History of Huaraz
The name Huaraz comes from “waraq”, a word in quechua which means sunrise. The origins of Huaraz go back to the Pre-Inca period, when the first human settlement took place close to the rivers Quilcay and Santa. It has been verified the human presence in the area of Callejón de Huaylas since 10.000 B. C., when the human beings were dedicated to harvest and hunting; this is testified by the Guitarrero cave in front of Mancos village. It was the chavín culture that was developed in this area during the Horizonte Temprano. Many years later, Spanish people founded the city as San Sebastián de Huaraz, in 1574 and Simón Bolívar called the city “noble and generous”, because of its support to the liberating army during the independence of Peru. It was also called the “capital of international friendship”, in recognition of its help to the victims of the earthquake of 1970 in Áncash; on the seism 20.000 people from Huaraz died and 95% of the city was reduced to ashes.
Huaraz is the capital of Áncash department and is considered the “Peruvian Switzerland” for being located on the surroundings of the snowy mountain of Cordillera Blanca. The development of Huaraz is based in the agriculture, trade and tourism, because in Huaraz is concentrated most of the tourist activity of the Sierra de Áncash.
Huaraz is located at an average altitude of 3050 meters and its minimum temperature is 41 °F (5 °C) and its maximum is 84 °F in August.
Huaraz has two seasons clearly defined. The weather is temperate and dry from May to September (what is called “Andean summer”), very pleasant in this period of the year, with sunny days and cold at night. However, the rainy season comes from October to April, and even if the sun shines on the morning it rains on the afternoon.
We recommend to bring light clothing for the journey and warm clothes for the nights. And of course if it’s the rainy season raincoat.
How to get around in Huaraz
In the city you can find the famous mototaxis (little taxis) and buses that can give us a ride on the surroundings. Inside the city the taxis are low-cost (about s/. 4) and fast. It’s a good way of getting around on the city; but you can also walk, if it’s not too late at night. Many companies offer the possibility of renting particular cars, but it’s definitely a more expensive option.
Risks and cautions in Huaraz
Huaraz is a city located in an altitude, that’s why it takes about a day to acclimatize and it’s highly recommended to rest upon arrival. You should take “mates de coca” and hydrate a lot with water. You should also eat light, soups for example. Avoid the heavy meals and fried foods.
Thefts are not very frequent, but it’s better to beware: if you arrive at night by bus, you may take a taxi.
Huaraz is a city located in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, and it´s a popular tourist destination for those looking for winter sports and adventure. In this region you´ll find the tallest mountain in Peru, Huascarán. Huaraz is world-famous for the different hikes offered and for the turquoise lakes like Laguna 69, for treks of 3, 4 or 5 days. Near the main plaza is the Museum of Ancash, in which you´ll find a massive park that is considered the parges in South America.
Getting to Huaraz
The Archaeological Museum of Ancash
Location: 762, Av. Luzuriaga, in front of the Plaza de Armas of Huaraz.
Hours: from 8:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Price: s/. 5 for adults, s/. 4 for retirees and students and s/. 1 for the children
The Regional Museum of Ancash contains the oldest collection of sculptures in South America, and you will also see mummies and other ancient artifacts. Worth a visit.
The Mirador de Rataquenua
Location: 45 minutes walking from the city center
Hours: the whole day
Price: s/. 00
You´ll love the spectacular panorama view. A must-see!
Wilcahuaín National Monument
Location: 5 miles (8 km) to the North of Huaraz
Hours: From 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Price: Adults s/. 4, students s/. 2
The Wilcahuaín National Monument is a well-preserved ruin from the 6th century, approximately. It is a copy of the Temple of Chavin in the Tiahuanaco style.
Trout fish farm
Location: Ask in hotel
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Price: 1 sol
Learn about the different stages of raising trout, from the egg to a full-grown adult trout. A fun and enriching activity that kids will love.
Hiking to the lakes
You can enjoy hikes of 2, 3 or more days trekking through the mountains and being surrounded by amazing landscapes. The most adventurous travelers can hike by themselves and camp in the mountains, while others take organized tours. Which one would you prefer?
An alternative to hotels is to stay with a family and get to know the inhabitants of Huaraz. You can help them with their daily tasks and to prepare meals in exchange for a place to spend the night. Find out more for yourself there!
Other sports tourism
Skiing is possible in the Cordillera Blanca by hiking from the base to the top, as there are no chairlifts. You can also go paragliding or parachuting if you bring your own materials, as well as rafting in the Santa River. If you like horses, there are also horseback rides available.
Typical dishes and drinks
It’s a delicious dish of guinea pig meat cooked crunchy and comes with potatoes and pepper sauce (spicy if you like it) and peanut.
Llunca Kashki with hen
It’s a soup of Ancash area, whose ingredients are groundes wheat, potatoes, vegetables and some aromatic herbs. Just delicious!!
It’s a roasted pig, cooked with pepper (ají), its sauce and vinegar in it.
Api (sweet) of pumpkin
Pumpkin peeled, cut in pieces, and boiled with cinnamon, clove and peels of orange; to obtain a better flavor you add burnt sugar. The sweet tooth will enjoy a lot this Andean dessert!!
Chicha de jora
It’s a alcoholic drink very consumed in Peru; it comes from the fermentation of sugar from the grape juice of the malt’s corn. Ask it very cold to eat with your delicious dishes.
Location: 530 Calle Lúcar y Torre
Hours: Everyday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Price: Average of s/. 25
Café Andino is modern and lit up, giving you the impression you´re in a New York art gallery. They have wifi available for their guests.
Location: 928, Av. Mariscal Toribio de Luzuriaga
Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (monday-saturday) and 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (sundays)
Price: From s/. 29
At El Fogón you will be able to taste a lot of barbecued meats, as chicken, trout, rabbit and "anticuchos." Definitely not for vegetarians.
La Nueva Estación
Location: 1045, Av. Luriaga
Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Price: An average of s/. 20
It’s an “anticuchería” with a very good environment, perfect to visit with friends.
Location: 485 Jirón Simón Bolívar
Hours: From Monday to Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
Price: An average of s/. 25
This cafe and pizza restaurant has been awarded by international and regional cooking competitions. They have a very recommended broaster chicken and succulent pizzas.
Location: 623, Jr. Mariano Melgar
Price: 10 soles per person and up
It’s a low cost, welcoming and familiar accomodation and a very quiet place. There are 7 spacious rooms, hot water, and all the touristic information you could need. They are specialized in adventure tourism!
Location: 633, Jr. Gabino Uribe
Price: from s/. 21 per person
Amelita Lodging offers a low-cost stay in a pleasant environment (the owner and the employees); all the rooms have a private bathroom, TV, free wifi, hot water 7/24 hours on the rooms. They have common areas as the kitchen, that guests can use.
La Casa de Zarela
Location: 1263, Jr. Julio Arguedas
Price: s/. 40 soles and up
The friendliness of Zarela´s is well-known, and its rooms are comfortable, large, with private bathrooms with hot water, and a kitchen.It’s located at 8 minutes form the Plaza de Armas. They have free wifi, a sunny terrace, a restaurant and a barbecue.
La Casa de Maruja B&B
Location: 146, Jr. Las Esmeraldas
Price: s/. 35 and up
This B&B accomodation has the breakfast included, with vegetarian option. The staff speaks English and can help you on contracting routes to make trekking and alpinism.
Andino Club Hotel
Location: 357 Jr. Pedro Cochachín
Price: s/. 185 soles and up
The Hotel Andino has Swiss management and is beyond impeccable. We recommend you to pick a room with a balcony and have dinner in the Peruvian/Swiss restaurant, a perfect spot to rest after a day in the mountains. There are a lot of activities to do in the same hotel and surroundings.
Hotel El Patio de Monterrey
Location: Carretera Huaraz - Monterrey km 06
Price: an average of s/. 274 for the double room
It’s a hotel with a regional decoration very inviting. There is reception 24 hours and they have many services as bar, wifi and private parking. It’s located at 3.7 mi (6 km) from the commercial area and the bus station.
Holy Week ("Semana Santa") in Huaraz
Date: Starting the Tuesday before Easter
During Holy Week in Huaraz you´ll be the victim of water fights, on Ash Wednesday there will be processions and lovely religious reenactments, with colorful outfits and accessories for the occasion.
El Señor de la Soledad
Date: Starts at the beginning of May and lasts 4 days
In Huaraz the week celebrating el Señor de la Soledad is a non-stop of processions, novenas and dancing. The 4 days celebration ends placing the Señor de la Soledad in his place, till the following year.
La Semana Andisimo
The Semana Andisimo is an event that attracts well-known mountaineers and fans of mountain-climbing for contests and exhibits about hiking. There will be activities as aerothlon, climbing, trail running, mountain cinema and guitar.
Have a Drink
Los 13 Buhos
Location: Parque Ginebra
Hours: 5:00 p.m. until late at night
Los 13 Buhos is a calm bar where you can start your night listening to good music. They also serve food. The decor of the bar is very appropriate for the location - everything is mountaineering-themed. We reccomend you to taste the handmade beer.
Vagamundo Travel Bar
Location: 753 Calle Morales
Hours: From 10:00 a.m. until late
The Vagamundo Travel Bar is a great bar for backpackers, offering a relaxed atmosphere, with beer, football, music, a patio, and many travellers to get to know.
El Tambo Bar
Location: 776 Jr. José de la Mar
Hours: 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. monday to saturday
El Tambo Bar is popular among tourists and Peruvians alike, and the music is diverse but the tecno-cumbia is especially popular, there is no cover charge but drinks can be pricey.
Location: Calle Luzuriaga 1036
Entrance fee: 5 soles
The Huaraz Satyrican theater is small but cozy, where you can buy popcorn, as well as other food and drink you want to enjoy during your movie. The movies are foreign and Peruvian subtitled in English, it´s worth a try if you´re looking for a low-key evening.
Location: 565 Jr. Simón Bolívar
Horario: 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Tuesday to Sunday
At this disco we will find night party and enjoyment for sure.