Machu Picchu Travel

Top Things to Do in Huaraz

Top Things to Do in Huaraz

When visiting Peru, there’s a destination you can not overlook. It's a stunning place that blends adventure, nature, and snow-capped mountains and lagoons. They have the bluest water you've ever seen. 

We are talking about Huaraz, commonly known as “ The Switzerland of Peru” or Peru’s hiking capital”. Huaraz offers many activities. You can discover the city's beauties or explore its surroundings!

Why you Should Visit here

Huaraz is a city surrounded by mountains. It sits at 3,052 meters above sea level in the Peruvian Andes. The city is between two mountain ranges. They are La Cordillera Blanca and La Cordillera Negra (White and Black Ranges).

Each part of this great city has its mix of attractions. They have stunning views, great food, and amazing architecture. They all guarantee an unforgettable experience. Huaraz has natural features. Besides, it has tourism and cultural attractions that will make your visit better. 

If you have time in your itinerary, we recommend seeing at least some of these places. The culture and clothing of the Huaraz people are part of it. So are their compassion, sincerity, and simplicity. 

These things make the location's atmosphere unique and extraordinary. In the following top things to do in Huaraz, we’ll give you details to enjoy your stay in this beautiful city.

Exploring the City

Among other Peruvian cities, each has a large plaza that serves as a public gathering space for most of the community. So, visiting Huaraz's Plaza de Armas is a good place to start your Huaraz adventure.

 This plaza is encircled by important places. They include the Cathedral and the San Sebastian Sanctuary. Also, the Ministry of Culture and the Huaraz Municipality.

For those who may not know, Huaraz was hit by an earthquake in 1970. It wrecked the whole city and killed about 10,000 people. The main square was eventually reconstructed to the same standards as the one lost in the disaster.

After wandering around the Plaza de Armas, another option is El Mirador de Rataquenua, a natural viewpoint 15 minutes from the City. We recommend visiting this place with a guide or in groups. Do this during the day since there’s poor light on the road.

At the viewpoint, there is a big crucifix and a graffiti-covered building. You should continue the road until you reach a forest of eucalyptus. That is where Rataquenua's cliffs begin. From here, you may continue trekking for approximately an hour until you reach on the right a wall of rocks.

In case you want to visit some ruins, you can make the trail to Wilcawain ruins, located 8 km from the City of Huaraz. It’s a nice walk to immerse into Huaraz and Peru's cultural past, but remember to bring sunscreen and a hat.

An ancient religious center you must visit when in Huaraz is El Señor de la Soledad Temple. This church was one of the buildings damaged by the earthquake in 1970. The temple has a shrine to Señor de la Soledad. This statue is made of mahogany wood and decorated with 24k gold leaf. 

The chapel has a real architectural style. It has art that will leave you speechless. Every May, the statue of El Señor de la Soledad (the Lord of Solitude) is venerated and carried through the streets of Huaraz.

Continue exploring the city. Another must-see spot is a pretty street filled with history, Jose Olaya Street. As before mentioned, an earthquake hit Huaraz in 1970. 

It destroyed almost all the city's structures. However, Jose Olaya Street is the last remnant of the city before the earthquake.

If you have free time, visit this historic street. See what Huaraz was like before the earthquake. A good idea would be to try the famous “Raspadilla” as you walk by this street. The Raspadilla (shaved ice) is famous around Huaraz and is your best option to stay fresh on a hot day in the Andes.

Also, if you visit on Sunday, you will find traditions everywhere at this historical site. They open a local market in the morning. It provides a unique chance for those seeking the perfect souvenir!

After a long day exploring Huaraz City, your tired body will welcome a visit to Monterrey Hot Springs. The springs are a few kilometers outside the city.

These thermal baths have mineral-rich water. It includes iron, sulfate, zinc, and chlorine. These elements help heal sore muscles, broken bones, and many rheumatic conditions.

Exploring the Surroundings

You may start at the Chavin de Huantar Archaeological Site. This ceremonial center lies in the highlands of Ancash, a valley two hours from Huaraz.

The Chavín people built the Chavín de Huantar ruins. The Chavín civilization thrived from 1500 to 300 BC.

Many scholars believe that this pre-Inca civilization gave rise to various Andean civilizations. The site at Huaraz was their government and religion center. Must understand the growth of Peruvian mountain communities.

If you plan to do this on your own, remember that you must arrange for a licensed taxi for the round trip. This is because transport is restricted in the area.

Another site is Cerro Sechin,  a notable archeological site in Casma province that reveals the historical past of the Sechin culture. The renowned Peruvian archaeologist Julio César Tello discovered this site in 1937. 

Its striking exterior is decorated with monoliths carved with pictures of human sacrifice. It evokes an intriguing and enigmatic past that interests both visitors and academics.

If you enjoy hiking and nature and seeing amazing sights, you must journey to Laguna 69. We highly recommend this experience for anyone visiting Peru.

Laguna 69 is one of the most distinctive lagoons in Huascaran National Park, out of 400 overall. Every year, hundreds of tourists visit this lagoon. They come for its easy access and the ability to visit in a day.

If you decide to make the journey to Laguna 69, expect to be in one of the most gorgeous places you've ever been. UNESCO considers the park a biosphere reserve. 

The Pastoruri Glacier, located on the northern slope of Pastoruri Mountain, is one of the primary attractions on the site. But, the road to the glacier was blocked from 2007 to 2011 owing to the effects of climate change in the region. Sadly, global warming has greatly hurt Nevado Pastoruri. It has forced most of the Cordillera Blanca's glaciers and snow-capped peaks to melt.

The imposing peak is 5,240 meters above sea level. However, as before said, the struggle is not related to how you get there, but to the height itself. If you love adventure and beautiful landscapes, this is the place where you should go. This is another day hike you should include on your schedule.

Laguna de Llanganuco is made up of two bodies of water surrounded by tall mountains. While you're here, you can learn all there is to know about it, including how to get there. Huaraz is recognized as Peru's trekking capital. Huaraz contains the Cordillera Blanca, the country's longest tropical snow-capped mountain range. 

The range has 17 peaks above 6,000 meters, over 500 lakes, and 722 glaciers. Huaraz has many exciting things to do. Some, like Laguna 69 and Laguna de Llanganuco, may have been ignored. you will be amazed by the stunning sight.

Laguna Churup sits at about 4450 meters above sea level. Some people see it as practice for Laguna 69. The trip to Laguna Churup is short (around three kilometers), but it is completely uphill. Despite the effort you’ll make by making this trek, you’ll find out why is it worth it.

Laguna Paron is a lovely largest freshwater lagoon in the Cordillera Blanca and all of Ancash. It spans 1,408,489 m2, is located 32 kilometers from Huaraz, and is 4,185 meters above sea level. The finest part of this trip is that it just takes 45 minutes to trek to the lake. Yet, altitude is important. Be fully acclimatized before any hard trip in this region, including this one.

The Huascarán National Park houses 27 mountains that are over 6,000 meters tall. The highest peak in Peru is 6,768 meters. As a result, this national park is recognized as the world's tallest tropical mountain range.

The park offers the best trekking options, ranging from moderate to demanding. If you're up for the challenge, you should be ready to handle the hard activities. You'll also need to cope with the altitude. Organizing a trip to Huaraz becomes effortless when you work with an expert. One of the best tourist attractions you may find in Huaraz and Peru.

Discover our trip packages. Let us help you plan the holiday you've always wanted. Travel with Viagens Machu Picchu and experience the finest of Peru. Huaraz awaits you impatiently!