Peruvian mountaineer César Morales Arnao first suggested protecting the flora, fauna and archaeological sites of the Cordillera Blanca in the early 1960s, but it didn’t become a reality until 1975, when the national park was established. This 3400-sq-km park encompasses practically the entire area of the Cordillera Blanca above 4000m, including more than 600 glaciers and nearly 300 lakes, and protects such extraordinary and endangered species as the giant Puya raimondii plant, the spectacled bear and the Andean condor.
Visitors to the park can register (bring your passport) and pay the park fee at the park office in Huaraz, although most of the main entrances to the park also sell tickets. Fees are S30 per person for a day visit, S60 for a three-day visit and S150 for a month.
Note, the park doesn't include the Cordillera Huayhuash, which are protected in a separate reserve.