Huaraz is truly a hiking mecca. Located in northern Peru, Huaraz is a phenomenal base for trekking in the Cordillera Blanca, Cordillera Negra and Cordillera Huayhuash. Indeed, hiking in Huaraz, in Peru, is a dream come true for many tourists. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better hiking destination in South America. In this guide, we’re going to talk about the 16 best Huaraz hikes, including day hikes and multi-day hikes. We’ll also tell you everything else you need to know about trekking in Huaraz. Where to stay, the best time to visit, what to pack and wear, you name it.

After all, Beck and I had the pleasure of trekking in Huaraz for over a month. Personally, we have completed all of the hikes mentioned in this guide. So, we’ll also provide links in each section for a more detailed guide about every hike.

We hope you find this travel guide useful. For other great hikes in Peru, read our guides on the Colca Canyon, Ausangate, Salkantay and Choquequirao treks.

Best Hikes From Huaraz

This guide is going to reveal some of the best hikes from Huaraz that not many tourists have heard about. By doing a quick Google search, you’ll find that most ‘best Huaraz hikes’ type guides usually include 5–10 hikes. These lists often include the crowd favourites, including day hikes, such as Laguna 69, Paron, Churup, Wilcacocha and Pastoruri Glacier, and, multi-day treks, such as Santa Cruz and Huayhuash. Indeed, these Huaraz treks are brilliant. You absolutely need to do them.

But, there are other Huaraz day hikes, which are just as good, or, even better. In our list of the best day hikes, we’ve actually listed them in order of our personal favourites. What might you surprise you, is that none of the day hikes mentioned in the paragraph above made our top four choices! Yes, there are four Huaraz day hikes that are even better than the Laguna 69 hike!

Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface of the amazing hiking in Huaraz, Peru. With 882 gorgeous lakes in the Cordillera Blanca, that’s a lot of lake hikes to choose! Indeed, with many lagunas in Huaraz, you’d probably need a year, not a month, to enjoy the numerous trails leading to them. At least, by presenting you with the best 16 Huaraz hikes, you’ll get a taste of some of the best trails on offer.

Dan and Beck at the Mirador Tres Lagunas during the Huayhuash trek
Huayhuash Trek

Best Huaraz Day Hikes (Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra)

Before we delve into the best multi-day hikes, let us talk about the best day hikes from Huaraz in Peru. You’ll find most of these day trips are to the spectacular Cordillera Blanca mountain range. That’s simply because the best day hikes, near the city of Huaraz, are dotted throughout the Cordillera Blanca.

Hiking in the opposite facing Cordillera Negra certainly isn’t as popular. Personally, we only did one hike in the Cordillera Negra – Laguna Wilcacocha. Honestly speaking, it was probably one of the least impressive Huaraz hikes that we did. Nevertheless, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Cordillera Negra, when hiking in the Cordillera Blanca.

Anyway, without further ado, let’s start with our favourite day hike in Huaraz – the Four Lagunas Trek.

Beck at Laguna Mullaca in the Cordillera Blance, near Huaraz, in Peru
Laguna Mullaca (Four Lagunas Trek)

1. Four Lagunas Trek

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 23.5km
  • Time: 9–11 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 1,580m
  • Difficulty: Very difficult
  • Trailhead: Wilcahuain

Travel Made Me Do It has personally rated the difficulty of each trail in this guide

The Four Lagunas Trek is an incredible Huaraz day hike in the Cordillera Blanca. Certainly, this hike isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s a long all-day affair, which includes over 1,500 metres of elevation! But, the views on offer from Paso del Zorro, are some of the best you’ll experience whilst trekking in Huaraz. Along the way, you’ll explore, in order, Laguna Radian, Mullaca, Carhuac and Ahuac. Of course, for an easier day out, you can do day hikes to just Laguna Radian or Laguna Ahuac. But, if you’re making the effort to hike all the way to Laguna Mullaca, or, Paso del Zorro, you may as complete this awesome loop.

Read more: Laguna Radian, Mullaca, Carhuac & Ahuac – Epic Four Lagunas Trek

Beck during one of the best Huaraz hikes in the Cordillera Blanca – the Four Lagunas Trek

2. Laguna 513

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 15.5km
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 865m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Shonquilpampa

If the Four Lagunas Trek was our favourite hike in Huaraz, then Laguna 513 was a very close second. Laguna 513 is an incredible turquoise-coloured lake, similar to Laguna 69 and Laguna Hualcacocha. But, similar to Laguna Hualcacocha, Laguna 513 is nowhere near as popular as Laguna 69. During the Laguna 513 hike, we didn’t see any other tourists. Certainly, Laguna 513 is easily one of the best Huaraz hikes in the Cordillera Blanca. Not only will you be mesmerised by the beauty of Laguna 513; but, you’ll also enjoy another stunning lake on the way (Laguna Rajupaquinan).

Read more: Laguna 513 – The Ultimate Guide To This Spectacular Hike

Beck enjoys hiking in Huaraz, particularly hiking to Laguna 513 in the Cordillera Blanca

3. Laguna Shallap

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 24km
  • Time: 6–8 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 670m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Pitec

Laguna Shallap is an otherworldly green lake. You can find it near Huaraz, in the Cordillera Blanca, starting from Pitec. This is also the starting place for the popular Laguna Churup hike. But, you’ll find most tourists heading to Pitec are bound for Laguna Churup. Indeed, during our hike to Laguna Shallap, we saw no other hikers the entire day. Arriving at the vivid green lake will leave you speechless. Given most of the lakes in Huaraz are a tone of blue, it was nice to hike to a lake with a completely unique colour.

Read more: Laguna Shallap – The Complete Guide To This Hidden Green Lake

The trail to Laguna Shallap has some of the best hiking in Huaraz in Peru

4. Laguna Llaca

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 13.65km
  • Time: 4.5–6.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 620m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Carretera Llaca

Laguna Llaca has to be one of the most underrated Huaraz hikes in the Cordillera Blanca. The trail leading through the Llaca Valley is beautiful, adventurous and fun. Best of all, there are numerous outstanding natural attractions waiting for you at the pinnacle of this trek. First, there’s the incredible duck-egg blue colour of Laguna Llaca. Then, there’s the epic Ranrapalca and Ocshapalca mountains, in the distance, dwarfing the lake.

Read more: Laguna Llaca – The Ultimate Guide To This Epic Hike In Huaraz

The trail to Laguna Llaca is one of the best Huaraz hikes, located in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru

5. Laguna 69

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 14.5km
  • Time: 5-6 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 684m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Cebolla Pampa

Rounding out the top five is the awesome Laguna 69 hike. This hike is very well known to tourists. And, for good reason. Laguna 69 is a sensational turquoise colour. But, even better, the trail leading there is simply stunning. Despite this trail being crowded, it’s still one of the best Huaraz trekking options in the Cordillera Blanca.

Read more: Laguna 69 Peru – Hiking To The Most Popular Lake In Huaraz

Dan and Beck reach Laguna 69 during one of the best Huaraz hikes in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru

6. Laguna Paron (Mirador Hike)

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 1.9km
  • Time: 1–1.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 130m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Laguna Paron Car Park

Similar to Laguna 69, Laguna Paron is another popular place to visit. Although, the hiking between Laguna 69 and Laguna Paron is quite different. With Laguna 69, there’s almost 15km of tough hiking to reach the lake. By way of comparison, most people visiting Laguna Paron are actually driven directly to the lake. Sure, there’s a short hike to a Mirador; but, there’s really not much hiking involved. Perhaps, this isn’t a bad thing. With so many other long and difficult Huaraz hikes, it’s good to have a day trip, to a stunning lake, that doesn’t require too much effort. FYI – Laguna Paron is the largest lake in the Cordillera Blanca.

Read more: Laguna Paron In Huaraz, Peru – A Tour Is The Best Option

Laguna Paron is one of the most popular Huaraz hikes in the Cordillera Blanca

7. Laguna Churup

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 7.1km
  • Time: 4.5–6 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 660m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Pitec

Laguna Churup in Peru is another popular day hike among tourists. One of the best parts of the Laguna Churup hike is its ease of access from Huaraz. Indeed, the Laguna Churup hike is one of the easiest day hikes in Huaraz to do independently. From Pitec, you’ll gradually ascend towards Nevado Churup, which is the source of Laguna Churup. Once you arrive at the lake, you’ll be gobsmacked by the epic mirror reflections bouncing off it. Certainly, you’ll have to add Laguna Churup to your ‘trekking in Huaraz’ to-do list.

Read more: Laguna Churup Hike – Easy To Do Independently From Huaraz

Beck is standing and admiring Laguna Churup in the Cordillera Blanca, one of the easiest day hikes to do independently from Huaraz

8. Laguna Rajucolta

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 14.5km
  • Duration: 3.75–5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 395m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Portada Rajucolta

The Laguna Rajucolta hike is actually one of the easiest Huaraz hikes in the Cordillera Blanca. With less than 400 metres of elevation throughout, the trek to Laguna Rajucolta is a great acclimatisation hike. Although, Laguna Rajucolta is certainly much more than just a hike to acclimate. From the shores of Laguna Rajucolta, you’ll enjoy one of the most impressive views of Huantsan Mountain. At 6,369 metres above sea level, it’s the third highest mountain in the Cordillera Blanca and the fifth highest mountain in Peru.

Read more: Laguna Rajucolta – The Ultimate Hiking Guide

Dan enjoys Laguna Rajucolta and Huantsan in the Cordillera Blanca, the hike of which, is one of the easiest in Huaraz

9. Laguna Hualcacocha

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 10km
  • Time: approx. 3.5–5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 600m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: AN-107

Laguna Hualcacocha is one of the least known trails in Huaraz, Peru. Not far from the town of Carhuac, you’ll start the hike alongside the glorious Ulta River. Then, after a steep climb, you’ll eventually reach a pristine forest. Soon enough, you’ll arrive at the remarkable turquoise colours of Laguna Hualcacocha. Given its similarity to Laguna 69, in terms of its turquoise colour brilliance, we imagine this will become a more popular hike. After all, compared with Laguna 69, the trailhead is much closer to Huaraz and the hike to the lake is even shorter.

Read more: Laguna Hualcacocha – The Ultimate Guide To This Hidden Gem

Laguna Hualcacocha

10. Pastoruri Glacier

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 3.5km
  • Time: 1–2 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 155m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Nevado Pastoruri Car Park

A Pastoruri Glacier tour is a must-do during a trip to Huaraz in Peru. Similar to visiting Laguna Paron with a tour group, there isn’t a long hike at Pastoruri Glacier. But, given the high altitude (approx. 5,000 metres above sea level), the short hike to the glacier is a lung buster! Of course, it’s all worth it when you arrive at the immense glacier. Unfortunately, this glacier has considerably melted over the last 30–35 years. Because of climate change, we recommend doing this Huaraz trail, in the Cordillera Blanca, before this glacier disappears!

Read more: Pastoruri Glacier (Nevado Pastoruri) – The Ultimate Guide

Dan at the Pastoruri Glacier

11. Laguna Yanacocha and Uruscocha

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 17km
  • Time: 5–7 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 840m
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Trailhead: Pashpa (near Huaraz)

The Laguna Yanacocha and Uruscocha day hike is actually one of the hardest in the Cordillera Blanca. Unlike most other trails in the Cordillera Blanca, the track leading to these two lagoons is often undefined and not at all signposted. But, perhaps this is what makes this hike all the more adventurous. Certainly, you won’t find many other tourists doing this hike. Best of all, you’ll be rewarded with not just one, but two gorgeous lakes. Make sure to choose this trekking option in Huaraz if you enjoy a challenging trail.

Read more: Laguna Yanacocha and Laguna Uruscocha – The Ultimate Guide

Reaching Laguna Uruscocha involves one of the hardest Huaraz hikes, in the Cordillera Blance, in Peru
Laguna Uruscocha

12. Laguna Queshquecocha

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 6km
  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 155m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Laguna Queshquecocha

The Laguna Queshquecocha hike is the least known hike on this list. Hidden in the Queshque Valley, at the southern end of the Cordillera Blanca massif, this trek is one of the easiest near Huaraz. All in all, you’ll visit three lakes during your visit. These include, of course, Laguna Queshquecocha, and also Laguna Jarpococha and Laguna Queshque. Within the valley, you’ll also see a rare Puya Raimondii forest. All the more reason to visit!

Read more: Laguna Queshquecocha Hike – The Ultimate Guide

Dan stands at Laguna Queshque with puya raimondaii in the distance

13. Laguna Wilcacocha

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 6.14km
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 392m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve

Laguna Wilcacocha is the only hike on this list located in the Cordillera Negra. It’s also famed as a popular acclimatisation trek. Given the lake is only 3,710 metres above sea level, many tourists will start their trekking adventures in Huaraz with this trek. As mentioned, hiking in the Cordillera Negra isn’t as breathtaking as hiking in the Cordillera Blanca. But, at least, by hiking to Laguna Wilcacocha, you’ll have unique views of Cordillera Blanca (and Huaraz in the valley) in the distance.

Read more: Laguna Wilcacocha in Huaraz – The Ultimate Hiking Guide

Dan during the Laguna Wilcacocha hike in Huaraz, facing Cordillera Blanca

14. Laguna Llanganuco

For completeness, we’ve added Laguna Llanganuco to this list. Admittedly, there isn’t really much hiking here. But, basically, it’s a popular destination for a day trip from Huaraz. By visiting on a day trip, you’ll explore two lakes in the Llanganuco Valley – Chinancocha and Orconcocha Lakes. Although, by simply doing the Laguna 69 or Santa Cruz treks, you’ll pass by these lakes. Particularly, on a Laguna 69 tour, you’ll even stop at Laguna Llanganuco. That’s why Beck and I didn’t visit on a day trip. We had already seen the lakes twice by hiking Laguna 69 and Santa Cruz.

Lakes in the Llanganuco Valley

Best Multi-Day Hikes From Huaraz (Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash)

Undoubtedly, some of the best multi-day treks in the world are located just a stone’s throw away from Huaraz in Peru. You’ll find many epic multi-day hikes in the Cordillera Blanca. The most popular is the well-known Santa Cruz Trek. Admittedly, this was the only multi-day trek in the Cordillera Blanca that we had time to do. But, if you’re keen on other multi-day trekking options in the Cordillera Blanca, there are many to choose from. The 3–4 day Quillcayhuanca Cojup Trek, 3 day Akilpo Ishinca Trek, 4–7 day Alpamayo Basecamp Trek and 8–12 day Alpamayo Circuit Trek. These are just a select few.

Basically, we had spent a lot of our time at the mouth-watering Cordillera Huayhuash. Seven days exact. That’s how long we spent completing the spectacular Classic Huayhuash Circuit Trek. It’s popularly known as the second best multi-day hike in the world, after the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. Given its immensity and raw beauty, it would be difficult to find many better multi-day hikes in the world than Huayhuash. To that end, let’s talk about the Huayhuash trek in a bit more detail.

Dan at Laguna Arhuaycocha near Alpamayo Base Camp in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru
Laguna Arhuaycocha near Alpamayo Base Camp

15. Huayhuash Trek

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 98km
  • Time: 8 days
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 5,385m
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Trailhead: Matacancha

The Huayhuash Trek is nothing short of a hiking paradise. Indeed, the Cordillera Huayhuash is one of the most stunning mountain ranges in the world. Hiking to the many breathtaking mountain passes and lagoons along the trek is downright spine-tingling. A hiker’s playground, you have quite a few options for completing the Huayhuash Trek. There’s the short trek, also known as Mini Huayhuash, which takes four or five days. Then, there’s the classic trek, which usually takes 8–10 days. There’s also the Huayhuash Alpine Circuit, which also typically takes 8–10 days.

Read more: Huayhuash Trek – How To Hike Peru’s World-Class Mountain Circuit

Dan and Beck at the San Antonio Pass, one of the best hikes in the world, not too far away from Huaraz

16. Santa Cruz Trek

The Santa Cruz Trek in Huaraz is a well-known multi-day hike in the Cordillera Blanca. Reaching the highest point of Punta Union is a special moment. From this mountain pass, you’ll enjoy superb views of the Blanca mountain range. The trek’s usually completed in four days. Particularly if you’re doing it with a tour company. But, if you’re doing it solo, like Beck and I did, it’s possible to do it in three days. We even added a short out and back to Laguna Arhuaycocha (Alpamayo Base Camp). We did this by briefly following the Alpamayo Trail. FYI – along the Santa Cruz trail, you’ll see Mount Artesonraju, which is supposedly the mountain that the Paramount Pictures logo is based on.

Read more: Santa Cruz Trek Peru – How to Hike Independently in 3 Days

Beck at Punta Union, during the Santa Cruz Trek in the Cordillera Blanca, near Huaraz

More About Huaraz in Peru

Huaraz is the gateway to the breathtaking Cordillera Blanca in northern Peru. It’s also a province and the capital of the department of Ancash. Huaraz is a high-altitude destination, which is home to around 118,000 residents. Certainly, Huaraz is one of the largest towns in the Peruvian Andes. Given its ideal location in the mountains, Huaraz is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Peru.

The city of Huaraz is seen during the descent from Laguna Ahuac (Four Lagunas Trek)
The city of Huaraz is seen during the descent from Laguna Ahuac (Four Lagunas Trek)

Huaraz Map

Here’s an interactive map of Huaraz in Peru.

Huaraz Hikes GPS Maps

Thankfully, most of the trekking in Huaraz involves following well-defined trails that are easy to follow. Of course, you should always hike with a map. If you’re after digital GPS-guided maps, you’ll find maps for all of the trails mentioned in this guide on our Wikiloc. Alternatively, we’ve included a GPS-guide map in each of the specific hike guides, which are linked to in the sections above. Basically, click on the guide of the hike you’re interested in and you’ll find the interactive map there.

Huascaran National Park Entrance Fees

By trekking in the Cordillera Blanca in Huaraz, you’ll be entering the Huascaran National Park. When you visit this national park, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee. Here’s how pricing works.

Foriegn nationals

Peruvians

Locals

Adults

5–16 years old

Adults

5–16 years old

1 day

S/30 ($8USD)

S/12 ($3USD)

S/5 ($1USD)

S/5 ($1USD)

S/3 ($0.75USD)

2–3 days

S/60 ($16USD)

S/30 ($8USD)

S/15 ($4USD)

S/15 ($4USD)

4–30 days

S/150 ($38USD)

S/75 ($19USD)

S/35 ($9USD)

S/35 ($9USD)

Peruvian and local children under the age of 5 are allowed free entry

Basically, the usual scenario is that a tourist will pay S/30 ($8USD) for a daily pass. But, Beck and I actually paid S/150 ($38USD) per person for a 4–30 day Huascaran National Park pass. We needed to show this pass for entry to Laguna 69, Churup, Shallap, Llaca, Hualcacocha, Pastoruri Glacier, and, twice for the Santa Cruz trek. Basically, if you use the pass more than five times, you’ll get your money’s worth. By needing to show the pass seven times in total, we got our money’s worth! Otherwise, you’d usually need to pay S/30 ($8USD) to visit each of these destinations.

FYI – you’ll pay the daily fee upon starting and finishing the Santa Cruz Trek. Unless you complete it in under four days and have the 2–3 day pass. You’d also need to pay an entrance fee to visit Laguna Llanganuco.

Interestingly, we didn’t need to show this pass or pay any entrance fee for Laguna 513, Paron, Laguna Yanacocha and Uruscocha, Radian, Ahuac, Rajucolta or Queshquecocha. That’s even despite entering the Huascaran National Park to do these hikes. But, we can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience. It’s possible that you might be charged an entrance fee for visiting these places.

Obviously, this fee doesn’t apply to Laguna Wilcacocha or the Huayhuash trek, as they’re not located in the Huascaran National Park.

Huaraz Hiking Tours

When trekking in Huaraz, we recommend a mix of group tours and independent hikes. Here’s a breakdown of which hikes we did with a tour company and by ourselves.

  • Tours: Laguna 69, Paron, Llanganuco, Hualcacocha, Queshquecocha, Rajucolta, Pastoruri Glacier and Huayhuash trek.
  • Solo: Laguna 513, Wilcacocha, Churup, Shallap, Llaca, Yanacocha and Uruscocha, Four Lagunas and Santa Cruz treks.

So, why did we choose to do group tours for some of the Huaraz hikes in Peru? Well, for Laguna 69, Paron, Pastoruri Glacier and Llanganuco, you’ll find super cheap and convenient group tours. They’re usually only S/45 ($11USD) per person. It doesn’t really matter which tour company you book with. That’s because, generally speaking, the tour companies work together and pool everyone together for that day’s tour.

For Laguna Hualcacocha, Queshquecocha and Rajucolta, these lake hikes are logistically difficult to reach with public transport. So, we decided to book these tours with Qorianka. The best part was, we only paid for transport. By not having a guide, the prices were much cheaper. In terms of the Huayhuash Trek, we decided a tour was best. That’s so we wouldn’t have to lug our own gear around for a whole week. We booked the Huayhuash Trek with Huayhuash Expeditions, which we highly recommend.

Thankfully, many of the Huaraz hikes are possible to do solo. Beck and I really enjoyed trekking in Huaraz independently when trailheads were easy to access using public transport. In each of the hike guides, we explain exactly what public transport you’ll need to catch to reach the respective trailhead.

Beck sits and admires Laguna 513 in the Codillera Blanca, near Huaraz
Laguna 513

How to Get to Huaraz For Hiking

Huaraz doesn’t have an airport. So, you’ll find most tourists need to get to Huaraz by catching a bus. Often, tourists are visiting Huaraz from Lima. That’s simply because most people will initially fly into the capital city of Lima when visiting Peru. With that in mind, let’s look at the best way to get from Lima to Huaraz.

Beck hiking up a trail
Four Lagunas Trek

Getting From Lima to Huaraz

The best way to get from Lima to Huaraz is by taking a bus. The drive time is around 9–10 hours. Daytime and overnight buses are available. You’ll find Cruz del Sur offers the route between Lima and Huaraz for around S/70 ($18USD) per person one-way. We highly recommend using Busbud to book your bus tickets. It’s a great way to book bus tickets in advance at a very reasonable rate. We used Busbud to book our bus tickets from Lima to Huaraz, and then Huaraz to Lima.

Buses to Huaraz

If you’re not travelling to Huaraz from Lima, you’re probably visiting Huaraz from somewhere north of it. Typically, buses run from Trujillo to Huaraz, which take around 8–9 hours. Otherwise, you may need to get a bus from Trujillo to Huaraz via Chimbote. Depending on your length of stop in Chimbote, expect this journey to take around 10–12 hours. In mid-2022, we couldn’t find tickets for either of these options on Busbud. So, you’ll have to enquire locally about prices and departure times.

Where to Stay in Huaraz For Hiking

Of course, you’ll need a place to stay in Huaraz if you’re keen on trekking in the area. We understand that some of you will prefer hostels whilst others would rather stay in a hotel. Indeed, each to their own. Basically, to cover all bases, we’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury options for both hostels and hotels in Huaraz.

Huaraz Hostels

There are plenty of great Huaraz hostels to choose from. Let’s look at a range of options below.

Budget

Accommodation Bella-Vista: this is a fantastic option for the shoestring traveller. At Accommodation Bella-Vista, you’ll have a nice stay that’s great value for money. There are cheap dorm rooms; but, also private rooms to choose from.

Mid-range

Krusty Hostel B&B: Beck and I really enjoyed staying here. We were trekking in Huaraz for over a month. So, we got to know Krusty Hostel B&B and their friendly owner, Ivan, really well. It’s actually one of the most highly-rated accommodations in Huaraz. The hostel itself is very spacious and comfortable. It features a large shared kitchen, which includes a free breakfast. You’ll have nice dorm rooms and private rooms to choose from. There’s also great Wifi here.

Dan at Krusty Hostel in Huaraz, Peru

Luxury

Selina Huaraz: this is one of the most popular accommodation options in Huaraz. Selina Huaraz is a stylishly decorated place to stay in Huaraz, that has both dorm rooms and private rooms. Sure, the dorm rooms aren’t the cheapest in Huaraz. But, the extra money that you pay for a dorm room is worth it. That’s because the hostel is modern with excellent facilities. It also has a great social vibe.

Huaraz Hotels

If you’d rather stay in a hotel, there are plenty of fantastic options in Huaraz. You’ll also find beautiful mountain lodges just outside of Huaraz in some smaller towns such as Pitec. Whatever your personal preference, there should be an option that tickles your fancy below.

Budget

Ebony Hotel: conveniently located in the town centre, Ebony Hotel is a highly-rated hotel. Here, you’ll find private rooms and also dorm rooms on offer. A complimentary free breakfast is included. Basically, you’ll find everything you’ll need here for a nice stay in Huaraz. Best of all, staying here won’t blow the budget.

Mid-range

Cordillera Hotel: this is probably one of the best hotels in Huaraz. Cordillera Hotel is an excellent place to stay. Expect stylish rooms and modern facilities. We doubt there are many better places to stay in the city of Huaraz.

Luxury

The Lazy Dog Inn: this mountain lodge is becoming ever more popular. Located just outside of Huaraz, in Pitec, The Lazy Dog Inn has blissful surroundings. We’ve also heard the owners are really generous. They spend time helping guests to plan their trekking trips in Huaraz.

Huaraz Altitude

Huaraz is 3,050 metres above sea level. Indeed, Huaraz in Peru is a high-altitude area. Given most of the Huaraz hikes reach heights between 4,000–5,000 metres above sea level, you’ll need to consider acclimatisation.

Dan hikes with Huantsan Mountain in the background
Laguna Rajucolta hike

How to Prepare For Huaraz Hikes: Acclimatisation

Before trekking in Huaraz, you’ll need to acclimatise. That’s because of altitude sickness. Also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), it’s a typical illness experienced by those who reach high altitudes they’re not used to. The main symptoms include headache, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, indigestion and loss of appetite.

In reality, the single most important way to avoid altitude sickness is to not go up too high, too quickly! Generally speaking, you shouldn’t go higher than 500 metres a day, once you’re beyond 2,000 metres above sea level.

In practice, if you arrive in Huaraz (3,050 metres above sea level), you should have at least two days’ rest before you start trekking. This will give your body time to adjust and acclimatise. In theory, by the third day, your body should be able to tolerate around 3,550 metres. By this time, you should start with some hikes with a lower maximum altitude. For instance, you could start with Laguna Wilcacocha (3,710m). You could then hike to Laguna Shallap (4,250m), Yanacocha and Uruscocha (4,270m) or Laguna Rajucolta (4,271m), before attempting higher altitude hikes. That way, you’re less likely to get altitude sickness.

How to Avoid Altitude Sickness on Huaraz Hikes

There are other ways to reduce your chances of getting altitude sickness. These other strategies can also help manage symptoms if you feel unwell. Indeed, not every case of altitude sickness is an emergency situation requiring mountain evacuation!

Firstly, don’t rush when you’re hiking. Walk slowly and take it easy. If you feel out of breath, stop and have a break before continuing. Secondly, eat small meals and don’t rush when eating. Staying hydrated by drinking water is also essential. In addition, you may benefit from coca leaves, tea or sweets. This is what the locals recommend. Finally, you could take altitude sickness tablets (such as Diamox). But, if you acclimatise properly, you shouldn’t need them.

Huaraz Peru Weather

Temperatures in Huaraz, Peru, only slightly differ throughout the year. Annual average daytime temperatures vary between 21–23°C. Nighttime temperatures average between 3–7°C.

In Huaraz, Peru, there’s a dry and rainy season. The dry season runs from May to October. Your chances of experiencing rain are low. But, the dry season also coincides with Winter! The sunshine keeps temperatures fairly moderate during the day. While temperatures can really dip during the evening, averaging around 4–5°C.

The rainy season is from November to April. You can expect frequent spells of rain during this time. So, make sure to pack a waterproof jacket! But, on the flip side, temperatures are slightly warmer throughout the day and in the evening.

Dan stands on orange rocks
Four Lagunas Trek

Best Time to Visit For Hiking In Huaraz

The best time to visit Huaraz for trekking is during the dry season. Yes, temperatures are slightly colder during the dry season. But, the obvious benefit of dry weather ensures this season is the optimal time to visit.

Although, you could argue that the Huaraz rainy season brings even quieter trails. Particularly, you’ll enjoy much less crowded hikes at Laguna 69 and Paron during the rainy season. But, honestly speaking, we found that most Huaraz hikes never got too busy. So, we wouldn’t be able to justify visiting in the rainy season.

Other Things to Do in Huaraz

What to do in Huaraz other than hiking? Well, there are many other things to do in and around Huaraz. In fact, Huaraz and the surrounding mountains are a great place for rock climbing, mountain climbing, winter sports, mountain biking and sightseeing tours. Personally, Beck and I are avid and passionate hikers. So, we spent over a month in Huaraz just purely trekking. Although, we were close to doing a beginner’s climb at Pico Mateo. But, unfortunately, we had to skip this trip after I injured my toe. Anyway, we’ve also heard that Chavin Temple and Waullac are worthy archaeological sites to visit.

What to Pack and Wear For Hiking in Huaraz

Hiking Essential

Why do you need this?

See it in action

If you're doing lots of trekking in Huaraz, you'll want a good pair of hiking boots

This camera is lightweight and compact, so it's perfect for trekking. The Sony Cybershot RX100 VII takes high-quality photos and 4K videos

A waterproof jacket is a non-negotiable when hiking in the mountains

We highly rate the Osprey Aether AG 70L backpack. The anti-gravity suspension makes the backpack feel very light. You can even adjust the back support so it fits your body very nicely. This backpack was perfect for the Santa Cruz Trek

A fleece jacket will help keep you warm. The North Face TKA Glacier has a great warmth:weight ratio, so it's ideal for packing lightly when trekking

You’ll also want to pack plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and trekking poles for most Huaraz hikes.

Camping Essentials For Huaraz Multi-Day Hikes

Camping Essential

Why do you need this?

See it in action

For an extra layer of warmth and cleanliness, you should take a sleeping bag liner. They're great for cold nights and using with rental gear

You know, so you can see what you're doing in the evening

This inflatable pillow is an absolute game-changer for a good night's sleep when  camping. You won't believe how small it packs down

More kit to help you get a good sleep whilst on multi-day treks

A portable battery pack will be useful as the campsites along the Huayhuash and Santa Cruz treks are very basic

For a more extensive hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Accessories That You Must Travel With. Or, for a broad summary of everything you’d need to pack for a trip to Huaraz in Peru, visit our Ultimate Packing Checklist.

Bonus Huaraz Tips

  • The best coffee in Huaraz: California Cafe. The coffee isn’t cheap (a cappuccino is S/16; $4USD), but it’s the best in town.
  • We love speed hiking, but don’t recommend it in Huaraz: that’s because of the high altitude. Trekking at a slower pace than usual, whilst taking on the trails in Huaraz is a more sensible approach. Particularly, if you want to avoid altitude sickness.
  • Explore beyond the typical tourist attractions in Peru: there’s more to Peru than just Machu Picchu. Visiting Huaraz is certainly less touristy than Cusco. So, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour by exploring trekking in Huaraz during your Peru trip.

WAIT – WHAT’S SPEED HIKING? It’s hiking, just about as fast as you can. It’s great for getting a decent workout, whilst exploring nature. But, we don’t advise speed hiking at high altitudes. It’s better to hike at a chilled pace when high in the mountains to reduce your chances of altitude sickness.

Are you thinking of travelling to Central America too? For the best hikes in Central America, check out our guides about the best hikes in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua (and Ometepe Island).


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