about the area
At 10,000 feet above sea level in the Andes, the city of Huaraz is home to some 150,000 friendly faces. Here, nestled between the colorful mountains of the Cordillera Negra and the high glaciated peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, the city has become the center for adventure tourism in the area. With this close proximity to towering mountains, Huascarán National Park and its world class trekking circuits, Huaraz is host to thousands of climbers and trekkers from all over the world yearly.
Cordillera Blanca & Huascarán National Park
The Cordillera Blanca "The White Mountain Range", is known as the highest tropical mountain range in the world and has become an incredible destination for trekking and climbing. This mountain range stretches 180km running in a generally north-south direction and is home to Huascarán, the highest point in Peru at 6768 m/ 22,205 ft.
Created in 1975, Huascarán National Park covers most of the Cordillera Blanca and is home to 27 snow-capped peaks above 6,000 m/ 20,000 ft. This abundance of snow covered peaks feeds the rivers and streams that water the valleys known as the Callejon de Huaylas and the Callejon de Conchucos, located on the west and east side of the mountain range respectively. Below these dramatic high peaks are deep ravines and green river valleys, home to numerous trail systems that explore the far corners of the Park.
With an incredible abundance of unique native flora and fauna, culturally rich locals, and fascinating ruins of several pre-Incan cultures, the Park was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977. It was added to the list of Natural Heritage of Humanity sites by UNESCO in 1985. Today the Park encompasses a size of over 840,000 acres.
For more detailed information about visiting the Huaraz area please click here.
Lima is Peru’s capital and a main entry point to the country. Jorge Chavez Airport (LIM) is the International Airport where all flights arrive.
If you are planning to visit the Cordillera Blanca you must first get to the city of Huaraz. From Lima you have two options:
The most popular and cheapest option getting to Huaraz is by bus. This 8 hour, 400km ride is a great way to see the country and is incredibly scenic at times. Although comfortable, the paved road is fairly windy at times. In combination with going from sea level, (in Lima) to up and over a 13,000 ft pass, some might find it a little difficult to stomach.
There are many different bus companies that offer Lima to Huaraz but the best known are:
You can purchase round trip tickets online ahead of time or try your luck at the counter.
There is currently only one airline company, LC Peru, that has daily flights between Lima and Huaraz. The flights last about 50 minutes, is typically affordable, but has luggage weight restrictions that should be taken into consideration. Each passenger is restricted to 15 kg (33 lbs) for checked bags and 5 kg (11 lbs) carry on. Please note that the airport is not located in Huaraz, but 20 km away in Anta.
getting Around Huaraz - to the Cordillera Blanca
Although Huaraz is a sizable city, most places are within walking distance of most hotels in the city. However, taxis are very abundant and finding transportation is cheap and easy.
Huaraz is located just below the Cordillera Blanca and getting to the mountains is relatively easy. The most common way of getting to trail heads is hiring a vehicle (rural vans or taxis). Many of the taxis that can be flagged down on the street can take you to one of the many trail heads above town, roughly 45 minutes. For longer trips and possibly a more comfortable ride, many of the hotels around town can arrange a car for you. The cheapest and most "fun" and exciting option, however, is using public transportation (colectivos). Most colectivos will only get to the nearby villages though and from there you will need to walk to the mountains.
Huaraz is home to more than 150,000 people and boasts a wide variety of hotels, international restaurants, coffee houses and, lively night life. Some of our favorite places include:
All participants of the Santa Cruz 45k will be spending the night before the race at the Illariy Lodge just outside of Vaqueria. This small, beautiful lodge will also be the starting line for the event. Beds will be available to the first 25 entrants of the race. These beds are not guaranteed to be in your own private room. Once all of the beds have been claimed, runners will be required to camp in the designated campground on the property. Tents will be provided but sleeping bags and pads will not. If you are unable to travel to Peru with this camping gear there are many rental options in Huaraz.
With many many more around town, please click here for more options.
Besides the main grocery stores in town, there is a public market where you will find a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and all kinds of groceries. People are very helpful and friendly. If you're not really hungry, be sure to visit the market anyway for a great cultural experience
Many shops around the city offer good-quality local handicrafts with prices varying according to quality. Most of the stores are open from 9am - 1pm and 3pm - 8pm. The public market is open all day.