The Peruvian mountain town of Huaraz is AWESOME. Settled in a valley amidst the Cordillera Blanca- some of the tallest mountains on earth- Huaraz is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. Hiking, trekking, mountain biking, rafting, camping, kayaking- there really is no end to the possibilities in Huaraz. Spend a few days roughing it, tramping through some of the most spectacular scenery in all of South America, and then treat yourself to a warm, comfy bed and a delicious meal at any number of hotels and restaurants back in town. For those of us here at BackpackU, this IS life in the Andes. This IS South America...

Getting There

Most travelers get to Huaraz by bus, usually connecting through the coastal town of Chimbote. There are overnight buses from Lima and Trujillo. The trip up into the mountains is STUNNING...

Heading up into the Andes near Hauraz

Things to do in Huaraz

  • Hit the singletrack- Huaraz is renowned for having some of the best singletrack mountain biking in all of South America. Ask around for recommendations, talk to a few operators, and find a trip that fits your skill level and budget. Even if you’ve NEVER mountain biked before, Huaraz is THE place to have your first go...

Mountain biking in Huaraz

  • Laguna 69 Trek- Possibly the most spectacular single-day trek in South America, the Laguna 69 trek is not to be missed. Mild-to-moderate in difficulty, it is a spectacular, stunning trek through the Cordillera Blanca. MUST DO.

Laguna 69 is INCREDIBLE...

  • Rough it for a few days- Huaraz has countless multi-day hiking options, including the famous Santa Cruz trek (4 days). Hire a guide in town, or make arrangements to do it on your own- either way, the trekking around Huaraz has some of the best scenery in all of South America.
  • Hang out in town- Huaraz is packed with great restaurants, quiet cafes, and happening pubs to help you to reconnect with society after a few days on the trail. Grab a coffee or take a seat at the bar, and watch the world go by.

Hanging out in Hauraz

  • If you’re into rock climbing, there are innumerable opportunities around Huaraz. Talk to local operators to find something that fits your skill level.

Insider Tips

  • Shop around a bit when planning activities in Huaraz. Every operator offers basically the same trips, and prices will vary from shop to shop. It’s usually more expensive to book directly through your hostel, though sometimes the convenience is worth the extra cost.
  • Chicken on the CHEAP- there are COUNTLESS ‘Pollerias’ in Huaraz- little shops that serve up roasted chicken with salad, chips, and rice. Wander down a few alleys off of the main streets to find some of the best food in town for ridiculously low prices.

The Cordillera Blanca

  • There is a respectable night market that springs up around the main square of Huaraz as the sun goes down. Local indigenous women sell all types of hats, scarves, jackets, and sweaters. It’s a great place to grab some warm gear before heading out on the trail for a few chilly nights in the mountains.
  • To get even more ‘off-the-grid’, check out the Cordillera Huayhuash- another stand of massive mountains that is even more remote and untouched than the Cordillera Blanca. Catch a bus to Llamac (4 hours) from Huaraz.

Sunset over Huaraz