- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
Parque Nacional Huascarán
Parque Nacional Huascarán Review
Laguna Llanganuco is one of the gateways to the Parque Nacional Huascarán, a 340,000-hectare park created in 1975 to protect and preserve flora and fauna in the Cordillera Blanca. This incredible mountain range has a total of 663 glaciers and includes some of the highest peaks in the Peruvian Andes. Huascarán, which soars to 6,768 meters (21,996 feet), is the highest in Peru. The smaller Alpamayo, 5,947 meters (19,327 feet), is said by many to be the most beautiful mountain in the world. Its majestic flanks inspire awe and wonder in those lucky enough to get a glimpse. The monstrous Chopicalqui and Chacraraju rise above 6,000 meters (19,500 feet).
Within the park's boundaries you'll find more than 750 plant types. There's a tragic scarcity of wildlife in the park—most have been decimated by hunting and the loss of natural habitats. Among the 12 species of birds and 10 species of mammals in the park, you're most likely to see wild ducks and condors. With a great deal of time and an equal amount of luck you may also see foxes, deer, pumas, and viscachas.
The giant national park attracts campers, hikers, and mountain climbers. Myriad treks weave through the region, varying from fairly easy 1-day hikes to 20-day marathons. Within the park, you can head out on the popular Llanganuco–Santa Cruz Loop, a three- to five-day trek through mountain valleys, past crystalline lakes, and over a 4,750-meter-high (15,437-foot-high) pass. Other popular hikes include the one-day Lake Churup Trek, the two-day Quilcayhuanca–Cayesh trek, and the two-day Ishinca Trek. Check with guide agencies in Huaraz for maps, trail information, and insider advice before heading out.
Although experienced hikers who know how to survive in harsh mountain conditions may want to head out on their own, it's much safer to arrange for a guide in Huaraz. You can opt to have donkeys or llamas carry the heavy stuff, leaving you with just a daypack. The most common ailments on these treks are sore feet and altitude sickness. Wear comfortable hiking shoes that have already been broken in, and take the proper precautions to avoid altitude sickness (drink lots of water, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, and allow yourself time to acclimatize before you head out). The best time to go trekking is during the dry season, which runs May through September. July and August are the driest months, though dry season doesn't mean a lack of rain or even snow, so dress appropriately.
Some hikers decide to enter the park at night to avoid paying the hefty S/65 for a multiday pass (from 2 to 30 days). The money from these fees goes to protect the wonders of the Andes; consider this before you slip in during the dead of night. (Nighttime safety is a concern, too.) You can purchase a pass at the Huaraz office of Parque Nacional Huascarán, at the corner of Rosas and Federico Sal, as well as at Llanganuco. Be sure to carry a copy of your passport with you.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
The last leg of an eight month rtw which started in Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Germany and Austria...details about our other legs are at www.greenleycoffeebreak.com.
We flew from Munich, Read more
This is a continuation of my report on the Argentina forum, Salta.
Below is a cut and paste from my blog, edited with details of costs and names of hotels for people who may be interested.
Its a long Read more
My boyfriend and I (early 30's) are planning a 6 month plus tour of South America and have some questions about Peru that we hope forum members will be able to hep us with.
Basically we want to experience Read more
· News & Features
Premium economy is the budding class of the airline world, but deciding on a carrier (and whether it’s... Read more
San Juan's balmy temperatures, gorgeous beaches, and charming, historic buildings make it the perfec... Read more
Keep an open mind and a flexible schedule on your next getaway.... Read more