Huaraz and Central Mountains

Why visit Huaraz and the Central Mountains

Huaraz is the capital of the Ancash Department, and is located in the middle of the valley known as the Callejon de Huaylas, on the Santa River. Surrounded by the imposing mountain ranges Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra, Huaraz is a stunning paradise for trekkers and climbers. The snow-capped peaks of Cordillera Blanca offer some of the most spectacular scenery in Peru.


The city of Huaraz is known as "the Switzerland of Peru" due to the beauty of the spectacular Cordilleras Blanca and Negra that surround it, and the gateway for those seeking adventure. Most notable is the Huascaran National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the highest mountain in Peru, Huascaran at 6,768 metres as well as over 600 glaciers, almost 300 lakes and three rivers.

Stunning beauty aside, visitors will also be in awe of the 3,000 year old Chavin de Huantar ceremonial centre, one of the most important archaeological monuments in all of Peru, not only due to its historic value but also because of its beauty and structure.

  • Trek to the beautiful turquiose Llanganuco Lakes at the foot of Huarascan mountain in the high Andes mountains
  • Marvel at ‘the Lanzón’, a 4.5 metre carved granite monolith depicting the main deity of Chavin culture at the Chavin archaeological complex
  • Visit the Chavin National Museum, home to a collection of significant archaeological artefacts from the Chavin culture, including the Tello Obelisk and several stelae, pottery, and bones
  • Enjoy a full weeks trek of the area, camping at some of the most stunning sites in South America
  • Drive to Cebolla Pampa and trek to the clear glacial lake, Laguna 69, which has fabulous views in all directions
  • Visit the stone forest of Hatun Machay, in the southern Cordillera Negra, to see remains of rock carvings and paintings from the Wari culture

 Beyond the obvious

Trek up towards Quebrada llaca and Laguna llaca. The trail is a mix of rough walking and old roads with fabulous views of mounts Ranrapalca, Ocshapalca, Vallunaraju, Rima Rima and Huantsan in the distance; all huge, snow covered mountains around 6000m.

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