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Huarez: a jewel nestled between snow-covered peaks

This town, an 8 hour bus ride from Lima, is a real gem! To go to Huarez is to see nature in its purest state and to discover the authentic, traditional culture of Peru. It's the ideal place to go for nature lovers. Huarez is surrounded by wonderful sights.

The town of Huaraz is nestled in the valley formed by the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Negra, at 3080m, or about 10,000ft in altitude ! It's in Sierra, in other words in the Peruvian Andes. It's also the capital of the Ancash region.

The town has recovered well from the major earthquake that completely destroyed in in 1970. It's hardly noticeable today but the new look given to the town during the reconstruction has served to increase its popularity with tourists. 

Huarez, a stopover town.

Huaraz is pleasant but it's visiting the surrounding villages that will make your holiday in this little corner of Peru more memorable. It's the perfect opportunity to see the country's cultural diversity at close hand.

Go to the village of Carhuaz and the wonderful lake Llanganco, explore the colourful market, full of interesting foods and flavours, at Caraz one Sunday, and don't forget Yungay and Huari either, both of which are very interesting. This immersion in the rural communities are your chance to taste one of Peru's culinary specialities, cuy: the famous roast guinea-pig! Even though for us it's more a pet than a main dish, it's delicious, as well as being very nutritious.

The local people are used to tourists and many of them will offer to accompany you on your walks in the area. Take them up on the offer - the locals know the place better than you do! This region is a real paradise for walkers and hikers. There a so many possibilities here; there's something for everyone. They offer exceptional views over the beautiful natural features of the landscape, especially the many crystal-clear lakes below the glaciers.

The Sunday market at Curaz

The Huascarán National Park

Huaraz is also at the foot of the incredible Huascarán National Park. This takes its name from the 6768m (about 22,000ft) mountain, with its imposing glacier, in the Cordillera Blanca. This place is absolutely spectacular and must be visited during a trip to this region of Peru. The Huascarán National Park has been classified by UNESCO as an area that should be protected and is World Heritage site.

Lastly, the best moment to visit Huaraz and the surrounding area is between May and December. The rest of the year is the rainy season, when the cold and torrential rain spoil visitors' ability to appreciate the landscape.

Emilie Couillard
117 contributions
Updated 2 October 2015