Why you should go to Huaraz?
In the North of Peru, inside Ancash department, its Huaraz a little but pretty city 8 hours from Lima the capital. If you like mountains, adventure, lakes and beautiful landscapes this is your city.You can meet the principal spots in only 4 or 3 days with a little budget of $100 for all the days or even less if you do the following things that I will tell you in this article.
How to arrive?
It is pretty easy. First, you have to be in Peru of course, you have two options by bus or by plane. I suggest you by bus because the difference of prices is a lot. You can search through this page your bus ticket: https://busportal.pe/ it is a cheap and security page where you can book your bus. An approximate cost is $15 or less while by plane can be $80. You can see cheaper plane tickets on http://www.despegar.com.pe/
Where to stay?
You can book your hostel here http://www.hostelworld.com/ or look for one as soon you arrive Huaraz. !!TIP!!: In Peru is always cheaper to buy the things at the last minute: hostels, tours, buses. I mean, it is cheaper to look for a hostel in the main square the same day you arrive instead to book it days before and also another advantage to look for the last minute is that you can negotiate the price in person which is totally available in Peru if you speak a little Spanish.
Principal places to go
If you have only 2 days to see Huaraz, do these principal things:
Lake 69 and Llanganuco Lake:
This is one of the principal hiking tours inside Huaraz. It takes 3 hours to arrive Lake 69 and other 3 hours to return to the starting point. The altitude is 3,850 above the sea level so I suggest you to do it the second day that you are in Huaraz to get used to the altitude. You can buy your tour in the main square or ask for it in your hostel (I bought it in my hostel). During the high season (June – July) costs $18 or 60 soles but normally it is around 40 soles $12. This tour includes the picking up from your hostel at 5:30 am, the ride to the starting point , breakfast and the guide man for the hike. Another option is to ask to the police (they are a lot in the main square) if you can take a taxi or a bus to Lake Llanganuco and then drop you to “Cebollapampa” that it is the starting point for the hike to Lake 69. The hike route is very clear and easy to follow it is only one way so you can’t lose the track. The first stop is in Llanganuco Lake inside Yungay city, 3 hours from Huaraz. There you see the beautiful landscape, take pictures and eat your breakfast. Half and hour more you arrive at Cebollapampa, there you start doing the hike. It depends on how fast are you, but normally you are returning to Cebollapampa at 2 or 3 pm and to Huaraz 4 or 5 pm. I suggest you not to take heavy things to carry because it is a long way with many uphills, little snacks as fruit, bread and also have a good jacket for cold and a t-shirt for a hot sun.
I didn’t get here because my lack of time but they told me that it is even more beautiful than Lake 69. It is also another hike tour that takes almost a day and starts 6 am until 4 pm and requires a little bit more of effort than Lake 69 to arrive even though it is 4500 meters above the sea level. The cost is the same as Lake 69 and maybe also you can ask for a bus or a taxi that take you until the starting point of the hiking instead of buying the whole tour. I don’t have pictures of it but I put this link so you can see what I am talking about https://www.google.com.pe/search?q=churup+lake&biw=1242&bih=606&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwisg93l6o_MAhWDSiYKHdM8ApAQ_AUIBigB
¡ ¡ If you have more time and like to do hiking and camping, then your best option is this:
Santa Cruz Trek:
This trek is considered one of the most important and beautiful treks in Latin America because you see the White and Black Mountain Chain Peruvian (Cordillera Blanca) . It takes 4 days and 3 nights to do the whole route (50 km – 31 miles) and reaches a max altitude of 4,750 meters. The route starts at Vaquería city, you can arrive there by bus if you are doing it by your own. The entrance to the national park costs S/. 65 soles plus the tour pack is $140 dollars for all the days which includes: mules that take your backpack and food for all the days, transfers and tents. You can ask for other prices and packs in the main square. You should take the less weight because the walk is long and difficult but worth it. The weather is changing: in the day is really sunny but in the afternoon and night is almost under zero. I leave this web if you want more info : http://www.cordillerablanca.info/trekking/santa-cruz-trek.php
Other amazing things to do in a day:
Pastoruri is the last Glacier in Perú. It is 5200 meters above the sea level and a lot of cold. The only way to go there is by tour that starts at 9 am until 6 pm but it is totally worth pay for that because you see many lagoons, cave paintings and the Puya Plant of the Andean mountains. The tour costs around S/.40 soles or $12 dollars normally or S/.60 soles or $18 dollars in high season (June – July) but doesn’t include your food neither the national park entrance which is S/.100 soles for foreigners.
Lagoon of seven colors Lake beside Pastoruri Puya plant
Chavin de Huantar:
Chavin de Huantar is a historical Inca ruins one hour from Huaraz city. You can take the tour which cost around S/.25 soles and includes transportation and guide but you have to pay extra to enter the city S/.10 soles more. You can stay there instead of returning to Huaraz I heard the city is really pretty.