If you’re into adventurous trekking and breathtaking landscape, you must visit Huaraz while traveling Peru. With some of the most beautiful trails to explore in the near Andes, Huaraz is a hiker’s paradise.
Huaraz is located at elevation of more than 3000m, so remember to take your time and let your body adjust to the high altitude. A good idea is to start with day trips, and there are many around, and only after you feel well adjusted to the high altitude, head for a longer trek. Huaraz is full of tour agencies that can offer all the guided tours and services you’ll need while exploring the area.
The first day trip: visiting Pastoruri Glacier, located in the southern part of the Cordillera Blanca, part of the Andes mountain range. Although the highest point of this trip is at 5050m, you’ll spend most of the day in the bus and in quite an easy 3 km walk to the glacier. The Pastoruri Glacier is amazing and it’s really a nice way to start adjusting to the high altitude with only 1.5 hour of walking.
The second day trip: A day trek to Laguna 69, located in the Huascaran National Park, 3 hours drive from Huaraz. This is one of the most popular day hikes in Cordillera Blanca mountain range. The altitude at Laguna 69 trail is between 3900m to 4600m, and the trail is quite hard, but really worth the effort.
The Laguna 69 trail took us around 5.5 hours. It’s a 3.5 hours hike to the lake (in which the last hour is the hardest part of the trek). The views along the way are amazing, and then you reach the stunning Laguna 69 and it is so rewording. We had a great one hour break in front of the lake and then we hiked back for 2 more hours.
After 2 amazing day trips we felt that we are ready to hike the Santa Cruz Trek. The Santa Cruz trek is a four-day hike that goes through the Huascaran National Park in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. On the first day we walked around 4 hours. The second day was the hardest, we hiked 4.5 hours up and crossed Punta Union pass at 4750m, and then 2.5 hours heading down hill to our camp. On the third day we had quite a flat and easy 7 hours walk. On the forth day we only had a very easy 2 hours walk.
The Santa Cruz trek is one of our favorite places in South America. The landscape is stunning and it changes all the time along the trek. Even though it’s in high altitude, the trek is pretty easy, except for the second day when crossing the high pass. If you’re in quite a good shape and your body adjusted well to the altitude, then Santa Cruz trek will be an amazing adventure at the Peruvian Andes.