Located in the department of Ancash, the Cordillera Blanca
is the world's highest tropical mountain range. It runs for
180 km from North-South and divides the western and eastern
watersheds of the Andes. Every year, the Cordillera Blanca
receives thousands of mountain climbers bent on climbing the
snow-capped peaks or hiking through the spectacular landscapes.
Almost the entire mountain chain is protected by the Huascarán
National Park, an area home to 663 glaciers, 269 lakes and
41 rivers, in addition to 33 archaeological sites.
The Cordillera Blanca is riddled with countless trekking
circuits. However, some of them have become world-famous:
the route of the Quebrada Santa Cruz gully is possibly the
most popular of all. The trek sets out from Cashapampa and
ends up in the gorge of Quebrada Llanganuco, at the edge of
the emerald-green waters of the Llanganuco lakes.
The hike takes four to six days. Other popular circuits include
the tour of Mount Alpamayo, a spectacular 12-day hike along
the mountaintops; the Quebrada de los Cedros, a trail that
gives visitors views of the mountains in the northern sector
of the Huascarán Park during a four-day hike; Llanganuco-Portachuelo,
a simple, day-and-a-half trek; and Quebrada Quilcayhuanca,
which is gently sloping and lasts for two-and-a-half days.
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Climate in the Cordillera Blanca:
Heavy rains from December to March and a well-defined dry
season, with sunny days and temperatures reaching 25°
C, while nights are cold.
Access to the Cordillera Blanca:
From the city of Huaraz, one can reach the towns of Carhuaz
(32 km / 30 minutes), Yungay (39 km / 40 minutes) and Caraz
(67 km / 50 minutes), all of them towns at the foot of the
Cordillera Blanca range.
towns provide a full range of services. In the area of the
Llanganuco lakes there is a campsite with some services.
Visitors should go warmly dressed; in the evening, the cold
is intense and the winds pick up.
Remember to read our "Recommendations"
for your trip to Peru, as well as other important issues in
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