Browsing: Ancash – Huaraz

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Maarten Warnaars survives cold, uncomfortable nights on the second half of his Huayhuash trek. (Read part one here.) The rewards are spectacular mountain passes and quaint highland villages.

By Maarten Warnaars

Day Four
The next morning greeted us well. As usual we did not wait for the sun to hit to begin hiking. We headed up toward Portachuelo pass (4,785 meters) that unfolded into the Lima province.

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Trekking eight days in Huayhuash mountain range of Peru
In front of Siula Pass at 4,835 meters in Peru’s Huayhuash mountain range.

By Maarten Warnaars

The Cordillera Huayhuash, located in Peru’s provinces of Ancash, Huánuco and Lima, is one of the most beautiful, majestic and challenging mountain ranges to hike in Peru. Every campsite and mountain pass has their unique wonders and breathtaking views that lie above 4,000 meters (13,100 ft). It is a spectacular area with each hiking day a marvel to discover. (It is also the location of the real life story and movie Touching the Void, filmed at the the foot of Siula Mountain.) The challenging treks around Huayhuash are done in a minimum of eight days, unlike other treks in the Cordillera Blanca that can be done in a few days.

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By Rodney L Dodig

Peru independence celebration in fNew Jersey
 See more photos from the visit to Chavin de Huantar.

The Chavin Culture spanned a great many years (1200 to 200 BC) in the history of this area. There are many theories about the origin of this culture but thanks to archaeological investigations performed over the years we know that there were three main periods of construction; the Urabarriu and Ofrendas (850 to 460 BC), the Chaquinani (460 to 390 BC) and the Janabarriu (390 to 200 BC). Chavin de Huantar was a religious and ceremonial center and was not a populated city. Only priests and certain elites stayed at the center.

Before visiting the archaeological site itself, I recommend that you visit the museum located on the edge of town. The museum is new and modern with excellent displays of artifacts from the site. I was surprised to find out that the building of this museum was a condition put on the return of artifacts that were taken from Chavin de Huantar to museums in Lima.

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The Andean Cordillera Blanca looms impressively over the city of Huaraz.  (All photos by Rodney Dodig)

By Rodney L. Dodig

I sat on the bus as we left Lima concerned about the eight hour bus ride to Huaraz. Unless you want to pay a lot of money to fly up on a small aircraft, it is the only way there other than in a car. Would the trip be dangerous, boring and tedious? It was winter in Peru and Lima, as always, had its infamous cloud cover in place.

All Destinations 0 in Chimbote, the fishing capital of Peru
Fishing boats off the Chimbote coast. (All photos by Jane Silcock)

By Jane Silcock

Before I arrived in Chimbote all I heard of the city was that it smelled like fish. As my bus rolled into the terminal more than a year and a half ago, the first sight I had of the coastal city was the thick white fish-smelling smog pumping out of the nearby factories. Chimbotanos are immune to the smell, saying, "When it smells bad, Chimbote has money.”

For the largest fishing port in Peru, located just six hours north of Lima, the fish meal and anchovy industry is everything. It was the reason the population increased from 2,400 in 1940 to 170,000 in 1970. Now more than 400,000 call Chimbote home. Despite the population growth, development didn’t follow the pattern like other coastal cities such as nearby Trujillo. Chimbotanos sometimes describe their city as disorganized and chaotic. But Chimbote is changing.

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Essay and Photos by Jorge Montgomerie-Neilson

El Refugio de Francesca, Huarmey, Ancash, PeruI had the wonderful opportunity to visit “El Refugio de Francesca,” which is located at Km 306.5 on the Panamericana Norte.

This refuge is located in the beautiful northern coast of Peru, in the Region of Ancash.

Lalo Liceti established a beautiful rural place to stay for tourists and wanderers alike, in the middle of beautiful scenery, precious sights and a wonderful and welcoming part of this little known part of Peru.

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Courtesy of


Text by Jorge Yamamoto, photos by Mylene D’Auriol, Peru
Churup Mountain

(LIP-jl) — The hiking trails of Peru and the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains), in particular, are world-famous for their breathtaking beauty. Even amid such high standards, the hike to the Churup Lake and mountain stands out for the perfect combinations of shape and color.

We started our journey about six blocks from the Plaza de Armas in Huaraz, where we boarded a dilapidated truck, fitted with small wooden benches along the sides. Cargo was strapped onto the roof, then in the cabin, and finally on the floor between the passengers.

While it seemed to me that we could not possibly take on any on more passengers, the driver clearly had other ideas and as we began to climb the steep hills we stopped to take on more passengers (both people and live animals). During the trip I could not help but wonder about the Japanese engineers who designed the vehicle; they’d have a collapse, never mind the bloody truck!

The Route

The trip, far from being uncomfortable, was actually enjoyable in a folkloric kind of way. A trip by the sea in a convertible is pleasant, but this journey, standing in the bed of a truck in the middle of the mountains, was nothing short of spectacular., Peru
Surrounded by the tranquil waters of Churup Lake.

Besides the impressive views of the Vallunaraju and Oschapalca glaciers, I was able to contemplate the complex, intricately made, and beautiful traditional clothing still worn by the women in the Callejón de Huaylas. Though different from the traditional western stereotypes, the ethnic purity is attractive. (Now I know what anthropologist Malinowski meant when he advised his fellows not to stay too long in such communities).

Just as we were beginning to settle into the ride we arrived in Llupa. After adjusting our backpacks and exchanging pleasantries with the local people, we began an easy climb with about three short, steep sections (actually the locals will insist that these are flat). After about an hour of walking at a moderate pace we reached Pitec.

From there the path begins to descend towards three beautiful gorges: Quilcayhuanca, Shallap and Rajucolta. However, we turned left and continued along the first hillcrest. There is not much in the way of civilization here except for a scattering of dwellings and a lodge run by a friendly woman, who speaks perfect English, Quechua, and Spanish.

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Text & photos by Renzo Uccelli

(LIP-jl) — Mountains continue to fascinate those who live in – and those who visit – this country of contrasts and unique beauty. The following article by the Peruvian mountaineer and photographer Renzo Uccelli introduces us to the ascent of Alpamayo, considered by many to be the most beautiful peak in the world. Prepare yourself to visit the roof of the world.
Peru’s most beautiful peak.

“If in reality there is no rock, no block of ice, no crevasse waiting in some part of the world to halt my advance, then one day, old and tired, I will find peace among animals and flowers. The circle will be complete, and at last I will become the simple shepherd I longed to be when I was a child.”
Lionel Terray, 1961.

The Huascarán National Park (HNP), in the department of Ancash, was established by UNESCO in July 1975, and was named a World Heritage Site in 1985. The HNP covers an area of 340,000 hectares and lies between 3,500 and (at the summit of Huascarán) 6,768 meters above sea level.

The geology of the Cordillera Blanca and the Callejón de Huaylas has created a territory of varied and rugged landscapes. This in turn allows a wide variety of plant and animal life to thrive within the borders of the park. The landscape of the HPN is dominated by the Cordillera Blanca, below which narrow canyons abound, as well as wide plateaus and several lagoons. It is estimated that in the Santa Cruz river valley alone there exist some 265 lagoons of great beauty.