Hiking in Huaraz

image_16888321.JPG

The Himalayas and Andes are the international hiking meccas. Mountaineers, climbing lovers, and avid travelers will go halfway across the world to hike or reach some of the peaks located in these famous mountain chains.

Set just a little above 3,000m in altitude (3,052masl to be exact), Huaraz is the capital of the Ancash region. Here, the Huascarán is Peru’s tallest mountain and the Andes’ fourth highest, with a peak at 6,768 meters above sea level. The region and national parks here boast. Enjoy the region’s breathtaking sceneries filled with snow-capped mountains, over 300 hidden turquoise lagoons, and thousand-starred skies: an outdoor lover’s dream destination.

Whether you are an amateur or professional, there are some basics you need to cover before heading out to these altitudes and to places where cell phones have no access and when the closest village is quite a ride away. During our last trip to the mountains, we took a 5-day wilderness rescue course that is an important step to make sure you prevent and follow some basic safety recommendations. I would recommend anyone to take one of these types of courses (first aid, CPR, Red Cross, Wilderness, etc) even for your general knowledge and safety.  In addition, they will help you know how to prevent certain situations; a key step in your preparation. Bringing a first aid kit that is efficient and having the necessary medications will make your experience more pleasant and safe.

Although the city of Huaraz has nothing to rave about, it is only the starting point for your Andean adventures. Spend a day here to get your activities organized and to acclimatize.

These are my recommendations if you are in the area:

  1. Stay in a lodge outside the city: there is an increasing amount of lodges scattered around the mountains where you can immerse completely in nature. In addition, they are strategically located so that you can go on day hikes in the area. Some recommendations if you are: The Lazy Dog Inn and Churup and Llanganuco Mountain Lodges.

  2. Take a several days trek: there are many options you can take. One of the most beautiful hikes in the world is called Huayhuash. It includes 10 days of camping and hiking around the area’s most stunning landscapes. Other trekking options include the Santa Cruz Trek or Pisco Mountain.

  3. Hike to the top of a mountain. Get your crampons, breath, and legs ready for a challenge. There are many peaks you can reach in the area like: Ishinca, Urus, Pisco, Vallunaraju and many, many more.

Part of being healthy is going outside, challenging your comfort zone, pushing your limits, and doing it all with a smile. Going to the mountains is not necessarily about getting as high as possible, it is about what you learn along the way. The important thing to remember here is to give it all you’ve got. Of course, the bonus is making it to the top.

Read more about your preparation for these kinds of expeditions as well as tips for hiking or breathing in altitude.