10 Best Treks and Hikes in Huaraz Peru

Known as the capital of hiking in Peru, Huaraz is arguably the best place to experience the breathtaking Andes Mountains and the famous Cordillera Blanca Mountain Range – the world’s highest tropical mountain range.

Even from the town itself, travelers can feel the fresh mountain air and see snow-capped mountains in the distance. But perhaps the best way to experience them is to go on one of the hikes in Huaraz.

We’ve been on many Huaraz hikes – from day hikes to multi-day treks, and let me tell you, they are simply world-class.

That is why we’ve decided to write this article on the 10 best hikes in Huaraz so you can also enjoy some of the beauty of this region. Enjoy!

Best Day Hikes In Huaraz Peru

There are some beautiful day hikes that you can do from Huaraz. Some of these are a good way to get acclimatized to the high altitude of Huaraz or used for training for the more difficult multi-day treks. 

But don’t underestimate the beauty and difficulty of these treks. Some of these day hikes and treks definitely took my breath away (physically and metaphorically).

1. Laguna Paron

No photoshopping is needed at Laguna Paron!

Laguna Paron, or the Paron Lake, is definitely one of the most beautiful lakes in Huaraz. As the largest lake inside the Huascaran National Park, it is no wonder why Laguna Paron is a must on any Peru itinerary.

Pastel blue glacial lake surrounded by sheer cliffs and snow-capped mountains, Laguna Paron is a landscape photographer’s paradise or a regular person’s fairytale.

The beauty of Lake Paron has successfully earned it as one of the most popular day trips from Huaraz. Hikers can find Day trips to Laguna Paron in every tour agency or accommodation there is in Huaraz.

The transport drops you off at the edge of Lake Paron where visitors can marvel at its elegance. However, that is just the beginning of the hike. The short 1-hour hike takes you on top of a cliff adjacent to Laguna Paron, where visitors can get panoramic views of the beautiful geological features of the region.

Along the way, there is a little bit of scrambling and jumping from one rock to another. There are lots of big rocks and boulders near the top, probably due to frequent seismic activities in Peru.

Once you arrive at the vantage point on the cliff, visitors can see Artesonraju, a 6,025-meter peak that is depicted on the Paramount Pictures logo. The film company? Yes!

Paron Lake sits at 4200m above-sea-level so if you just got to Huaraz, I would recommend you to take a day or 2 to acclimatize.

  • Duration: 2-hour hike round-trip
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Maximum Altitude: 4200m

Looking for a tour of Laguna Paron?
Check out our recommended tour here!

2. Laguna Wilcacocha

Laguna Wilcacoacha
Laguna Wilcacocha is an excellent hike for acclimation

Laguna Wilcacocha is probably one of the easiest day hikes in Huaraz. About 4 hours of hiking in total, not only is the path easy, but the way to do-it-yourself is easy as well. If you are lucky with the weather (unlike us), you should see a range of snow-capped mountains behind Wilcacocha Lake.

To do it yourself, simply take the Route 10 or Route E van at the northeast intersection of Antonio Raymondi and Hualcan Street. You will see a bunch of vans pass by but just make sure you get on the right one. If you are unsure, you can always ask the locals for Route 10 or Route E.

When you get on the bus, tell the bus driver you are going to Laguna Wilcacocha. The other option is to download the app maps.me and look for the Wilcacocha trailhead on the map. Get off when you are close to the trailhead.

Laguna Wilcacocha is the perfect hike to acclimatize to the altitude and prepare for your other big hikes in Peru.

  • Duration: 3-4-hour hike round-trip
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Maximum Altitude: 3786m

3. Laguna Churup

Laguna Churup

Laguna Churup is the hidden gem of Huaraz. Though fairly unheard of compared to the other popular hikes such as Laguna 69, Laguna Churup offers some spectacular views as well as a challenging and fun hike minus the crowds.

There are a few parts towards the end where you have to free climb and use a rope to pull yourself up!

The best thing about Laguna Churup is that you can do it completely by yourself without a guide. Though a guide is recommended if you don’t speak much Spanish.

To get to Laguna Churup, you have to take a shared van at the corner of Av. Agustin Gamarra and Las Americas. This van will take you to the town of Pitec where you will be dropped off at the beginning of the hike.

The van leaves at 7 AM so make sure you get there by then. There are more vans that leave at different hours but ask the reception at your accommodation for more precise information, they tend to change all the time.

When you get off, the driver will tell you he will be back at a certain time to pick you up. If by any chance you cannot make it on time, you can walk to the town of Llupa and catch a shared van from there. It will be an extra 1-hour walk to get to Llupa.

  • Duration: 5-hour hike round trip
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Maximum Altitude: 4450m

4. Laguna 69, The King Of Huaraz Day Hikes

The most difficult day hike in Huaraz

Situated at 4,600 meters above sea level, `Trekking Laguna 69 is probably one of the hardest day hikes from Huaraz. Chances are, before you even decide to do this hike, travelers and locals are already urging you to do it.

Why? Because Laguna 69 is absolutely gorgeous. The hike is jaw-dropping, the final Lake 69 itself is beautiful, everything about this hike is so perfect. If you only have a few days in Huaraz, I would highly recommend you to skip all the other hikes (except maybe to acclimatize) and just hike Laguna 69.

The good and bad thing about Laguna 69 is that it is a difficult hike. The lake is situated 4,600 meters above sea level, which could prove challenging for unacclimatized hikers. The hike up is only about 3 hours but you are gaining a lot of altitude in a short period of time.

If there is one thing you do in Huaraz, it has to be hiking Laguna 69.

  • Duration: 6-hour hike round-trip
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Maximum Altitude: 4600m

Want to secure your spot for Laguna 69?
Check out our recommended tour here!

5. Lagunas Llanganucos

laguna Llanganuco

Lagunas Llanganucos, or Llanganucos lakes, are comprised of two small lakes, the Orkoncocha and the Chiancocha. Typically people arrive at Llanganuco through an organized tour or taxi and then walk around the lake and trails.

The trail is very easy, lasting 1-2 hours and you get to see the beautiful Llanganuco lakes from different perspectives.

At about 3,850 meters high, hiking to Lake Llanganuco is a very good activity to help you acclimatize to the altitude of Huaraz.

If you do the Laguna 69 tour, you will pass Laguna LLanganuco, where you will be dropped off for 10 minutes to take photos.

At the Laguna Llanganuco, you also have the option to ride boats and cross the lake.

Unless you are planning on spending a considerable amount of time at the Llanganuco Lakes, seeing them on the way to Laguna Paron is enough.

  • Duration: 1-2-hour of hiking if desired
  • Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
  • Maximum Altitude: 3800m

6. Laguna Rajucolta

Laguna Rajucolta, or Rajucolta lake, is a rather unpopular destination in Huaraz. However, that doesn’t mean it is not beautiful. The hike to Laguna Rajucolta takes you through 3 hours of flat and peaceful trail through the Nevado Huantsan mountains.

Rajucolta lake is a very good hike to acclimatize to the altitude of Huaraz and prepare you for harder hikes.

As far as I know, only tour companies offer transportation to Laguna Rajucolta. However, you can try your luck asking around the reception of your accommodation to see if you can do it yourself.

  • Duration: 6-hour hike round trip with 1 hour of driving each way
  • Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
  • Maximum Altitude: 4270m

7. Glacier Pastoruri, One Of The Highest Hikes In Huaraz

Pastoruri Glacier is a melting glacier that won’t be here for long!

If you are getting tired of the beautiful lakes in Huaraz, why not change it up and see a glacier instead?

Pastoruri Glacier is located 5000m above sea level but don’t be intimidated by that. The walk up to the glacier is well paved and extremely easy but you should still take it easy because of the altitude.

Nowadays, visitors can no longer walk on the glacier because of how much it has declined. Matter of fact, glacier Pastoruri isn’t even a glacier by definition. It no longer builds up ice in the winter due to GLOBAL WARMING so by definition it is just a piece of ice. 

Peru makes up 70 percent of the world’s glaciers and it is extremely sad to see some of them disappear.

Glacier Pastoruri probably would not even exist in the upcoming years, so check this out before it is too late.

  • Duration: 2-hour hike round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
  • Max Altitude: 5000m

8. Nevado Mateo

I didn’t want to include this as part of a day hike from Huaraz because it isn’t exactly a hike. At 5150 meters above sea level, Nevado Mateo is more like a climb where you’ll need crampons, ice pick, and ideally a little bit of ice climbing and mountaineering experience.

Our day begins at 3 AM when the transport comes and picks you up from your hotel in Huaraz. From there, it is a 2-hour drive to the base of the moraine at around 4750m. This is where you’ll start your hike.

It takes about 4 hours in total to complete the ascent and descent. At the top of Nevado Mateo, you truly have some of the best views of the Cordillera Blanca.

However, we must warn you, that this is one of the most exhausting Huaraz day hikes since you’ll wake up early and summit quite a high elevation.

  • Duration: 4-hour hike round trip
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Max Altitude: 5150m

Best Multi-Day Treks In Huaraz Peru

Other than day hikes and treks, Huaraz also offers plenty of options for those interested in longer hikes. Though these multi-day treks in Huaraz are extremely beautiful, probably some of the bests in the entire world, they can also be long and tough.

The shortest multi-day trek is 3 days and the longest is 12 days! That is almost 2 weeks!

  • Note: There are many hikes inside the Huascarán National Park that are more challenging. In fact, there are 27 snow-capped peaks above 6,000 meters above sea level, including the Nevado Huascaran (Mount Huascaran), Peru’s highest peak at 6,768 meters high.

For the sake of our Huaraz guide, we will only include the ones that are hiked by the everyday traveler and tourist

1. Santa Cruz Trek, The Famous Cordillera Blanca Trek

Santa Cruz trek views

The Santa Cruz Trek is a great introductory multi-day trek to what Huaraz has to offer. On the Santa Cruz trek, you will pass by many local villages that live in the Cordillera Blanca and have some stunning views of the beautiful snow-capped mountains nearby.

The Santa Cruz duration is usually about 3 to 4 days, with each day composed of 3 to 8 hours of hiking, depending on your fitness level. You definitely want to be acclimatized and trained for this hike.

The Santa Cruz trek is also a Huaraz trek you can do independently, but please be prepared and have some experience with high-altitude independent trekking!

  • Duration: 3-8 hours of hiking per day, 3 or 4 days of hiking
  • Total Distance: 50km (31miles)
  • Difficulty: Moderate-Hard
  • Max Altitude: 4750m (Punta Union)

Want to experience the Santa Cruz Trek with a guide?
Check out our recommended tour here!

2. Cordillera Huayhuash Trek, The Hardest Trekking In Huaraz

Cordillera Huayhuash Trek
Cordillera Huayhuash trek is one of the most beautiful treks in the WORLD!

The Cordillera Huayhuash Trek is the most impressive multi-day trek in Huaraz. And let me tell you, it is definitely the most beautiful trek I have ever seen in my life. Travelers fly from all over the world just to hike this trek and see the beauty it has to offer with their own eyes.

Though not as difficult as the Mt. Everest hike, The Cordillera Huayhuash trek is pretty much the Mt.Everest trek of Peru.

On the trek, you will see Peru’s second-highest mountain, Yerupaja, sitting at 6634m. You will also see Siula Grande, made famous by the book and movie, “Touching the Void.”

It is unquestionably the most amazing thing to do in Huaraz.

There are many variations of the Huayhuash trek but the most common one is 130 km (81 miles) in 9 to 10 days. Though I have heard of a 4-day Huayhuash trek as well as a 12-day Huayhuash trek. The travel agencies will have more information on that.

After you finish that trek, make sure you treat yourself to some authentic and heartwarming Peruvian food such as a Caldo de Gallina!

  • Duration: 4-12 days depending on the trek.
  • Total Distance: 130 km (81 miles) the typical one.
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Maximum Altitude: 5000m

Want to experience the magic of the Huayhuash Circuit?
Check out our recommended tour here!

Map of The Hikes In Huaraz

Above is an interactive map featuring all of the best hikes in Huaraz. Using this map, you can determine how far some of these hikes are, especially if you don’t planning on going with a trekking company!

How To Prepare For Hiking In Huaraz Peru


Many of the hikes in Huaraz are at very high altitudes. Even the city of Huaraz is at 3000m, an altitude that can give you altitude sickness easily if you are not careful. 

No. 1 thing to NOT DO is arrive at Huaraz from 0 elevation and immediately start a trek. Huaraz trekking is no joke for the unacclimatized.

I arrived in Huaraz and immediately went hiking Laguna Paron (4200m) the next day. I couldn’t breathe the day after because I had HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema), a condition that happens when you don’t have enough oxygen in your blood.

The scary thing is HAPE is the reason for many people’s death while hiking Mount Everest.

A great tip for traveling in Peru is to always bring some Acetazolamide, or Diamox, with you. They are great medication for cases of bad altitude sickness.

So, please don’t rush your trips, especially for people on a short vacation. Take time to get acclimatized.

No. 2 thing to be aware of is that most of these treks are difficult, especially the multi-day treks. It is a good idea to hike around Huaraz and use some of the easier hikes to acclimatize and train for your multi-day treks.

We also highly recommend you to purchase some travel insurance when hiking in Huaraz. It is a small cost for peace of mind and knowing you will be protected on these hikes!

Things To Bring On Your Hikes And Treks In Huaraz

Depending on which hike you pick and the duration of your hike, the items you need to bring might alter slightly. But in general, these are the things you should bring:

  1. Sunscreen is a necessity – The sun at high altitudes is much stronger than the sun at sea level. Plus, the reflection of the sun from the snow makes the damage much worse.
  2. Rain poncho or raincoat (Him/Her) – Weather can change so quickly at such high altitudes. Pack one for safety, especially if you are visiting during rainy season
  3. Filtration Water Bottle – It will help you in dire circumstances, especially if you are on a multi-day trek. You can save weight and money by having a filtration water bottle.
  4. Gloves and Hat – For the cold weather you will encounter at high altitudes.
  5. Sturdy Hiking shoes (Him/Her) – The terrain in the Huascaran National Park is pretty tough, we recommend some good hiking boots to protect your feet.
  6. Coca leaves – Trust me, you will need (want to) have some for your hikes. They built Machu Picchu using these things. You can easily get them in the markets of Huaraz.
  7. Food/Snack/Water – Pack according to how long your hike is going to be.
  8. Money! A lot of these parks will charge an entrance fee. Also some villages you pass by will also require you to pay them.

All other questions should be addressed to the tour companies before the start of your Peru trek! There are plenty of tour companies to choose from on the main street (Centenario) of Huaraz.  

Where To Stay In Huaraz Peru

Best Hostel in Huaraz – Selina Huaraz

Where to Stay Huaraz
Best Hotels Huaraz

Selina Huaraz is one of the best-looking hostels in Huaraz. With comfortable beds and spacious rooms, guests can enjoy spending their days here relaxing and acclimatizing to the altitude! The most important thing is that their showers are boiling hot, one of the things you must need in Huaraz!

Best Hotel in Huaraz – Hotel & Bungalows Villa Valencia

Backpacking Huaraz Hostels
Best Place to Stay Huaraz

Located in a quiet part of town, Hotel & Bungalows Villa Valencia is perfect for a good night’s sleep after a day of hiking in Huaraz. With their comfortable beds and warm covers, you will be sleeping like a baby after!

Their interior design is very modern, the breakfast is good, and is one of the best overall choices for accommodation in Huaraz. 

Huaraz Peru FAQs

Is Huaraz Peru Worth Visiting?

If you are into hiking, then make sure you stop by Huaraz, Peru. This Ancash Region is surrounded by snowy peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, much of which can be explored in the Huarascán National Park.

How Many Days To Stay In Huaraz?

Depending on how many hikes you want to do in Huaraz, the number of days you stay can drastically differ. At the minimum, visitors should stay around 4 days in Huaraz, two days for accommodation and two days for hiking.

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Final Thoughts: Hiking In Huaraz

By now, you should know that there is no shortage of hikes in Huaraz to pick from. Whether you are looking for something with breathtaking views or one that’ll challenge you physically and mentally, you can find it in Huaraz.

Have you found your hike in Huaraz? Let us know in the comments!

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