Nestled in the Andean Highlands, the Huaraz region is one of the most rugged and beautiful parts of Peru. It lies within the Huascaran National Park, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Trust Site. The area is the climbing and hiking centre of the country. Added to that, the spectacular Callejón de Huaylas Valley is a magnet for travellers who enjoy glacial lakes, beautiful mountain scenery and superb hiking opportunities.
The wide valley is wedged between the dramatic snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, and the dry, dark Cordillera Negra Range, and is split by the powerful Santa River. Visitors will find a group of picturesque villages on its fringes, and they serve as starting points for hiking expeditions into the Andes. The town of Huaraz is the primary base for exploring the area. Peru's highest peak, Huascaran, towers above all of them.
Historically speaking, the valley gave rise to the ancient Chavin civilisation, and travellers can visit the spectacular ruins of the Chavin de Huantar temple. Set among the Cordillera Blanca's majestic peaks, they're just a few hours away from Huaraz. The remains of the ancient, UNESCO-listed adobe city of Chan Chan are also in the region.
Otherwise, Huaraz offers hot springs at Monterrey, immense glacial lakes like Lago Parón, and spectacular lookout points from the narrow and twisting roads leading into the valley.