Last Updated on December 23, 2022 by Helen E. White
Best Tourist Places in Ancash: Sightseeing in Ancash is the dream of any curious traveler who travels the world in search of knowledge and adventure. Even so, it is impossible to ignore the great archaeological relevance of this city to Peruvian and American history. It is less than 30 minutes by air from Lima, arriving in the Anta region.
Its capital is Huaraz and it has thousands of reasons why you will want to make a trip to Ancash. The Callejón de Huaylas is a valley that occupies a good part of the department and that concentrates so many of Ancash’s attractions that from food and drink to sunsets, everything will be a memorable experience for tourists.
When you define what to do in Ancash, take into account that the geography is varied and the heights range between 1,000 and almost 7,000 meters above sea level. Try to consume coca infusion, protect your skin from the sun and ensure that your clothing is light and waterproof.
Top 20 Tourist Places in Ancash
Below you will see the most beautiful places that you should take into account on your trip to Ancash.
Huaraz brings together several of the Ancash tourist attractions that you will want to include in your travel map. The city is about 3100 meters above sea level and holds the titles of “The Very Generous”, “Capital of Mountaineering” and “Capital of International Friendship”. It is located 15 minutes from the city of Recuay and is accessible by road and air through the Arias Grazianni Airport.
In this land of traditions, great carnivals are celebrated between March and April, Mountaineering Week and All Saints’ Day, among many others. To get to know the culture from the local cuisine, visit Huaraz Querido, a gourmet interpretation faithful to the traditional food of Peru.
If you plan to travel during Easter or another high season, reserve a room in your favorite hotel in advance. The San Sebastián Hotel Boutique, El Patio Monterrey and the Andino Club Hotel are the three-star hotels that offer the best accommodation in the area.
Try to take medicine to counteract the ravages of altitude or drink a coca tea to enjoy your visit. Delight in the views of the city at the Santuario del Señor de la Soledad or admire José Olaya Street, which withstood the 1970 earthquake. Observing, exploring and trekking is a small portion of everything you can do in Huaraz.
2. Lagoon 69
Among the places of interest in Ancash for trekking, lovers are Laguna 69. Two and a half hours by bus from Huaraz or an hour and 20 minutes by taxi from Yungay, it includes a 14-kilometer trail with variable heights between 3868 and 4600 meters above sea level.
One of the most seductive features of the trails is the countless waterfalls that are born from the river that runs down along the path from the lagoon. The snow-capped mountains of Huascarán and Pisco, among others, serve as a framework for the landscape. To maintain this beautiful sight, please do not leave any non-biodegradable waste behind.
It is very common for tourists to visit Laguna 69 as part of a tour that picks them up at the hotel very early and then embarks them on a route through various points of interest. But if you want to go on your own, always opt for certified guides and register with the staff of the Huascarán National Park indicating which trail you are going to follow.
Although the name Laguna 69 is far from interesting, the area itself is among the protected places in Ancash that you should visit. UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve. In addition to the Andean fauna and flora that distinguish it, the vivid turquoise color of its cold waters attests to the chastity of the environment.
3. Chavin de Huantar
Chavín de Huántar is among the most complete archaeological sites in the Ancash region. It owes its name to the ancient Chavín who inhabited the region in the past, establishing themselves as one of the most outstanding cultures before the Incas. The town is located less than three hours by taxi from the city of Huaraz, and although the roads are not in the best condition, the panorama will captivate you.
Chavín de Huántar, Cultural Heritage of Humanity, served in the past as a nucleus of religious activities, considered one of the most significant oracles in all of Peru. After going through some of the passages of the monument, you will arrive at the four-meter monolith in the shape of a spear that represents Wari, the highest god.
Be sure to go through the passageways and galleries, as well as to contemplate the Choquechinchay altar and the hybrid heads between man, bird and feline that guard the entrance to the temple or Cabezas Clavas. It is worth hiring a tour so that experienced guides show you everything there is to see.
Despite concentrating the bulk of its attraction on the old temple, the town of Chavín de Huántar offers a substantial archaeological museum called the Chavín National Museum and a beautiful square that is worth visiting. You can stay at the Hostal La Casona or the Hostal Restaurante Chavín Turístico. Try the Peruvian and international cuisine offered by the Tullpa Pizzeria Resto-Bar accompanied by a beer or an artisanal coffee.
4. Huascaran National Park
The Huascarán National Park with its 340,000 hectares has jurisdiction in 10 provinces of the department of Ancash from Huaylas to Pomabamba. By margins, it has the Callejón de Huaylas to the west and the Conchucos to the east. The highest of its snowy mountains exceeds 6,700 meters above sea level, and its snow feeds the various lagoons that call tourists and curious people from all over the world to adventure.
A good way to get to the park is to drive about three hours from Huaraz to Yuracorral. From there you take the path on foot to Laguna 69, it will take you about 30 minutes. Choose one of the various trekking routes in the park and remember that it is one of the most suitable places to camp in Ancash for an intimate encounter with nature.
In addition to the natural attraction, the park allows you to appreciate the local culture in two stages. There are peasant families that exploit community tourism, guaranteeing foreigners to interact with the locals, even offering lodging in the simple cabins that they have built in their patios. Likewise, the park has 33 of the great archaeological sites of Ancash that will take you to the ancestral past of the town.
Explore the park on foot or by bike, book a day tour or spend more time on it. The important thing is that you do not stop visiting the Querococha and Puruay lagoons, just to name two of their acclaimed water mirrors. Wear light clothing and a coat that does not allow the passage of water, and remember to drink coca infusions to avoid discomfort caused by the altitude.
5. Cordillera Huayhuash
Doing the tour calmly will take you between 10 and 12 days
The Cordillera Huayhuash is one of the natural attractions of Ancash for lovers of mountaineering and trekking, who will find adventures of between two and 12 days on the way. It will take about three hours to get by bus from the center of Huaraz to Chiquián, there you take another bus that after four or seven hours will leave you in the center of Pacllón. It is a seven-hour bus ride from Lima, Peru.
You will need a minimum of eight days to do the complete tour starting and ending in Llámac, Chiquián. If you consider that you have the training and the necessary condition, try to climb the snowy Yerupajá that exceeds 6600 meters above sea level. In preparation for your visit to the mountain range, get donkeys, guards for your camp, muleteers and more from the Association of High Mountain Services of Llámac.
In these Ancash tourist sites, the tariffs are destined for the growth of the surrounding communities, and providers of the services that will make your adventure a safe and unforgettable experience. For trekking, consider the paths of Ichik Huayhuash, Munuay Huayhuash and Huánuco Marka, which take four, five and seven days respectively.
Keep in mind that the best season to visit the Cordillera Huayhuash Reserved Zone is from May to September. Remember that your camping equipment must be resistant to snow and that the need for an experienced guide lies in the knowledge of areas where landslides are recurrent.
6. Callejon de Huaylas
If you are looking for the best places to go in Ancash, include the Callejón de Huaylas in your travel itinerary. The months between April and October are the best to recreate in this destination that has jurisdiction in the Huascarán National Park and over the cities of Huaraz, Yungay and Huaylas, as well as three others. From Huaraz, it would take you four and a half hours to get here by taxi.
There is no better way to explore the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca than by taking a liberating hang gliding or paragliding flight from Cerro Pan de Azúcar. There are even those who practice gliding, which consists of planning an aircraft to take advantage of air currents. Other good points for these aerial sports in the alley are Willcacocha, Cerro Buenos Aires and Huinchus, which is ideal for experts.
Remember that Huaraz has the best hotel infrastructure along this chain of snow-capped peaks, and although its best hotels are three-star, they are highly recommended by those who have stayed in them. However, for a complete experience of the Callejón de Huaylas, camping in the mountains is the best alternative.
Likewise, the alley is a path of culinary delight where you can eat guinea pigs or guinea pigs made in lard, a characteristic type of corn, spicy and choco among others. Logically, the small local shops have a special seasoning, but it is also worth visiting the El Tarwi Tourist Restaurant.
7. Llanganuco Lagoon
At the base of the snowy Huascarán peak, in the city of Yungay, there are two mirrors of water known as the Llanganuco Lagoons, one of the most acclaimed beautiful places in Ancash for national and international tourism. The lagoons are known as Chinancocha and Orconcocha and it is best to visit them outside of the rainy season between April and November.
Sailing and windsurfing are allowed in the Chinancocha Lagoon, while not in the Orconcocha Lagoon, due to the fauna that inhabits it and its territorial behavior. Mountain biking and trekking are among the most popular activities in Llanganuco. The crystal clear water reveals a charming turquoise color that will call you to swim, but the temperatures inside it can drop to 7°C below zero.
When packing, consider that the climate of the Lagunas de Llanganuco is remarkably dry and the temperature is usually 10 ° C. Bring protection from the sun, and cool clothing, as well as waterproof coats. Making the bus trip from Huaraz will take you less than three hours and you will enjoy a beautiful horizon. You will hardly find better natural sites in Ancash for camping, so take advantage of the occasion.
The inhabitants of Llanganuco, in their exercise of community tourism, offer lodging in humble cabins built on their land. It is the perfect opportunity to try local food, based on the area’s own plant and animal production. In addition to a delight for the taste buds, it is the opportunity to get to know the native culture.
8. Snowy Pastoruri
By now you know how important the snowy peaks are in tourism in Peru. The Nevado de Pastoruri is one of those natural places in Ancash that are part of the Huascarán National Park, specifically at the height of the Recuay province in its Cátac district. It is a three-hour drive from Huaraz or a seven-hour bus ride from Lima, Peru.
One of the features that distinguishes this snow-capped mountain from its brothers in the Cordillera Blanca is that it has suffered the ravages of climate change, therefore its summit is not completely covered with snow as in the past, and a good part of its glacier has succumbed before the heat That is why the Climate Change Route exists, making tourism in the area conscious and ecological.
Among what you cannot miss in Pastoruri is the Patococha Lagoon, the Ojo de Agua Pumapashimi and the wells and sources of carbonated water that sprout from the ground on the way to the top. Like other areas of the national park, the forest is rich in Puya de Raimundi, an endemic plant species that can reach 12 meters in height.
The thaw has exposed cave paintings and dinosaur fossils, placing the snow-capped peak also among the historical sites of Ancash. At the same time, its walls are ideal for beginners in mountaineering. If you plan to do an extensive tour, you will not be able to spend the night in a hotel, but you will be able to settle in the snowy camping area.
9. Churup Lagoon
No more than 15 minutes by taxi from the center of Huaraz is Laguna Churup, at a little less than 4,500 meters above sea level. It is accessed on foot by one of the trekking trails from the village of Pitec. It is among the typical places in Ancash for lovers of trekking and mountaineering. Also, there are several small adjacent lagoons that you can visit on short walks.
Exactly in the lagoon, there is no other option to spend the night than to set up a camp, an activity for which it is recommended to be in large groups. If you really want to spend the night in a hotel, you have the ones in Huaraz.
Laguna Churup is alternatively known as the lagoon of seven colors due to the colors that the reflection of the sun projects on its waters. To enjoy this exhibit without exposing yourself to landslides, plan your visit between April and October.
For a memorable and safe experience, keep in mind that the guidance of a qualified guide is essential and that it is better to visit in groups. It is key to start the ascent early enough to go at a calm pace that does not cause landslides. If you don’t want to sleep next to the lagoon, start your descent between three and four in the afternoon, before sunset.
Caraz, the capital of the province of Huaylas, is a splendid and well-known city in the Callejón de Huaylas. It is one of the typical Ancash tourist destinations with a versatile offer with its archaeological, adventurous and sports faces. From Huaraz, it would take you an hour and a half to arrive by combi or bus.
Being Caraz one of the last stops on the gastronomic route of the Callejón de Huaylas, do not miss the opportunity to try the fried trout and other typical dishes such as spicy guinea pig at the Mi Carás restaurant. Similarly, Costa Verde offers you acclaimed dishes such as pork rinds and ceviche. Considering that it is known as “Caraz dulzura”, you will be interested in trying the artisan milk, custard apple and strawberry sweets.
If you want to stay in a hotel, consider the Apu Ecolodge, which offers internet access and bicycle rental among other amenities. The Hostal y Restaurante Business Rosh and Los Pinos Lodge are good lodging options, especially for their value for money.
This attractive city of carnations is the gateway to one of the most famous trekking routes, that of Santa Cruz, which leads to the Cordillera Blanca after a journey of between four and five days. The Duck Canyon is another place to visit in Ancash to fill your adventure and sports trips.
10 not enough?
Well, keep reading to discover more incredible places in Ancash
11. Sechin Hill
Cerro Sechin is one of the archaeological sites in Ancash that projects the ancestral past of Peru. Its discoverer, the native archaeologist Julio César Tella, named it Temple of Cerro Sechín in 1937. To get there, drive two and a quarter hours from Huaraz to Casma, where you can take a taxi that will drop you off at the hill after less than 10 minutes, or hike in just over an hour to the site.
Today it is known as the Cerro Sechín Archaeological Complex and it is the fact that it is the Capital of Sechín Culture that places it among the famous sites of Ancash. It has a temple made of mud that is one of the oldest constructions in all of Peru , whose construction is attributed to the years from 2400 to 2300 BC.
In addition to the clay temple, in the building you will see a conical construction made of adobe: the Tello and Larco platforms, seven other buildings. The stone perimeter wall contains reliefs of human forms that are presumed to be due to the study of anatomy or the commemoration of a great battle. Do not forget to visit the Museum of the Cerro Sechín Archaeological Complex that keeps momentous findings.
The complex is open to the public every day from nine in the morning to five in the evening. The cost of the entrance varies according to the visitor, but it is absolutely affordable for any pocket.
Chacas is one of the destinations to visit in Ancash that brings together natural, historical and cultural attractions in one place. It is also known as San Martín de Chacas and is the capital of the Asunción province. It is located approximately four hours from the Ancashina capital by bus.
To learn about the town’s colonial past, explore buildings such as the Chacas Church and the facades that surround the Plaza de Armas. Remember to visit the Mama Ashu Shrine, which has the prestigious rank of National Historic Monument. For a longer journey through the history of the area, go to the Chacas Museum to see the pieces taken from various archaeological sites.
After getting to know the city, give yourself the opportunity to get in touch with nature in the Cancaraca and Patarcocha Lagoons. If you like extreme sports, go to the Mamita Lourdes Waterfall; This is difficult to access, but in addition to being a beautiful waterfall of about 30 meters high, it is a place where trekking and canyoning or canyoning are practiced.
The wood crafts made by the inhabitants of the town are a hallmark that you will never want to forget. They manufacture wooden pieces ranging from small decorations for the home to highly realistic sculptures.
13. Tuquillo Spa
Among the main tourist destinations in Ancash capable of combining ecology, camping and beach is Balneario de Tuquillo. You can make the trip in a private vehicle taking the Panamericana Norte highway up to kilometer 310. It is also only an hour’s drive from the Cerro Sechín Archaeological Complex.
Its cold and calm waters make it look like a pool in the Pacific Ocean. It has received the Ecoplaya Award in the Rural and Natural categories for its purity and biodiversity. In local tourism it is considered one of the best beaches in all of Peru.
You can stay at the “Casa del Sol Tuquillo Lodge”, in a room with an ocean view, or even in a bungalow on the sand. You will have the best lunches at the Don Guille restaurant, genuine Peruvian food based on seafood in a pleasant atmosphere and at good prices.
You can rent chairs and umbrellas to rest and protect yourself from the sun, which is so strong that it compensates for the low temperature of the water. If you are looking for adventure and sport, take the afternoon to kayak and then rest in your own camp.
14. Ancash Regional Museum
In the town of Huaraz, just in front of the Plaza de Armas, is the Archaeological Museum of Ancash, a 10-minute drive from the Churup Lagoon. It is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except Mondays. Although a fee is paid to enter, the amount is perfectly affordable to any pocket.
The museum’s collections are distributed over three floors and four rooms that tell the pre-Columbian history of Ancash through archaeological artifacts and other pieces of great anthropological value.
The Lithic Park is the most famous space in the museum and is one of the archaeological sites of Ancash with international relevance, as it is the most prominent stone park in America. The Recuay culture is responsible for the bulk of the 100 exhibited pieces that represent musicians, warriors and others.
Room 1 serves as an auditorium, conference room or even to exhibit pieces by regional artists. The next three rooms collect from the beginnings of the Settlement of America to the traditional clothing of the Callejón de Huaylas and its provinces.
15. Queens of Wilcahuain
The Willcahuain Archaeological Complex is a 15-minute drive from the center of Huaraz and is another of Ancash’s historical sites that you should not miss. Many believe that Willcahuain and Ichic Willcahuain are from the same period, however, it is known that, although both belong to the Wari culture, Willcahuain is older.
Part of the anthropological importance of this building is due to the milestone in the funeral culture of this town. Willcahuain reveals the close relationship and respect of the living for their dead and the change from burying the dead to taking them to their eternal rest inside mausoleums.
The complex is one of the tourist sites in Ancash that lovers and students of architecture and anthropology always include in their travel maps in Peru. The main building does not have windows, but it does have a ventilation system, stairs and passages that connect all levels. Similarly, the complex includes basements under its structure.
In the Willcahuain Archaeological Complex you will not find accommodation centers, but being in Huaraz it will not be difficult to find a place to stay or eat. It is a space to take a walk one day and return the next if you do not manage to satisfy your curiosity.
16. Church of the Lord of Solitude
What places the Señor de la Soledad Sanctuary among the beautiful places in Ancash transcends from aesthetics to faith. Inside, the construction keeps an image of the Lord of Solitude, the patron saint of the city. This piece, which was carved in mahogany, is covered in gold leaf and is contemporary with the founding of the city of Huaraz in the 16th century.
There was a strong earthquake in Huaraz in 1970 that left the city in ruins. Later, Huaraz was rebuilt and along with it the temple, refounding the devotion of the faithful. On May 3, the internationally recognized day for the discovery of the cross on which Jesus died, the town pays homage to its patron saint for more than 10 days.
Similarly, the temple houses images that participate in the Holy Week procession, such as the Nazarene. If it is not religion that attracts you to the temples, you will still be able to appreciate the architecture and murals by Teresa Luna and Cassio Marino.
Without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful places in Ancash materially and immaterially, that no one should miss. To get to the destination you can walk for 15 minutes from the Huaracina Plaza de Armas or drive for five minutes.
17. Thermal Baths of Monterrey Huaraz
If you go to nature in search of healing, the Monterrey Thermal Baths are one of the best tourist destinations in Ancash that you will find. With temperatures that almost reach 50° C, these waters will allow you to relax or enjoy a natural therapy for conditions such as rheumatism.
From the heart of Huaraz, it would not take you more than seven minutes to arrive by taxi or public transport. It is also possible to do the tour on foot, which would take you about an hour and a half to complete.
Once on the site, you will find small pools with adjustable temperatures; the number of people that can enter each pose at the same time is reduced. If you don’t enjoy high temperatures, you can limit yourself to the pool. To use each modality (pool or pool) you must pay a different amount.
At the moment the Baños Termales de Monterrey does not have accommodation suitable for the public, so if you want to spend the night nearby you will have to do so at the Real Hotel Monterrey, where there are two restaurants serving typical and international food for you.
18. Duck Canyon
The Duck Canyon is among the important sites in Ancash not only for tourism but also for the functioning of the country. This is because the hydroelectric that covers this destination is the generator of electricity for a large part of Peru.
Locate it on your travel map three and a half hours northeast of Laguna 69 by land. You can do the Caraz-Yuracoto-Huallanca route by car, it will take you less than an hour and a half.
The canyon is born from the irruption of the Santa River at the meeting point between the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Negra. The highway that runs through the canyon connecting the city of Caraz and the city of Chimbote with its 35 tunnels is one of the interesting places in Ancash that shows the bold architecture and engineering of Peru, likewise, it is a magnet for motorcycling and cycling lovers. of Mountain.
The attractiveness of the Callejón de Huaylas varies between 1,400 and 1,800 meters above sea level. It reaches 12 meters wide and 60 meters high. The Duck Canyon is ideal for trekking, you just have to remember to go well-equipped and properly dispose of your waste.
19. Turtle Beach
Playa Tortuga cannot be missing among the tourist attractions of Ancash if the beaches are essential in your trips. This spa with calm and crystalline waters is 20 minutes by taxi or driving from the center of Casma, a point that also gives you the option of traveling by bus to the beach.
The shoreline owes its name to the number and large size of the sea turtles that inhabited it in the past but were displaced by excessive hunting. The horseshoe shape of the beach is bordered by Cerro Grande and Cerro Tortuga to the north and south respectively.
Fishing, diving and swimming are the favorite activities of those who visit it. But you must be cautious, because in the middle of these activities you can come across manta rays, which, although they are docile, will attack with their venom if they feel threatened. In the dunes of this place you can practice sandboarding, another point in favor of this cove for athletes and adventure lovers.
The Cabo Blanco restaurant offers an outstanding ceviche among the places in Ancash where you want to try it. Other good options to eat good fish or other seafood are “Pedro y Pablo” and “Restaurant Toño”. The beach has hotel-type accommodations, and also houses that you can rent from the locals.
Ancash: More Than You Expect
Taking vacations in Ancash is not wasted: you will get to know an important fraction of American history, you will see landscapes that seem to have been taken from someone’s dreams and you will have the opportunity to see and practice really extreme sports.
Another point in favor is that most of the tourist places in Ancash are really affordable, especially in comparison with other tourist destinations in the hemisphere. The city is accessible by air and by land, despite the poor conditions of some roads, in general terms, everything is very well connected within the department.
The cultural attractions of Ancash, its people and its land are postcards that you will want to store in your memory, in the same way, that the cave paintings of the Ancash rocks have been recorded for thousands of years and tell stories of greatness and life.