Some cities in South America are perfect places to go hiking. If you are an avid fan of outdoor sports, a trip to the rustic city of Huaraz will be just right for you.
Known to the world as the “Switzerland of the South”, Huaraz is the capital city of the state of Ancash, which is located in the central-northern part of Peru. This is about 8 hours drive from Lima through bus (via the Pan-American Highway). Huaraz is situated in the fertile valley of Callejón de Huaylas, right at the foot of the great Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Stretching some 200 kilometers long, Callejón de Huaylas Valley is a host to various outdoor sports such as mountain climbing, skiing, rafting, paragliding and mountain biking.
Huaraz is the main starting point for mountaineering buffs. It serves as a base for mountain expeditions, particularly to the snowy Cordillera Blanca. Mountaineers who are planning to conquer this snowy mountain range may hire porters and burro drivers to assist them with their stuffs as they begin their treks. Visitors can also rent hiking gears from some establishments that can be found around the base
Huaraz itself boasts of the abundant fields that are usually carpeted by export-quality flowers aside from the usual agricultural crops. The rich soil of the Callejón de Huaylas valley enables the locals to grow lush greenery, and thus creating a serene and breathtaking landscape.
Those who prefer light activities may opt for a trip to the Chavin de Huantar temple. This archaeological site is only hours away from Huaraz. It is regarded as the seat of one of the most significant cultures in the Peruvian Andes. The fertile valley of Callejón de Huaylas gave rise to this great Chavin civilization. On the way to the temple, the visitors can have the chance to visit the spectacular Querococha lagoon, one of the biggest lagoons in Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Visitors can also have an unobstructed view of the glaciers and mountain sequence. The Lake Llanganuco that is located inside the Huascaran National Park is another great place to behold.
The local residents of Huaraz are generally kind and hospitable. Their native products such as sweaters and carpets made from alpaca textiles are very popular to tourists. These are colorful garments are officially used by the natives of the Callejón de Huaylas. Travelers buy them as souvenirs, along with the delicacies such as cuarteados and manjarblancos. These are just some of the wonderful offers awaiting the travelers in Huaraz.