Huaraz Region - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Huaraz Region

Huaraz Region

One of the most beautiful and rugged parts of Peru nestles in the Andean Highlands of the Huaraz region northeast of Lima, part of the Huascarán National Park that is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Trust site. This area is the climbing and hiking centre of Peru and the spectacular Callejón de Huaylas Valley is a magnet for thousands of travellers looking for beautiful mountain scenery, superb hiking opportunities, glacial lakes and quaint mountain villages and markets.

Wedged between the dramatic snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Blanca and the dry, dark Cordillera Negra range, the wide valley is split by the powerful Santa River. It is fringed by a group of picturesque little villages and towns that serve as starting points for hiking expeditions into the Andes. Situated among them is the town of Huaraz, a tourist hub and the primary base for exploring the area, which is surrounded by peaks of over 16,500 feet (5,000m). Towering above them all is Peru's highest mountain, Huascarán.

The valley gave rise to the ancient Chavín civilisation and the spectacular 1,500 year old ruins of the Chavín de Huántar temple can be visited just hours away from Huaraz, stunningly set among the majestic peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. The region also offers hot springs at Monterrey, immense glacial lakes like Lago Parón and spectacular lookout points from the narrow and twisting roads leading into the valley.

Information & Facts

Spanish and Quechua are the official languages, but many other dialects are spoken. English is spoken only in major tourist centres and hotels.

The official currency is Nuevo Sol (PEN) divided into 100 céntimos. Visa is the most widely accepted credit card, but all major international credit cards, including Diners Club and MasterCard, are accepted in many, but not all, establishments. Outside Lima facilities may be more limited. Travellers cheques may also be difficult to exchange in small towns and villages, and travellers are advised to have cash on hand. US Dollars are the easiest currency to exchange and plenty of restaurants, hotels and shops in the main cities accept dollars for payment. Casas de cambio(exchange bureaux) often give better rates than hotels and banks and can be found in any town on the tourist circuit. ATMs are available in the main cities.

Local time is GMT -5.

In the 15th century, Chan Chan was a huge city, the largest in pre-Colombian America. The capital of the Chimu Kingdom, the civilization fell to the Incas not long after. What remains of this vast adobe city outside of Trujillo is an archaeological site consisting of ten walled citadels. Chan Chan was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, and there are a number of tours to choose from.

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