One of the best regions in South America for mountain climbing, Ancash is another lesser-known gem of Peru that you ought to know about ahead of the return of international travel.
The region of Ancash has a bit of everything. Just north of Peru’s capital city, Lima, Ancash sits on the Pacific coast, where it boasts pristine white sand beaches and turquoise surf.
But the region is perhaps best known for its extraordinary connection to the Andes. According to the Peruvian tourism authority, Promperu, the peaks of this region peaks are dominated by Mount Huascarán and seem to want to touch the sky.
It’s for this reason, Promeru says, that Ancash is considered one of the best places on the continent for climbing.
Moving west, the region has high plateaus, before becoming mountainous. The capital city of Huaraz rests in a valley between two spectacular mountain ranges: Cordillera Blanca to the east, and Cordillera Negra to the west.
Ancash is one of the areas with the greatest biological and cultural diversity of the entire country. Visitors can also practice mountain biking, skiing, climbing, adventure walks, and cultural tourism.
These latter experiences allow visitors to connect with local communities to learn about the fascinating origin of millenary Peruvian cultures, including the ancient Chavín civilisation.
Huascaran National Park, in the region of Ancash, was created in 1975 and declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977. In 1985, it was also included on the UNESCO Natural Heritage of Humanity list.
The park stretches over some 340,000 hectares and holds 660 glaciers and 300 lagoons formed by glaciers. It also boasts powerful rivers thanks to snowy peaks that feed the Santa, Marañón and Pativilca river basins.
Moreover, it is home to the highest peak in Peru, the Huascaran, at 6,768 metres above sea level.
There are also numerous other peaks measuring more than 5,000 above sea level, attracting mountain climbers from all over the world who come in search of their summits and trekking paths.
Close to 25 walking trails, 102 climbing paths with different levels of difficulty and 33 archaeological sites can be found within Huascaran National Park.
Alongside these is the Qhapaq Ñan or Inca Trail, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, and runs through the national park. The unspoiled natural landscape of the park also supports thriving ecosystems that are brimming with life.
Furthermore, according to Promperu, local communities living in this area are very proud of their ancient traditions and customs and love to share them with visitors, which the tourism authority said is something that definitely enriches the visitor experience.
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Or, if you have any questions about the destination, contact Peru’s Trade Commissioner for Australia and New Zealand, Mario Vargas, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image source: iStock/Agata Fetschenko