Travel Guide South America Peru Huaraz



Huaraz is a city in Peru. It is the capital of the Ancash Region (State of Ancash) and the seat of government of Huaraz Province. The city is located in the central part of the Callejon de Huaylas Valley and on the right side of the river Santa, at an elevation of approximately 3050 metres. The agglomeration has an extension of 8 km2 and a population of 120,000 inhabitants, making it the second largest city in the central Peruvian Andes after the city of Huancayo, and the 22nd largest city in Peru. Huaraz is the headquarters of the province's Roman Catholic Bishop and the site of his official cathedral.



Sights and Activities

Huaraz is the main place of winter sports and adventure. Many visitors from around the world arrived to the city for practicing sports as climbing, hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding and also to visit the glaciers and mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, mainly the Huascarán snow peak, that is considered the highest mountain in tropics, all of them located in Huascarán National Park that is a nature world heritage site by UNESCO.

Huascarán National Park

Peru offers one of the most scenic mountain ranges in the continent and Huascarán National Park in the Cordillera Blanca is probably the most spectactular. Mountains to be climbed include Mount Huascaran (6,768 metres above sea level) and it is best to base yourself in the town of Huaraz first. The Huascaran National Park is on the Unesco World Heritage List.




Huaraz has a warm moderated weather of tropical mountain, It is sunny and dry during the morning and cold past the evening, with temperatures between 11-17 °C and maximum temperatures that could overpass 21 °C. Rains can be more than 500 mm but less than 1000 mm.during Raining season between December until march. The dry season is also known as "Andean summer".



Getting There

By Car

Huaraz is connected to the Pacific coast by three highways. One goes generally westward, another goes south then west, and the other goes north then west. All three roads go from the Andes down into the desert coastal region.

The westward route rises into the Cordillera Negra, crests at about 4000 metres, then winds downward in altitude to the coastal city of Casma on the Pan American Highway. (Casma is the largest population center between the cities of Lima and Chimbote.)

The southward route from Huaraz goes about 40 km toward the town of Recuay, where it turns west. It rises to about 4,300 metres where it crests the south part of the Cordillera Negra. From there the narrow winding highway in a distance of about 80 kilometres descends to the town of Huarmey (south of Casma) on the coast. Here it connects with the Pan-American Highway (187 km north of Lima).

The northward route going north from Huaraz follows the Rio Santa to the north end of the Callejón de Huaylas, where it branches into two. The minor branch goes steeply westward up to the ancient town of Huaylas and then northwestward down to the coast. The main highway goes north beside the Cañón del Pato through a dozen one-lane tunnels, precipitously descends several thousand meters by switch-backs and hairpin curves on the one-lane rocky roadway, and arrives at the town of Huallanca. Here there is a connection with the Santa Railway. The highway again splits. The most heavily traveled fork continues generally west to the coastal city of Chimbote where it connects with the Pan-American Highway. The other fork goes from Huallanca northward and upward into the northern Peruvian Andes.

Travel by vehicle via any of the three highway routes from Huaraz to the coast generally requires seven to eight hours to either Lima or Chimbote.



Getting Around

By Public Transport

Huaraz mass transit is operated by private companies authorized by city hall and the Transportation Secretary of Peru. The system includes vans and buses, that has organized routes but in an informal way. People commutes on them or in their private cars. Taxis can be taken in their signed stops, and in comparison to another Peruvian big cities is cheaper but depending of the distance the price can increase. Also there are colectivos (commuter taxis) that has routes similar to buses and can be shared with other passengers in comparison with taxis.





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Keep Connected


More and more hotels, resorts, airports, cafes, and retailers are going Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity), becoming "hotspots" that offer free high-speed Wi-Fi access or charge a small fee for usage. In Peru, by far the easiest way to check your e-mail and surf the Web is to drop in at the Internet cabinas (booths) that can be found in virtually every city and even small towns. Connections are usually fast, and the service is as little as S/2 per hour.
Aside from formal cybercafes, most youth hostels and many hotels nowadays have at least one computer with Internet access.


See also International Telephone Calls

Peru's country code is +51. Emergency numbers include 105 (Police), 117 (Ambulance) and 116 (Fire).

In all towns and villages that are not too small, it is no problem to find public telephones for national and international calls. Many public phones can be expensive, and an attractive alternative is a Locutorio, or "call-center". Typical rates include .2 Nuevo Sol/minute for calls in the country, and .5 Nuevo Sol/minute for most international calls. Phone cards are cheap and easily available from shops or vendors who hang around pay phones. You'll often see people with a bundle of mobile phones who act as pay phones, they'll be shouting 'llamadas'. Telephone booths are primarily used for making local calls. Calling to other countries from Peru is expensive.

If you have an unlocked cell phone you can buy local SIM cards. Movistar and Claro are two of the phone companies in Peru. You can buy your sim card from these companies and buy a phone card also.

Your best, cheapest bet for making international calls from Peru is to head to any Internet cafe with an international calling option. These cafes have connections to Skype, Net2Phone, or some other VoIP service. International calls made this way can range anywhere from 5¢ to $1 per minute -- much cheaper than making direct international calls or using a phone card. If you have your own Skype or similar account, you just need to find an Internet cafe that provides a computer with a headset.


Check the Serpost website, the national postal service (a private company), for more information about prices and options regarding the sending of postcards, letters and parcels. The post service is relatively efficient and post offices can be found in most cities and (larger) towns. Post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Saturday and some are open on Sundays from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Postcards are available from street vendors and shops at any touristy area, and stamps are generally available as well, though sometimes only at the post office itself. It takes at least 10 days to send a postcard to North America and prices start at S/5.5. To Europe it is S/7.8 and it takes even a bit longer, around 2 weeks. For little extra money, you can choose 'expresso' services. For large parcels and quantities, you can use both Serpost or companies like DHL, UPS, TNT or FedEx, which are faster and offers the same prices, though it is still relatively expensive.


Accommodation in Huaraz

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