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Huascarán National Park is in the Central Sierra region of Peru. It's inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It's one of the biggest mountain ranges in the world, the majority of its peaks measure around 6000 m above sea level (a.s.l.)


Puya Raimondi, a gigantic inflorescence, unique to Peru and Bolivia

The name Cordillera Blanca ("white range" in Spanish) in and of itself sounds imposing.

Located 100 km from the Pacific coast and measuring 180 km long, The Cordillera Blanca forms a natural barrier between the coast and the Amazon jungle. Every mountain top is more beautiful than the next, and many hiking trips can be arranged through the Cordillera’s grand mountain passes. The mountain roads were built centuries ago by the native people of the region.

The Cordillera Blanca, and its many beautiful places, is now accessible by various roads using 4x4 vehicles. Huaraz, at 3091 m.a.s.l., used to be a beautiful little town until the terrible earthquake of 1970. Though the village has been reconstructed, it is not quite as beautiful as it used to be. The National Park of Huascaran is close to Huaraz. Founded in 1975 the Park is a nature preserve for the amazing flora and fauna of the region. The surrounding landscapes are beyond beautiful, and the area is also well-known for its giant plants called Puyas de Raymondy, some of which measure more than 10 meters. Definitely worth seeing!


Portions of the park were first protected from logging and hunting in 1966. In 1975 the Peruvian government formally established the park at its current size of 340,000 hectares (840,000 acres). The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.


Located in the middle of the Andes, the landscape is mountainous. The park is named after its highlight, Huascarán, which at 6,768 m over the sea level is Peru's highest mountain. There are 663 glaciers in the national park.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Animals in the park include jaguars, cougars, tarucas (north Andean deers), vicuñas and tapirs. The most iconic plant of the park is the puya raimondii, which may grow to heights of over 10 m!


Rainy season lasts from December to March with frequent thunderstorms and temperatures ranging from 5 °C (41 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F). Dry season is from April to November with sunny days and cold nights. Expect temperatures between 2 °C (36 °F) and 24 °C (75 °F).

Get in[edit]

The towns of Huaraz and Caraz are located next to the park.

Fees and permits[edit]

Entry Fees (2023)
Duration Foreigner Peruvian National
1 Day S/30 S/12
2-3 Days S/60 S/30
4-30 Days S/150 S/75

Get around[edit]

Map of Huascarán National Park



  • 1 Laguna Parón. The largest lake in the Cordillera Blanca is 32 km east and 2,000 m (6,600 ft) above Caraz at an elevation of 4,200 m (13,800 ft). It is surrounded by snowcapped mountains including Artesonraju, rumored to be mountain depicted in the Paramount Pictures logo. Despite being located in the park, the park entry fee does not apply; instead, you pay S/5 (2019) to the local community. From Caraz, it is about a 2-hr drive to the lake. There are no collectivos going all the way, however, taxis can be hired for S/120 (2019) including the return trip and two hours at the lake. If you are in good shape you may try mountain biking or, for an easier time, hire a taxi one way (S/100 in 2019) and bike back. From Huaraz, all day tours with several stops cost S/50 (2019), not including food or entry to the lake. Lake Parón (Q3646208) on Wikidata Lake Parón on Wikipedia


  • 2 Laguna 69 (Lake 69). Laguna 69 is a blue alpine lake at an elevation of 4,600 m (15,100 ft). It is a popular day trip from Huaraz and can be done self-guided or through a tour company. The trail starts at Cebollapampa and ascends 750 m (2,460 ft) over 7 km (4.3 mi) to the lake. Most hikers reach the lake after 3 hours though it's possible to take longer if you aren't acclimatized. Tour from Huaraz': There are several companies offering tours for S/30-35 (2019). Most tours leave at 05:00 and return around 19:00 with several stops along the way. Not included in the price is park entry or food. Self-guided: There is a collectivo in the morning leaving from Yungay (S/15 in 2019), which is about 1½ hours from Huaraz. It's also possible to get a shared taxi from Yungay (S/40 in 2019). Laguna 69 (Q13190477) on Wikidata Lake 69 on Wikipedia
  • 3 Laguna Churup. Hike along a well-marked path to a lake above Huaraz. This moderately difficult hike ascends 500 m (1,600 ft) over 3 km (1.9 mi) to the lake. There are good views of Huaraz from the trail and views of Mt Churup from the lake. The final section involves scaling a 9-m rock wall using fixed ropes. Energetic hikers can continue along a short trail to the smaller Laguna Churupita. 3 h to the lake, 2 return. Take a 40-min collectivo to the trailhead at Pitec (S/10). Upon return, if you can't find a ride from Pitec, walk 40 min to Llupa; ensure you arrive before 15:00.
  • 4 Santa Cruz Trek. The Santa Cruz Trek is a challenging multi-day hike that climbs over a 4,750 m (15,580 ft) pass. Santa Cruz Trek (Q15101728) on Wikidata








Stay safe[edit]

Much of the park is located at very high altitudes. Take precautions when ascending to avoid altitude sickness.

Weather can be unpredictable, and snow or rain are possible throughout the year. Ensure you have waterproof layers and appropriate warm layers during cold weather.

Due to the high elevations, snow may be encountered year around. Wear sunglasses with UV protection to prevent snow blindness and practice snow safety when crossing terrain exposed to avalanche risk.

Go next[edit]

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