How to Explore Huaraz, Peru

If you like the mountains, add Huaraz to your list.

This northern Peru trekking and climbing mecca struck us as a much smaller, better version of Kathmandu. Name a mountain activity and Huaraz has it – climbing, trekking, fishing, mountain biking, camping, glacier-ing, high altitude mountaineering, heli-skiing, the list goes on. And some culture to boot. We loved this place (after buying some warm jackets) and easily could have been stuck here for a month but ended up stretching a 5 day stay to 10 days.

Here are some of the best ways to explore Huaraz:

Pastoruri Glacier

At just over 5,000 meters, this makes for a good acclimatization day hike as you can basically drive to the base of the glacier. You can even take a donkey and skip the 30 min hike. But get here soon because it’s melting, quickly.

Bring some coca leaves to chew on up here (helps with the altitude)

Bring some coca leaves to chew on up here (helps with the altitude)

Will be a shame when this thing melts

Will be a shame when this thing melts

Wilcahuain Ruins

A small Wari archaeological site dating back to 600 AD. Explore the hidden tunnels and tombs that used to house mummies. This also makes for a good acclimatization hike and is walking distance from town.

There used to be a bunch of mummies in there

There used to be a bunch of mummies in there

Santa Cruz trek in Cordillera Blanca

Unreal 4 day trek. The high pass at 4,750 meters will leave you breathless, literally and figuratively. Just watch out for the dead donkeys. If you haven’t already, check out Alison’s post on our Santa Cruz experience.

Punta Union Pass

Punta Union Pass

Disgusting

Disgusting

Weird massive beach left behind by an old lake at 4,000 meters

Weird massive beach left behind by an old lake at 4,000 meters

Fly Fishing (sort of) on unnamed rivers

There are plenty of opportunities to trout fish in and around the mountain ranges of Huaraz. If that’s what you’re into, bring a rod with you or opt for a homemade Peruvian setup.

Laguna 69

Not sure who named this lake but Alison hiked up the 800m to see it and came back with some cool pics. The bright colors of the glacial lakes in the area is pretty awesome.

Laguna 69

Huayhuash Circuit

A 10 day trek with passes up to 5,400 meters. Looks unreal.

Mountaineering

Given the temperate climate of the Peruvian Andes, the highest peaks are actually quite accessible, allowing mountaineers the ability to summit some of the easiest 6,000 meter peaks in the world. It wouldn’t be odd to meet a guide at a bar in Huaraz who had summited Everest, as a lot of the locals grow up at altitude and are often recruited for Himalayan expeditions.

Mountain biking

There are plenty of mountain biking options around Huaraz, including a trip that allows you to mountain bike all the way around the Cordillera Blanca mountain range.

Rock Climbing

The bars in Huaraz play rock climbing videos like ski towns in the Rockies play those ridiculous ski and snowboarding videos. You get the idea.

Get creative

I’m sure we missed some stuff and all the tour agencies in town are pretty good at improvising.  Huaraz is an explorer’s paradise so go exploring!

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One thought on “How to Explore Huaraz, Peru

  1. Pingback: Four Days in the Andes on the Santa Cruz Trek | Beaches & Backpacks

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