Visit relaxing and friendly Huaraz to enjoy incredible Peru mountain scenery, warm local hospitality and rich local Peru culture.
Our home of Huaraz is situated in the heart of the Cordillera Blanca and is fast becoming known as the trekking, hiking and climbing adventure capital of Peru.
Huaraz and the surrounding area is rich in ancient Peru history and local culture, making Huaraz a destination not only for adventure seekers but those wanting to enjoy the mountains and local culture at a more relaxed pace.
The city is flanked by mountains – on one side the dry Cordillera Negra and the other side the snow capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. The city skyline is dominated by the massive Huascara¡n, the highest peak in Peru at an altitude of 6,768m. It is a lively friendly city with colourful local markets, cafes, hotels, restaurants, night clubs, museums, archaeological sites, local crafts & ceramics, and natural hot springs
The city and surrounding area has a relaxed atmosphere; the local people retain a traditional way of life and are warm, friendly, open hearted and welcoming to visitors. Huaraz is much less busy, safer & more relaxed than the tourist “hot spots” of Peru and you can wander freely through the local markets enjoying the colourful sights and sounds without being hassled by local people trying to push their wares.
Huaraz combines countless possibilities for trekking, hiking or climbing adventures for active outdoor people with relaxing in the city in the sun in the squares and cafes, cultural tours and day tours or even horse riding.
Travel to Huaraz from Lima is by tourist bus (7.5 hours) or there is a daily flight (one hour). There are also buses from Trujillo to Huaraz for those people traveling along the coast.
Prepare for your Peru trekking, hiking or climbing adventure with one or two day hikes, an important start to the acclimatisation process.
Or if you are not undertaking a multi day trek, come with us and we can show you an amazing variety of scenery with our:
Tours by car, mountain scenery, cultural tours, pre Inca ruins, museums, markets & thermal baths
Day hikes – a variety from easy to challenging
Horse riding in the mountains
All tours and day hikes include private transport, guide and delicious picnic lunch
The descriptions here are SUMMARIES ONLY.
Contact Anne for full descriptions, more photos and prices
Escape from the regular tourist destinations with a lovely hill walk close to Huaraz. Around 5 to 6 hours on wide grassy ridges to a saddle at 4200m with fantastic views of the snowcapped Cordillera Blanca peaks, Huascaran, the dry Cordillera Negra and over Huaraz. An excellent first day acclimatisation hike.
Contact Anne for full descriptions, more photos and prices
Full day hike or tour by car
Visit the famous twin crystal blue lakes of Llanganuco. From the lakes see the huge towering peaks of Huascaran, Huandoy and Yanapaccha. We can then drive to the top of the pass Portachuelo 4767m for more spectacular mountain views.
For keen walkers, we can make a full day hike by climbing up to Laguna 69. The beautiful high mountain lake is tucked immediately at the base of the peaks of Pisco and Chacraraju and they tower over the lake, giving amazing reflections on a still day.
Full day hike, half day hike or tour by car
The Wilcahuain archaeological site is a 7 km walk on a good path from Huaraz. The ruins date to about 600 – 900 AD and the Wari Empire. The main 3 – story building housed the mummies of the Wari ancestors. The building is roofed with massive stone slabs and contains a system of ventilation ducts to keep the bodies dry.
From the ruins, continue through farmland down to Monterrey where there are hot springs, and take a taxi back to Huaraz. 5 hours round trip.
You can also choose a shorter half day hike or visit the ruins by car.
Full day hike
A good acclimatization hike for trekking. Take a car from Huaraz to Pitec at 3850m, driving through the attractive farming settlements of Unchus and Llupa. From Pitec a steady climb to Laguna Churup 4440m, a beautiful turquoise lake below Nevado Churup. It is quite a strenuous hike, with the final 100m to the lake scrambling up a steep rock gully.
About 5 to 6 hours to walk from Pitec to the lake and return.
Full Day Hike
A long day hike to Laguna Shallap, a beautiful high glacial lake at the head of a remote valley in the Cordillera Blanca close to Huaraz.
Not many tourists know of this hike, and apart from the local people there are very few other people about. The lake (4250m) is tucked at the foot of the giant mountains San Juan , Tumarinaraju and Huantsán and the glacier fields from the mountains flow to the lake. About 6 hours walking to the lake and return to the car.
Although on a gradual gradient and not steep, it is a long day walk and suitable for people who have started to acclimatise already and are fit.
Easy day hike
An easy and relaxing hike in the Valley Quebrada Quillcayhuanca. The trail is almost flat and there are great views of the mountains and spectacular vertical rock walls. Sometimes we have seen condors in the valley. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the sun by the river at the head of the valley. A great hike for everyone – families, children, people looking for a relaxing day out. 6 hours return hike.
Day Hike, ice climbing or a car tour
Pastoruri is a mountain with a large glacier that you can walk on or practise climbing techniques. There is easy access to the glacier from the road, and we can take a guided walk onto the ice. We also offer a day of climbing instruction or ice climbing for those looking for more adventure.
On the way to the glacier we stop to visit the amazing giant plant Puya Raymondi. The Puya Raymondi is a plant that grows in the higher places of Peru only. It is of the Bromeliacea family and it is a very interesting plant because it flowers just once in its life and it might have at least 20,000 flowers. The Puya Raymondi is pollinated by hummingbirds. A full day from Huaraz is needed.
To visit here we recommend that you are well acclimatised .
Half day hike
A very interesting half day hike from Huaraz and a good first acclimatisation hike. From behind Huaraz we hike into the hills first on an open ridge and then we enter a hidden narrow canyon which winds up to the crest of the hills. The canyon is amazing with high walls of clay coloured many different shades of yellows, orange and red. We emerge onto the crest where we have panoramic views of the Macashca Valley and many of the huge snow covered peaks of the Cordillera Blanca & then we return back to Huaraz.
3 to 4 hours hiking.
Day tour by car
The architectural ruins of Chavin are located 3 to 4 hours by vehicle from Huaraz. The pre Inca culture is dated between 800 — 200 BC; and developed a powerful religion which had great influence over many parts of Peru. The great temple contains many stone-lined galleries where Chavin priests consulted their gods, performed sacrificial ceremonies and stored ritual items. The most interesting parts of the site were built underground in an exceptional feat of 3000 year old engineering. We offer a guided tour to Chavin in our private vehicle.
Tour by car & easy hiking
From the top of the Llaca Valley we hike to the face of the glacier coming from the enormous mountain Ranrapalca 6162m. This is an easier option for a day hike, and there are few other places in the Cordillera Blanca where you can be so close to the ice. First we will take the car to visit the ruins of Wilcahuain, then continue on to the Llaca Valley. The Lllaca Valley is a narrow valley with impressive rock walls popular for rock climbing. From the end of the road we hike up easily to the top of the valley to the glacier around 1½ hours. After a picnic lunch, we walk easily down the valley stopping on the way to see the Llaca Lake. We return to Huaraz in the car a different way through the Cojup Valley, driving down through the villages of Llupa and Unchus
Easy Half Day Hike or Tour by Car
A delightful easy hike which offers spectacular views over the entire range of the snow capped Cordillera Blanca. First we travel on a new road which winds it way up through many small villages to the pass Punta Callan at 4225m from where there are unequalled views of the peaks, glaciers and valleys of the Cordillera Blanca.. We the hike down, easily follow local village trails all the way down hill, passing by traditional village houses and farms and can enjoy seeing the local traditional way of life. In July and August it is harvest time and everyone is busy harvesting and gathering crops. It is an easy 2 hour walk down to a village where our vehicle will be waiting to take us back to Huaraz.
For those not wishing to hike, we can take the car to the saddle where we can appreciate the amazing views of the Cordillera Blanca mountains, of Huaraz and also out to the Pacific coast and then return to Huaraz.
Tour by Car & Easy Hiking
Laguna Paron is a bright blue lake surrounded by spectacular snowcapped peaks, with the magnificent Piramide 5885m being situated directly at the head of the lake. It is one of the few lakes that are accessible by vehicle. First we drive 67 km to the small town of Caraz and then a further 32km to the lake. (around 3 hours drive each way) The drive to the lake is through a spectacular canyon with 1000m high granite walls. Once at the lake, you can take a hike along a path around the side of the lake. Allow a long day out.
Half Day Hike (easy)
A relaxing and easy short hike to the delightful small village of Marian. We start from Huaraz and walk through the newly developed suburb of Nueva Florida and then follow quiet local lanes passing by small farms and local homes for 40 minutes to an hour to the village of Marian which is tucked in beneath the mountains behind Huaraz. From the village plaza there is an amazing view of the massive snow covered mountain of Ranrapalca.
On the return from Marian to Huaraz we follow an old Inca pathway and weave through narrow lanes passing by traditional local homes, small farms and trees and we have a glimpse of the traditional way of life.
Options: Tour by car with an easy short hike, or a hard day hike
In the little known valley Quebrada Gueshgue there are hidden treasures of lakes, mountains and the incredible Puya Raymondi plants. We take a 4 wheel drive van from Huaraz to the village of Catac and then we wind our way up through the grassy hillsides to the end of the road. (one hour drive). From the car it is a short easy hike of half an hour to the first of 3 beautiful lakes Laguna Gueshgue at 4200m. From here it is just another half hour to 40 minute relaxing hike to a second even more pretty lake Laguna Jarpococha. Surrounding the lake are hundreds of the Puya Raymondi plants and they are scattered all up the hillsides almost as far as we can see.
This is a very remote valley with just a few scatted local traditional adobe homes. Very few tourists know of this area and you will be able to enjoy your fantastic surroundings in solitude. After a tasty picnic lunch we will return to the car and back to Huaraz.
For those people who are fit and well acclimatised who are looking for a more demanding hike, we can continue upwards climbing to the final lake Laguna Pamparaju at 4500m where there is a large glacier flowing into the lake. This is a great hike for acclimatisation for trekking. 6 to 7 hours hiking
Tour By Car With A Short Walk
A tour into a remote valley very close to the mountains to visit some ancient pre-Inca Ruins and then a short hike up to a delightful waterfall hidden among the trees. We depart Huaraz in our private vehicle passing through the village of Parihuanca and then continuing winding up towards the mountains through interesting farmland and small villages. We then reach a surprising large green flat pampa high in the mountains where we have close views of the mountains Copa, Urus, Vallunaraju and more. From the end of the road we have a short 30 minute hike up to the cool hidden waterfall.
On the return we either walk down or take the car to the interesting ruins dating from the Wari Culture at Jancopampa. Inside the temple ruins you will be left wondering how they managed to place the enormous rocks into the ceiling of the building with out aid of modern machinery. We will have a relaxing lunch in the sun on the wide grass field near the ruins and then return to Huaraz. On the return trip you may decide to visit the thermal baths of Monterray for a dip in the hot baths!
Tour by Car
A delightful tour spending a relaxing day combining a variety of cultural experiences.
First we stop just outside Huaraz to visit the ancient pre-Inca Ruins of Wilkwain.
Then we will take a turn off the main road to Jangas village in to the Cordillera Negra hills and after 20 minutes we come to a lookout called “El Mirador” from where we can take in magnificent views of the snow capped mountains on the white Cordillera Blanca.
After taking photos of the mountains we stop to visit the memorial to the people of Yungay. The town of Yungay was completely destroyed in the earthquake of 31 May 1970. The earthquake caused a massive avalanche of rock and ice from the west wall of Huascaran which reached devastating speeds as it dropped over 3 vertical kms on it’s way to Yungay 14kms away. The town and almost all it’s 20,000 inhabitants were buried. The site is now a memorial to the thousands who perished with flower gardens and monuments.
Our final stop is the attractive market town of Caraz. The feature of the town is the colourful and vibrant local market which is always bustling with activity selling fresh food, basketry, traditional gourd bowls, religious candles, hats and much more. We tour through the market and then have a delicious picnic lunch relaxing in the grounds of the cool grassy Plaza Del Armas.
On the return journey to Huaraz we can choose to visit Chancos Village where there are some inviting thermal springs hot baths. Take time to enjoy a relaxing soak in the thermal baths!
Contact Anne direct for more information & prices for our Peru Tours and Hikes
Options for full day horseback riding or combined horseback ride & short hike
Hidden above Huaraz in the dry mountains of the Cordillera Negra is an expansive open gently undulating pampa that seems to extend forever and offers the perfect place for horse and pony riding.
From the pampa are breath taking views across the valley to the entire range of snow capped peaks of the massive Cordillera Blanca mountains and the deep vertical valleys carved by ancient glaciers through the mountains, and also over the whole of Huaraz.
We enjoy relaxing horse back riding wandering across the pampa, following local paths past traditional houses and small farms and descending in to hidden green valleys. The local people are friendly and welcoming and greet us as we pass by.
We also have the option of taking an easy downhill hike on local trails, passing through small villages where local people still lead a very traditional way of life.
Our horses are sure footed, small but strong and hardy Andean ponies. Very quiet and safe.
Our Horse Riding or Ride & Hike Adventures Feature:
A great day out for everyone!
Contact Anne for complete details of a day horseback riding or combined horseback riding and short hike
Experience the majesty of the Peru mountains & rich local culture with a combined tour & camping trip.
Enjoy the hospitality & warmth of our local guide, cook and crew while taking in the spectacular views from our comfortable camp.
We have developed some short tours are a great way to be able to enjoy some of the little “luxuries” while camping.
Wonderful holidays for families with children and for those who enjoy mountain scenery and the outdoors but do not wish to be trekking or hiking.