The name Cordillera Blanca in and of itself sounds imposing. Known to be one of the biggest mountain ranges in the world, the majority of its peaks measure around 6000 m.a.s.l.
Located 100 km from the Pacific coast and measuring 180 km long, The Cordillera Blanca forms a natural barrier between the coast and the Amazon jungle. Every mountain top is more beautiful than the next, and many hiking trips can be arranged through the Cordillera’s grand mountain passes. The mountain roads were built centuries ago by the native people of the region.
The Cordillera Blanca, and its many beautiful places, is now accessible by various roads using 4x4 vehicles. Huaraz, at 3091 m.a.s.l., used to be a beautiful little town until the terrible earthquake of 1970. Though the village has been reconstructed, it is not quite as beautiful as it used to be. That said, the National Park of Huascaran is close to Huaraz; founded in 1975 the Park is a nature preserve for the amazing flora and fauna of the region. The surrounding landscapes are beyond beautiful, and the area is also well-known for its giant plants called Puyas de Raymondy, some of which measure more than 10 meters. Definitely worth seeing!
Mountaineering guides There are official Mountaineering guides based in Huaraz. Unofficial guides don't get any compensation or even any effort to rescue them if things go awry on the mountains.
Travelers can trek the Cordillera Blanca through an operator or on their own. However, trekking independently does limit accessibility, however. According to Huascaran National Park regulations, some trekking circuits are not open to independent travelers. These specific trekking circuits only be done with a tour operator or travel agency accredited by Huascaran National Park. A few accredited operators are Cordillera Blanca operator Adventure Life and Tierras Vivas
Buses & colectivos run up and down the main valley of Huaraz to Caraz (S/. 6 Huaraz-Caraz), while combis run up to settlements up side valleys, such as Cashapampa (S/. 10 from Caraz) or Llupa.
Porters and Burros (Donkeys) can be hired to carry loads in trekking routes and to the base camps of mountains. They will try drive a hard bargain and explain it will take longer than it will, and usually get a written contract to ensure payment.
The Cordillera Blanca and its Huascarán National Park offer excellent possibilities for trekking.
Fried fish, from the mountain lakes.
Spuds/Potatoes which come from the high Andes originally
Cuy/Guinea Pig tasty, but is served as a half or quarter of a body, with only a thin batter hiding the head and teeth...
Soups are often served with a fowl's foot included.
Mate de Coca, a drink made from Coca leaves infused in boiling water, Supposed to cure upset stomachs, Altitude sickness, and almost any ailment.
You get whole leaves in bars or cafes, but you can buy teabags with a handy string to pick the bag out when brewed.
All running water must be treated as suspect, and treated to make it drinkable. There is a risk of guiardia so chlorine treatments only will not kill these, use reverse osmosis filters or iodine drops of boil, but remember as you are at altitude, the water will boil at a lower temperature and you should let it boil for a minute or two, rather than a short boil.