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Huaraz & the Cordilleras/Peru

Introducing Huaraz & the Cordilleras

The mountainous region of the Cordillera Blanca is where superlatives crash and burn in a brave attempt to capture the beauty of the place. A South American mecca for worshippers of outdoor adventure, this is one of the preeminent hiking, trekking and backpacking spots on the continent. Every which way you throw your gaze, perennially glaciered white peaks razor their way through expansive mantles of lime-green valleys. In the recesses of these prodigious giants huddle scores of pristine jade lakes, ice caves and torrid springs. This is the highest mountain range in the world outside of the Himalayas, and its 22 ostentatious summits of over 6000m will not let you forget it for a second.

Huaraz is a fast-beating heart linking the trekking trails and roads that serve as the mountains’ arteries. It’s here that plans of daring ice climbs, mountain-biking exploits and rock-climbing safaris are hatched over ice-cold beers in fireplace-warmed bars. Meanwhile in the eastern valley, the enigmatic 3000-year-old ruins of Chavín de Huántar await daily rediscovery, while further north picture-perfect villages, steeped in pre-Inca traditions, dispense affectionate smiles like they’re going out of style.