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If it's stunning mountain vistas with quaint Peruvian villages or spectacular pre-Incan archaeological sites, the Huaraz region and the Huaylas Valley have it all. The Andes is a mystical place and the Huascaran Bioshpere Reserve is an absolute feast for the senses. This magnificent extension from Lima will fill you with majesty and leave you breathless.
Arrival at the Anta Airport for a magnificent drive along the Callejón de Huaylas Valley watered by the Santa River and located between the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Negra mountain ranges. On the way, you visit picturesque towns such as Carhuaz, Mancos and Yungay. Turning east the mountain scenery becomes increasingly spectacular as you ascend the slopes of the Cordillera Blanca. Exacting peaks such as Huandoy (6,395 masl) and Huascarán (6.768 masl) form the granite walls of this U-shaped glacial-eroded canyon with its two turquoise Llanganuco Lakes.
We are in the heart of Huascarán Biosphere Reserve. This is a giant natural history laboratory where you learn about high tropical Andes species and ecosystems. In the Chinacocha Lake (3,850 masl) we appreciate forests of silk-paper-barked Queñua and Quishuar trees cover the canyon floor, colorful bromeliads, orchids and cactus, among other plant species, grace the granite boulders and cliffs.
We make a short hiking along the Chinacocha path, appreciating the high altitude Andean ecosystem. After we visit Orcococha Lake and Cebollapampa balcony where we enjoying a spectacular view of the most important mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, such as Huandoy, Pisco (5,752 masl), Chacraraju (6,112 masl), Yanapaccha (5,460 masl), Chopicallqui (6,354 masl) and Huascaran. After enjoying the wonderful scenery and take the photographs we descend to Yungay. Overnight in Huaraz.
Chavin de Huantar
Drive along the southern Callejón de Huaylas Valley across the picturesque towns of Recuay, Ticapampa and Catac. You arrive to Querocoha Lake (3,980 masl), surrounding by native quenual trees. We traverse the Cordillera Blanca to visit Chavín de Huántar (1300 to 4000 BC), South America's oldest and most advanced culture, and one of the six independent centers of civilization in world prehistory, predating the Incas by about 2000 years. Chavín's monumental granite pyramids and ceremonial plazas are linked by colossal carved stone staircases and platforms. Subterranean chamber complexes, known as galleries, are built in a most sophisticated architectural engineering style.
In the Old Temple we visit the Lanzón Gallery with its supreme deity of Chavín, a large stone idol of 4.5 m carved with human, Jaguar, Anaconda, and Harpy Eagle iconography. The New Temple, (The Castillo) is built in 3 platforms, constructed between 500 and 200 B.C., is a high structure that is honey-combed with waters courses is also based on a gallery and plaza design and contained many relief sculptures. Sophisticated carved keystone heads, horizontal and vertical ventilation wells, friezes, cylindrical columns, and astronomic representations are a puzzle for Andean archaeo-astronomers. The walls of Chavín were decorated with carved heats, set deep into stone. Some of the carved heads have mucus pouring from the nose, something that happens when hallucinogenic snuff is snorted Rare Ecuadorian shells are often found in tombs of the Chavín era, as the precious lapis lazuli from Atacama desert in Chile. Chavín de Huantar has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon we visit the museum, where we will appreciate Chavin ceramics and lithic sculptures like the famous “Tello Obelisk”. We overnight in Huaraz.
At the appropriate time, our representative will drive you to the airport to board the flight back to Lima and will assist with the luggage and airline check-in procedures.