Offering glaciers, scenic lakes and dramatic snow-capped mountains, the Cordillera Blanca is an outdoor enthusiasts dream! Forming part of the larger Andes range, the region is ideal for those searching for active adventure or a relaxing getaway in the mountains. Here you can hike, horse-ride, visit the archaeological site of Chavin de Huantar or get to know the local communities in the remote villages surrounding the main city of Huaraz.
Begin the day early driving north through Callejon de Huaylas valley passing through several towns and admiring the views of the highest peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, most notably the majestic Huascaran. Leaving the paved highway, drive along a rough track road heading into the Llanganuco Valley, a stunning u-shaped glacial valley in between the Huascaran and Huandoy peaks. Ascend past local communities, where you can see villagers working the land and wearing colorful traditional dress. Enter the National Park and continue on to explore the tranquil turquoise lakes, Chinancocha and Orcancocha. Take the Maria Josefa trail to experience the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the unique flora such as the quenal trees and native bromeliads. Enjoy a relaxing lunch by the lakes before descending back down the valley to your hotel. (07:30 – 17:00, Box lunch included, Private activity, easy to moderate hike, 3850 meters altitude)
Arguably the most stunning of the aqua colored glacial lakes in the Cordillera Blanca, Lake 69 is tucked below the towering peaks of Pisco and Chacraraju. At an altitude of 4600 meters, we recommend this strenuous yet rewarding hike only after prior acclimatization. Begin the day by driving north through Callejon de Huaylas and Llanganuco valleys passing local communities. Enter the National Park and stop for photos at the lovely Llanganuco Lakes. Continue to Cebollapampa at 3900 meters, the starting point of the hike. The walk begins pleasant and easy for about an hour through a relatively flat valley with jaw-dropping views of Huascaran and the high peaks. Afterwards the trail becomes more difficult as you ascend the first rocky zig-zag path to a small lagoon. From there it is another hour climb up the second zig-zag trail, which is the most difficult. The effort is rewarded as you finally reach Lake 69 and are awestruck by the azure waters and towering mountains all around. Relax, enjoy lunch and soak in the views before beginning your descent back through the valley. (07:30 – 17:30, Box lunch included, Private activity, medium to difficult hike, 4600 meters altitude)
With your private guide and driver, make your way along a rough and rural track south of Huaraz eventually entering Huacaran National Park. Gradually ascend on this gentle hike through a verdant valley to Rajucolta Lake. Though reaching an altitude of 4250 meters, we recommend this activity as a great way to acclimatize before doing more strenuous hikes in the region. Following the mountain stream through flat pastures filled with cattle, take in the stunning panorama of ‘Raju,´ which in native Quechua means ice capped mountain. Enjoy lunch by the lake which is situated at the base of soaring Huantsan peak where an impressive glacier cascades into the water. (09:00 – 16:30, Box lunch included, Private activity, Easy to moderate hiking).
Dating back to 3000 B.C, the Chavin culture is considered to be the mother of all Peruvian cultures. On this full-day tour visit Chavin de Huantar, an impressive ceremonial complex constructed around 1200 BC and declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins consist of a flat-topped pyramidal main temple surrounded by lower platforms, a circular ceremonial court and an impressive net of internal galleries and labyrinths featuring intricate carving and the famous stone heads. From Huaraz the drive is long (108km) yet enjoyable as several stops are made to enjoy local villages, natural bridges and the beautiful Querococha Lake with views of the southern peaks. At 4500 meters, pass through the Cahuish tunnel (which is one of the world’s highest) before descending into the Callejon de Conchucos valley and arriving at the site of Chavin. Tour the ruins, explore the temples and galleries and admire the impressive carvings and stonework. After visiting the nearby museum, enjoy lunch and return to your hotel by the same route. After (08:00 – 17:00, Lunch included, Private Activity)
During the drive from Cordillera Blanca with your private guide, stop to visit the fascinating archaeological site Caral. Dating from 2600 BCE, Caral is considered to be the most ancient civilization in the Americas and was a thriving metropolis at the time the great pyramids in Egypt were being built. The complex is spread over 150 acres of the coastal Peruvian Desert. The ruins consist of pyramid-like mounds, temples, an amphitheater, large plaza, urban areas and homes. (private activity, visited as part of the drive from Cordillera Blanca to Lima)
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