Caraz is a pretty little town in Peru.
Until now, it's one of the few places that has not been destroyed by earthquakes. With an elevation of 2270 m, near to the Cordillera Blanca and the famous Santa Cruz trek, it's an ideal location for preparing an multiday trek or doing some day hikes.
There are frequent combis to and from Huaraz leaving at the terminal terrestre
Caraz is a small town. Getting around is basically done by foot. The only public transportation is a taxi or mototaxi.
Caraz is well preserved from earthquakes, and offers an amazing glimpse of a rich colonial past, with its houses plenty of balconies, red tailed roofs, narrow streets and colourful plazas. The Plaza de Armas has a brass water fountain built on 1891, and a Musical Pavilion (called Glorieta) dating from 1927.
- Santa Cruz Trek: This is the most famous and most spectacular trek in the Cordillera Blanca. There are killer views to a lot of giant mountains. You have to take a Collectivo taxi to the starting point at Cashapampa (US$1,50-3, 1h). The trek can be done in 4 or 5 days. For orientation its best to use the map of the Alpenverein of the Cordillera Blanca area. The hike should be done with mule unless you are in good shape or have a light pack and rent a tent and sleeping bag.
- Laguna Paron: This is a bright blue lake at a distance of 30 km east of Caraz. It is surrounded by snowcapped mountains. You can reach the lake either by taxi or try to ride there by mountain bike. But be aware that the lake is located at an altitude of 4200m. Going up by taxi and going downhill with the mountain bike is a third possibility.
- Pony Expeditions, ☎ . Good source for trekking information. It also rents equipment for a trek or bicycles. It´s also possible to arrange flights, excursions or multiday treks.
- Polleria Jeny: Here you get chicken at very reasonable prices.
- Café La Terraza: Just near the main square, this café serves good coffee, home made ice creams, pizzas, and offers a hearty menu del día.
Hostal la Alameda (US$ 17): Its a pretty hostal, run by some elderly women who will mother you. The hostal has a nice garden to hang around or to relax after a exhausting trek.
- Grand Hostal Caraz Dulzura. A family run hotel with ensuite rooms set around an attractive courtyard. Peaceful, relaxing, and a good breakfast is included. US$ 16.