Ancash region is located in northern Peru offering a spectacular view of mountain ranges, rivers and valleys. It is the best place in Peru to experience hiking and trekking.
There are two great mountain ranges in the region; Cordillera Negra (Black Mountain Range) on the west and Cordillera Blanca (White Mountain Range) on the east. Between these two ranges, runs a perennial river called as Santa River or Rio Santa through the valley known as Callejón de Huaylas.
The capital city of Huaraz at an altitude of 3,090 meters situated at approximately 400 km from Lima is the entry point to the step onto the great mountain ranges of the Andes. The city is well-connected by bus and air. Huascarán National Park, located at around 40 km away from the capital city, is the ultimate destination for mountaineers. Savor the greatest peaks of Cordillera Blanca there including Huascarán, the highest mountain in Peru with a height of 6,768 meters.
Many ancient civilizations in Peru, originated in this region. The most popular archaeological site in Ancash is Chavin de Huántar. Constructed around 900 B.C, it enjoys the tag of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chavín de Huántar was an important religious center in Chavín culture and has many sites like its huge central square with underground water-carrying pipes that reflect its architectural marvel during that period. Visitors get to climb steep stairways, enter narrow tunnels and value its remaining statues.
Ancash is a great place to relish and experience local community life in the Andes mountain villages. One such community near Huaraz is Humacchuco. As a part of sustainable tourism project, few members in the Humacchuco community maintain a nice guest house where visitors can learn about local culture and natural resource management.
Another gem enclosed in the Ancash region is Callejón de Conchucas. It is a challenging valley on the eastern slopes of Cordillera Blanca and running parallel to Callejón de Huaylas. It is a rarely visited place due to its dangerous terrains. It is tough to get there due to rough roads but once you manage to reach there, the valley welcomes you with breathtaking views and warm hospitality of Quechua inhabitants.
A well-known fact about Ancash region is its major earthquake in 1970 wherein the valley suffered huge casualties and severe destruction owing to avalanches.
Image Source: “PuyaRaimondi2” by Dtarazona – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons