Huaraz is the hiker’s paradise in Peru. The city itself is nothing special, but that’s not why you come to Huaraz. You come for the outdoor life and the snow-capped peaks that tower high above the city. Huaraz is located in the middle of the Andes Mountains between the mountain ranges of Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra. This is where you can make the most beautiful treks in Peru. Whether you are an experienced hiker or have never climbed a mountain before, in Huaraz, there are treks for every level! Read all of our tips for Huaraz below.
How to get to Huaraz?
While most of Peru’s famous highlights are in the south, Huaraz is located a bit further north of the capital Lima. This means that it can be a bit of a journey, but fortunately, this also means that Huaraz is still being overlooked by mass tourism.
From Lima, you can take a bus to Huaraz which takes about 8 hours. You can choose to travel during the day, but there are also night buses. Check out all current departure times and reserve a spot on the bus in advance. The prices of the buses vary and largely depend on how far back your seat can recline. This can range from 140° to 180°. If you book a night bus, 160° or 180° is definitely recommended as it makes the journey much more comfortable.
Acclimatize before hiking
Huaraz is located at an altitude of around 3,100 meters (10,200 feet) and on most hikes, you will go even higher up to over 5,000 meters (16,400 feet). That is why it is wise to visit Huaraz at the end of your trip, when you have already been able to get used to the altitude. After a trip through the south, we flew from Cusco to Lima, spent a night there, and then took the bus to Huaraz. Don’t start with an 8-day trek right away but do some day hikes first so that you can acclimatize well. This is very important to avoid altitude sickness.
Day hikes & multi-day treks from Huaraz
The most popular multi-day trek is definitely the four-day Santa Cruz Trek. The landscapes during the hike are fantastic and will never get boring. Remote mountain villages, viewpoints, and blue lakes alternate and you walk about 7 hours per day on average. If you want something even more adventurous, you can also choose the Huayhuash Trek which takes between 8 and 11 days. Here you will walk all the way around the Cordillera Huayhuash mountain range. If all of that sounds too intense but you still want to experience the same beautiful landscapes, there are plenty of great day hikes to do around Huaraz! The Panorama hike to Laguna 69 is one of the most beautiful day hikes you can do in Peru. The hike to the viewpoint of Laguna Paron is a nice hike for your first day in Huaraz to get used to the altitude. Akilpo is one of the best organizations to arrange your trek.
Best time to visit Huaraz
Of course, it’s nice to have good weather during your trek. From May to September is the dry season and you have the most chance of a blue sky. The wettest months are January to March.
Best restaurants in Huaraz
If you feel like eating delicious Indian or Mexican food, Chilli Heaven is recommended. This restaurant is located on a cozy square and also has a small terrace. Our favorite restaurant for lunch and breakfast is Café California. In the back, you can also have a drink and relax on a couch while reading one of the many books.
Our favorite places to stay in Huaraz
If you plan to do a lot of hiking, Akilpo Home is a great accommodation choice. Akilpo is run by two brothers who know everything about the different treks. Of course, you can also arrange everything through them. Akilpo Home is a great place to rest before or after your hike because the beds are comfortable and the breakfast is delicious. Selina is a place where many travelers come together for a social atmosphere. Especially the suite and deluxe rooms are nicely decorated and there is a comfortable dorm for budget travelers. The only downside is that they often organize a cozy campfire evening on weekends. It’s super fun, but if you need to get up early for a hike, it can be noisy. So if you plan to go hiking early on weekends, it’s better to choose Akilpo Home.