Laguna Purhuay

Huaraz & the Cordilleras

In a scoop of a valley 8km above Huari and just inside the Parque Nacional Huascarán, this idyllic lake is well set up for day excursions, but is surprisingly little visited. You can rent kayaks from the friendly park attendant (S10 per hour), follow the lakeshore to the pre-Hispanic ruins of Mama Shoco, or enjoy local trout at a lakeside restaurant. Camping (S40 per night) is also available.

It's possible to walk to the lake from Huari along an unpaved road (a path cuts off some of the corners). Alternatively, hire a taxi for around S60 round-trip. Be sure to stop in the village of Acopalca on the way up, known for its trout farms and plethora of fish restaurants specializing in cerviche.

The two- or three-day Huari to Chacas trek that forges across the mountains via the San Bartolomé Pass starts on the lakeshore.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Huaraz & the Cordilleras attractions

1. Museo Archeologico

15.05 MILES

Small three-room museum with a modest collection of ceramics and pre-Inca objects framed by a historical trajectory of the Conchucos area (in Spanish). A…

2. Santuario de Mama Ashu

15.06 MILES

Chacas’ showpiece building, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, is not just a work of art but an admirable rehabilitation project, courtesy of a…

3. Museo Nacional de Chavín

18.14 MILES

This outstanding museum, funded jointly by the Peruvian and Japanese governments, houses most of the intricate tenon heads carved with horror-stricken…

4. Mirador de Shallapa

19.05 MILES

After admiring the Chavin ruins from ground (and underground) level, you can climb up to this trio of crosses grafted onto a crag high above town for a…

5. Chavín de Huántar

19.26 MILES

In most people's minds, Chavín is less a town and more a set of ruins – not any old ruins, but the erstwhile ceremonial center of one of Peru's most…

6. Monumento Nacional Wilkahuaín

23.81 MILES

This small Wari ruin about 8km north of Huaraz is remarkably well preserved, dating from about AD 600 to 900. It’s an imitation of the temple at Chavín…

7. Piscigranja de Truchas

25.85 MILES

At the trout hatchery, Piscigranja de Truchas, you can see the stages of the trout-hatching process from eggs to adults. By the entrance, the Recreo de…

8. Mirador de Retaqeñua

25.95 MILES

Mirador de Retaqeñua is about a 45-minute walk southeast of the center and has great views of the city and its mountainous backdrop. Unfortunately,…