Welcome to Ancash!
Among its wide variety of attractions you can find snow-capped mountains, lakes, valleys, beaches and unique flora and fauna. You can also appreciate the buildings of ancient, pre-Incan civilizations, and enjoy festivals that bring together tradition and the present-day way of life of its new inhabitants. Áncash has strikingly varied scenery, with its high peaks, like the snow-capped mountain Huascarán (6,768 meters above sea level), hundreds of lakes, picturesque valleys, like the Callejón de Huaylas, and trails bordered by eucalyptus trees and retama flowers that cross over the Andes to the archaeological site of Chavín de Huántar.
Peru’s famous trekking capital nestled between the stunning mountain chains of the Cordillera Blanca and Negra, is starting to dry out from its rainy season (summer) as the best time for hiking approaches.
Laguna 69 or Lake 69
Is a small lake near of the city of Huaraz, in the region of Áncash, Peru. It is one of the more than 400 lakes that form part of the Huascarán National Park which is considered Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It is one of the more important tourist destinations of the region, visited mainly by fans to the hiking and mountaineering, given his simple access and the spectacular scenes that provides. The hiking route to the lagoon starts from the camping Cebolla Pampa and goes by the right side of the brook that goes down from the same lake, which forms several waterfalls and cataracts.
Ancash Archaeological Museum
A large collection of stone sculptures from the Recuay civilization, as well as ceramic and textile objects from the Chavín, Huaraz, Mochica, Wari and Chimú pre-Inca civilizations.
Monterrey Thermal Baths
The water in its swimming pools and ponds reaches temperatures close to 50°C. Recommended for treating rheumatic and nerve-related conditions. There is a hotel, restaurant, pools, and individual and family-sized ponds.
Willcahuain and Ichic Willcahuain Archaeological Sites
This site is home to architecture from the Wari civilization, which existed during what is now known as the Middle Horizon period (700 – 1100 A.D.). Inside, there is a network of galleries, which were used as offering sites.
Huascarán National Park
The park was created in 1975 for the state to take responsibility for preserving the wild flora and fauna, geological formations, archaeological sites and beautiful landscapes. It was awarded Natural World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1985. Within its 340,000 hectares, which cover almost the entire Cordillera Blanca (White Range), the wide variety of high Andes vegetation and 300 lagoons can be admired. Animals that inhabit the area include the spectacled bear, the North Andean deer and the Andean condor (three endangered species), the puma, deer, the Andean mountain cat and many different birds.
Callejón de Huaylas
The area is located to the north of Lima, between the Pacific Ocean and the Marañón River. A broad, open Andean valley between the Cordillera Blanca (White Range) and the Cordillera Negra (Black Range). A clear sky, warm sun, benign climate, snowy peaks, crystal clear lakes, hot springs and dreamlike landscapes present the ideal conditions for experience-based tourism and adventure sports, including mountain biking, paragliding, rock climbing, rafting and trekking.
Callejón de Conchucos
With its back to the Cordillera Blanca (White Range), parallel to the Callejón de Huaylas, the area has its own traditions and customs that differ from other parts of the region. The area allows for a different view of the Cordillera Blanca, with cities including Chavín, San Marcos, Huari, San Luis, Chacas and Yanama. An ideal location for lovers of excitement and adventure, with many archaeological sites that are still yet to be explored.
Huayhuash Mountain Range (Chiquián town)
The dozens of peaks make the area ideal for trekking. The full trek takes nine days to complete and includes four trails at over 4,700 masl. Far from any urban zone with natural landscapes and wild fauna.
This day tour offers a great opportunity to visit and walk on a glacier. The glacier is fairly flat and you don’t need any special equipment but, at 5240m in altitude, you need to be well acclimatized before going (best to spend 3 days in Huaraz first). The trek up to the glacier takes about 45 minutes, although horses and mules are usually available to help the weary.
Puya Raimondii plants
You can visit the valley of Pachacoto, 57km to the south of Huaraz, where you can see the Puya de Raimondii plants. These strange plants, looking more like mutated cacti, are actually the largest member of the bromeliad family (relative of the pineapple). This species is considered to be one of the oldest in the world, and can be found in only a few isolated areas of the Andes.
The low bushy base of the Puya Raimondii forms a large rosette of spiky, long leaves, about 1.5m across.
The plant flowers just once in its life which can be up to 100 years. This usually takes place in the month of May, when a huge central stem is pushed up to 12 meters into the sky, covered in many thousands of blooming flowers. The plant dies shortly after it blooms. If you are lucky enough to witness this event, it’s an unbelievable sight set against a spectacular snowy mountain back-drop.