostal
Jr. Ladislao Meza No. 112
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Benkawasi
928 Parque Santa Rosa
Huaraz
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Caroline Lodging
Urb. Avitentel Mz.D Lt.1
Huaraz
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Hatun Machay
Parque Ginebra 120
Next to Casa de Guias
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Hatun Wasi Hostel
Jr.Daniel Villayzan # 268
Independencia
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Hostal Alfredo
AV.Centenario #184
Huaraz
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Jo's Place
Jr. Daniel Villaizan No 276
Independencia
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Llanganuco Lodge
Lake Keushu
(at the entrance of the Llanganuco Valley)
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Olazas
1242 Julio Arguedas
Huaraz
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Soledad
Jr. Amadeo Figueroa #1267
Huaraz
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The Lazy Dog Inn
Km 12 Willcawain Rd
Huaraz
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The Way Inn
15 km Northeast of Huaraz
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You might need...
Banks - Banks including Banco de Credito and Banco Continental, as well as others, are easily found and come equipped with ATMs.
Internet - Numerous Internet cafes are ultra-cheap and spread all around town- check around for varied service quality.
Laundry - Services are available for around 4 soles per Kilo.




photos
Report & Photography by: Nina & Matthew Horn Additional photos by: Kevin O'Farrell & Julie Lemieux
Tours...
Galaxia Expeditions
Parque Periodista
Mz Unica - Lote 36
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Monttrek
Luzuriaga Av N. 646
2nd Floor
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Don't Miss...
Huascarán National Park - which includes Cordillera Blanca. Founded in 1975 to preserve wildlife, geology, flora and fauna, protect archaeological sites, and promote scientific research and local tourism. Entry fee is 5 soles per day or 65 soles for a one-month pass.
Cafe Andino - the perfect place to plan your next trek, get the latest info, and meet other trekkers. This place offers a fantastic menu, blazing fireplace, comfy couches, and hundreds of magazines. Best of all, is the library upstairs, with a great selection of books available for check-out. Open Tues - Sun. 8am to 8pm. Lucar and Torre 530.
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