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The Cordillera Blanca, Huascarán National Park and the Huayhuash Reserve

The Cordillera Blanca is the highest tropical mountain range in the world. It is home to a number of notable peaks above 6,000 meters including Huascarán Sur, the highest mountain in Peru at 6,768m (22,205 ft) and the forth highest in the Western Hemisphere. There are an estimated 260 glaciers and countless glacial lakes in the Cordillera Blanca. Peru is home to 70 percent of Earth’s tropical glaciers. As with all Andean glaciers, the Cordillera Blanca has witnessed a major deglaciation in the late 20th century.

Note: Zoom out for a view of the park boundaries. Zoom in for topos and trails.

Huascarán National Park encompasses most of the Cordillera Blanca and is a labyrinth of glacier covered high peaks, mountain lakes, pastoral valleys and rivers. The national park was established in July of 1975, accepted as a biosphere reserve by Unesco in March of 1977 and designated a World Heritage site in 1985.

Huaraz, Huascarán National Park and the Huayhuash have long been known within the mountaineering community as some of the most spectacular high altitude climbing in the Southern Hemisphere. Today the parks and the surrounding region are rapidly expanding as a prime destination, not only for mountaineers, but for trekkers, rock climbers and adventure enthusiasts of all kinds.

Chavín de Huántar and the Surrounding Archeological Sites

The areas surrounding the Huascarán and Huayhuash national parks are dotted with the ruins, petroglyphs and cave paintings of three separate pre-incan cultures the Chavin, Recuay and Wuari. Some of these sites are well known like Chavin de Huántar (dating back some 5,000 years), Wilkawain, Joncopampa, Ichik Wilkawain, Guitarrero and Tumshucaico, while others are almost completely unvisited by anyone other than a few locals.

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