Caraz is a pretty little town in Peru. Until now its one of the few places, that has not been destroyed by earthquakes. With an elevation of 2270m and its location near to the Cordillera Blanca and the famous Santa Cruz trek, its an ideal location for preparing an multiday trek or doing some day hikes. It was ell presevred from earthquakes, so offers an amazing glimpse of a rich colonial past, with its houses plenty of balconies, red tailed roofs, narrow streets and colourful plazas. The Plaza de Armas has a brass Water Fountain built on 1891 1 and a Musical Pavillion (called Glorieta) dating from 1927.
Caraz can be reached by bus from Lima (10 hours) via Huaraz or from Chimbote (9 hours) or from Trujillo (10 hours). There are several buses a day going to Lima
There are frequent combis to and from Huaraz leaving at the terminal terrestre. More information about schedules and routes can be found at AndesTransit.
Caraz is a small town. Getting around is basically done by foot. The only public transportation is a taxi or mototaxi.
- Santa Cruz trek: This is the most famous and most spectacular trek in the Cordillera Blanca. There are killer views to a lot of giant mountains. To walk the take a Collectivo taxi to the starting point at Cashampa (US$1,50). The trek can be done in 4 or 5 days. For orientation its best to use the map of the Alpenverein of the Cordillera Blanca area. The hike should be done with mule unless you are in good shape or have a light pack and rent a tent and sleeping bag
- Laguna Paron: This is a bright blue lake at a distance of 30 km east of Caraz. It is surrounded by spectacular snowcaped mountains. You can reach the lake either by taxi or try to ride there by mountainbike. But be aware that the lake is located at an altitude of 4200m. Going up by taxi and going downhill with the mountain bike is a third possibility. There doesn't seem to be any opportunities to hitch-hike or take combis to the lake. Taxi's offered a ride and one hour wait for 120 sols. A bit of negotiating got the price down to 100 sols and 3 hours waiting. 3 hours was a bit of a rush with just enough time to hike to the end of the lake, but not enough to get to the two smaller lakes behind.
- Pony Expeditions: is a very good source for trekking information. It´s also a good address to rent equipment for a trek or bicycles. It´s also possible to arrange flights, excursions or multiday treks at Pony Expeditions. ph: 968-2848; .
- Apu Aventura, (Psj. 9 N°116 Barrio Yanachaca), ☎ +51 997774440, . You can rent gears and get information regarding the area. There are tours to Santa Cruz and Alpamayo Treks, day trips to Lago Paron and Laguna 69,Lagunas de Llanganuco, Cañon del Pato, Puyas Raymondi. You can find certificate english speaking mountain guides. edit
Polleria Jeny: Here you get defintely the best chicken in town at very reasonable prices.
Café La Terraza Just near the main square, this café serves good coffee, home made ice creams, pizzas, and offers a hearty menu del día.
- Hostal la Alameda (US$ 17): Its a pretty hostal, run by some elderly women who will mother you. The hostal has a nice garden to hang around or to relax after a exhausting trek.
- Grand Hostal Caraz Dulzura, . A family run hotel with ensuite rooms set around an attractive courtyard. Peaceful, relaxing, and a good breakfast is included. US$ 16. edit
- Los Pinos Lodge ([email protected]), Psj. 9 N°116 Barrio Yanachaca (caraz), ☎ 0051-41-391130, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. family owned lodge with a beautiful garden overlooking the snowcapped mountains.Offer single,double and suits with breakfast. The owner Luis is also a guide and have a lot of knowledge about the area. 140-260sol. edit
The Cañon del Pato  is a spectacular alternative route down to the coast to Chimbote & Trujillo. Bus routes and information can be found at PeruSchedules.