The 10 Best Things to Do in Ancash Region, Peru

December 24, 2017 Myesha Cogley

Discover the best top things to do in Ancash Region, Peru including Laguna 69, Lake Paron, Mount Huascaran, Laguna Llanganuco, Lake Churup, Lake Llanganuco, Pastoruri Glacier, Archaeological Site of Chavin, Lake 69, Cordillera Huayhuash with Los Amigos de Huayhuash.
Restaurants in Ancash Region

1. Laguna 69

Parque Nacional Huascaran, Huascaran National Park, Peru
Excellent
87%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 459 reviews

Laguna 69

Reviewed By rapha_y_nici - Canton of Zurich, Switzerland

This seems to be the most famous on day hike around Huaraz and it's worth it to get a feeling for the altitude (nice landscapes as well). On top you can try to swim in the lagoon :-). This day trip was a good and cheap option for acclimatization. The price of about 30-35soles is for the transportation. Transport one way takes about 3 hours. In the morning you do a stop for breakfast after about 2 hours. You get picket up at the hostel at approx 5am.
For the hike up it takes about 2-3 hours. The altitude is no to underestimate but at a slow pace it's possible for almost everyone. There are two steeper sections which are a bit challenging but it's doable!
They say you should start the descent at approx 1pm to be back at the bus at around 3pm. Our bus could leave a bit later than 3pm what seems to be normal. At around 6 your back in Huaraz.
Definitely recommended to do it, nice lagoon and landscapes, convenient and cheap. Nice experience, also to see how you feel on this altitude.

2. Lake Paron

Huascaran National Park | Cordillera Blanca, Caraz, Peru +51 944 984 637
Excellent
85%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 126 reviews

Lake Paron

Reviewed By alaskantravelnut - Anchorage

This is a really beautiful location. Turquoise Lake surrounded by high mountain scenery. Great, flat walk align the south side. Well worth the 1 and 1/2 dirt road ride from Caraz. We hired a private taxi for 100 soles, roundtrip including two hours of waiting. Have lived in Alaska for 40 years. Have seen a lot of beautiful lakes. This one is up there. Don't miss.

3. Mount Huascaran

Huascaran National Park, Peru +51 943 512 603
Excellent
80%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 643 reviews

Mount Huascaran

Reviewed By cmbtraveller - Vancouver, Canada

We were fortunate that a friend has a good friend in Huaraz who is an expert on the local Mountains. He took us up this god-awful dirt road to the mountaineering school that is just inside the park near glacier fronting the three Mountains (Vallunaraju, Ocshapalca and Rima Rima. We did a bit of a walk around the lake but the real treats were the views of the glaciers, the wildflowers, general vegetation, rock formations, multiple water falls and precious little brooks running hither and yon. If you go take a walk up the narrow valley to the left of the lake. It's just such a treat!

4. Laguna Llanganuco

A 84 kms de Huaraz - Yungay | Huascaran National Park, Huaraz, Peru
Excellent
75%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 289 reviews

Laguna Llanganuco

Reviewed By Rachel J - Toddington, United Kingdom

The hike up to this magnificent turquoise lake is not easy due to the altitude but with determination the view and serenity is just reward. I spent 4 days on the Santa Cruz trek that took in this lake and the base of the Alpamayo mountain peak.
Loved the whole experience - outdoors, clear skies, extremes of temperature - makes you feel alive and appreciate the simple things in life.
#just me #loveperu

5. Lake Churup

Huascaran National Park, Peru
Excellent
70%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 245 reviews

Lake Churup

Reviewed By Chris C - Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Its a great hike about 3km long which easily takes about 3hrs one way. Its absolutely worth it as the views along the way are stunning. You catch a rather expensive (S./10 one way) minibus from Huaraz to Pitek and start the hike from there. Remember to bring S./10 for park entry!

6. Lake Llanganuco

Huascaran National Park, Peru
Excellent
71%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 189 reviews

Lake Llanganuco

Reviewed By WPLandry - Fairfax, Virginia

This is truly the most spectacular lake I have ever seen. The water simply sparkles with a gorgeous turquoise blue. The hike is relatively easy as some portions can be taken along the stretch of paved road. We packed a lunch and enjoyed eating near the lake. It was very peaceful and relaxing. I highly recommend it. This lake alone is worth a trip to the region.

7. Pastoruri Glacier

Huascaran National Park, Peru
Excellent
61%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 175 reviews

Pastoruri Glacier

Reviewed By J338CGrobertov - Lima, Peru

This is a remote place, but it is easy to get there by car. In fact, if you travel from Lima to Huaraz is recommendable to depart very early in the morning and you will arrive there around 11 o'clock.The trail from the road crosses large plains surrounded by Mountains and the views are amazing. You will arrive to the base of the Glacier, and then you can walk about 1 hour to reach the base and see by yourself the effects of climate change. After two hours, you can continue your trip to Huaraz and spend two days visiting another nice places, like Llanganuco lakes, Huascarán National park, "lake 69" or Paron's lake .

8. Archaeological Site of Chavin

Chavin de Huantar, Peru
Excellent
54%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 319 reviews

Archaeological Site of Chavin

Once a place of worship, these ruins have been traced to one of the earliest known Andean cultures.

Reviewed By cZarCalderon - Lima

My family and I arrived at 4pm, from Huaraz in our car. Great view and a very good roadway. After the tunnel you must drive carefully. Try to leave the site before 4pm or 5pm, because a lot of fog before crossing the tunnel, terrible to drive at night.
The SITE, is unbeliveble and should be visited with a tour guide.

9. Lake 69

Huascaran, National Park, Cordillera Blanca, Yungay, Peru +51 943 202 123
Excellent
96%
Good
3%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 52 reviews

Lake 69

Reviewed By Barry F - Santa Fe, New Mexico

The entire hike is spectacular, at first gradually ascending a valley with spectacular Waterfalls, then climing a high headwall to an upper valley before the final ascent to the lake. The hike starts at around 13,000 feet and end at around 15,000, so you need to be in shape. I am 66 years old and like to hike, so I had no problem, although I was slow as we got higher. We saw a few people who did not make it all the way up, but most people had no problem. This is a very popular hike in the area, and it takes aout 3 hours to drive there from Huaraz. We had a private guide, which you don't need, but if you take the 5 AM bus from Huaraz, you have to wait until everyone gets down before the bus leaves to go back.

10. Cordillera Huayhuash with Los Amigos de Huayhuash

Peru
Excellent
92%
Good
2%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 73 reviews

Cordillera Huayhuash with Los Amigos de Huayhuash

Reviewed By ThoughtfulCriticAZ - Tucson, Arizona

When a company has a top-notch Trip Advisor rating, and a lot of reviews -- there's usually a good reason...and that is definitely the case with Los Amigos de Huayhuash (LAdH), a trekking service in the Cordillera Huayhuash owned by the Valdez family, whose roots have been firmly planted in the region for generations.
From the initial contact via email with Anamin Valdez to the trek itself, and even afterwards, everything you need will be provided. Anamin is LAdH's "secret weapon": she is a dynamic and charming young woman, with excellent English skills and even better problem-solving abilities! If you need it, Anamin will find a way. A professional accountant in her "other" job, Anamin brings her get-it-done energy to task -- she meets you when you arrive in Huaraz, helps you find the right accommodations, arranges your acclimatization hike for you, takes you shopping for food for the trek, and sends you off on the bus when it's all over. She is your "fixer" for the duration (she even arranged same-day laundry service for us in Huaraz after the trek, delivered to our hotel).
Los Amigos de Huayhuash's trek prices are about average for the area -- but the extra services I've described add enormous value, and should be carefully considered when choosing who to hire. The "ease" factor of having your own "fixer" really sets LAdH apart from other, cheaper agencies.
Los Amigos de Huayhuash's business is growing -- and with good reason. Because they do their job really well, word has spread, and they have more and more bookings all the time. This is a "good problem" to have, but it means that not every trip can be led by Adolfo (the brother-guide who is fluent in English). When we reserved, both Adolfo and Abner (Spanish-speaking brother-guide) were already booked for that time period. Anamin was able to find us a fully-qualified English-speaking mountain guide, Ronal, whose professionalism matched that of Los Amigos de Huayhuash. I highly recommend Ronal, but he can be quite busy (he also guides for technical climbs), and may not be available. I also have no doubt that, as the business continues to grow, Anamin and the rest of the Valdez family will continue to develop contacts with more English-speaking guides who are well-suited to the clients of LAdH.
We booked a 10-day "private" hike (just my husband & me), and we set off with our guide, Ronal, our Arriero, Alec (a Valdez brother), five burros, and Tipi, an "emergency horse" who serves as an ambulance, if needed (he wasn't, thankfully). While we weren't very lucky with the weather (the dry season was MIA in May of 2017 -- climate change?), some clouds and rain did not dampen the spirits of our group very much, and even in iffy weather, the Cordillera Huayhuash is one of the most spectacular mountain ranges you'll ever see -- rivaling Nepal in beauty.
If I were to do it again, I would make one change -- I would add a "cocinero" or "cocinero asistente" (a cook, or at least an assistant cook) to the team. Although this would add a small amount to the overall cost, it would allow more time for the guide to be a full-time "guide", and not have so many other duties, like cooking, cleaning up, and helping to load the burros, especially on the longer treks. I hope LAdH will start to encourage this addition, and I would advise others who are considering one of the longer treks to ask for this extra service.
Despite not having an assistant to help with cooking, our guide Ronal turned out wonderful, delicious, and plentiful meals, of surprising complexity. His causa picante was the best causa I had in my whole month in Peru! One afternoon at camp, we were greeted with crispy fried cheese wontons (!), the perfect salty snack after a long day of hiking. Dinners always began with hot soup made from scratch, which gave us added protein and ensured that we were well-hydrated through the night.
If the weather had been more "normal", we would have had more relaxed picnic lunches on the trail (some were quite elaborate, like chicken fillets with three types of fresh veggies and potatoes, served on a tablecloth at the top of a spectacular 5,000m pass!), but unfortunately, in our case, some of these were cut short by the threatening clouds. Your trip will probably have better weather...
As far as the actual hiking goes, you will enjoy the experience more if you are in decent shape, but the pace of the hiking can be adjusted to suit a wide variety of fitness levels. The Huayhuash Circuit is at high altitude (most of your time is spent between 4,000m and 5,000m), so proper acclimatization is absolutely necessary.
The Huayhuash is catching on as a destination, and you'll find more trekkers than there used to be, but it is still largely unspoiled and uncrowded.
Many thanks to Los Amigos de Huayhuash for a truly memorable trip!

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