Cordillera Blanca. Mountain Range in Peru, South America

Cordillera Blanca

Mountain Range in Peru, South America

Cordillera Blanca Photo ©

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Cordillera Blanca

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Huascarán National
Huascarán National Park
A paradise of snowy peaks. The Cordillera Blanca or ‘Yurak Janka’ (in the Quechua language) is a group of snowy mountains located north of Peru, specifically in the department of Ancash and it is apart of the Huascarán National Park, which was established to protect the natural resources and biodiversity of its 340,000 hectares. It has over 35 snow-covered mountains that exceed 19,685 feet, and a landscape that abounds in glaciers, lakes, and rivers.

Mountains in Cordillera Blanca

Between the most known mountains, we have Huascarán at 22,133 feet above sea level, Chopicalqui at 20,997 feet above sea level, Huantsan at 20,981 feet above sea level , Tunsho at 20,896 feet above sea level, Huandoy at 20,853 feet above sea level, Rutichinchay at 20,699 feet above sea level, Tawllirahu at 20,669 feet above sea level, Nevado Copa at 20,571 feet above sea level, Alpamayo at 20,079 feet above sea level, and Pastoruri at 16,486 feet above sea level.

Sunrise over Llanganuco
	Valley - Cordillera Blanca
Sunrise over Llanganuco Valley - Cordillera Blanca. Photo by ehodgesphoto

There are many people that consider the Cordillera Blanca as one of the best places in the world for trekking and an adventure that you cannot miss.
The touristic center of the whole territory of the Cordillera Blanca is Huaraz, where you can find a large number of hotels, inns, and restaurants for everyone's budget, you can also find travel agencies, stores, and markets. Most tourists stay here and from here, they can go wherever they most desire.


Most of the time it is very cold, since it is in the Andes. The ideal timing for visiting this majestic group of mountains is between the months of May and September, which is the “Andean summer” that is usually nice during the day time with sunshine, and during the evenings there is intense cold. The rainy season is from October to April with rainfall in the afternoons, it is usually quite foggy in the hills.

Valle del Santa / Santa Valley - Cordillera
Valle del Santa / Santa Valley - Cordillera Blanca. Photo by Miguel Vera León

The Good

  • Plenty of options for trekking, anything from easy day treks to more technical treks that will take several days and require a guide.
  • There are countless breathtaking views of towering, glaciered, white peaks that will make your hike an enjoyable and amazing experience.
  • The Cordillera Blanca offers some of the best trekking opportunities in South America.
  • There are so many mountains, lakes, rivers, and much more so you will never get bored. You might even feel like you needed more time to keep exploring.
  • The scenery is majestic. Some even consider it even better than Machu Picchu, which is one of the Seven Wonders, which is also located in Peru.
  • There are a variety of adventures and sport activities that you can enjoy, such as trekking, snowboarding, climbing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and many others.
  • Different activities for different preference, such as camping, visiting archaeological sites, and more.
  • Different ranges of prices on guides, places to eat and stay that will work for all budgets.


The Bad

  • The Cordillera Blanca is situated on high altitude, this is the reason why many trekkers get altitude sickness.
  • Some mountains are very difficult to hike and can be very tiring.
  • Sometimes, the unexpected change of weather on the mountains can be the reason for a delay on your hiking experience.
  • At times, the weather can be very cold and windy, especially at the peaks of the mountains.

 - Cordillera
Cordillera Blanca. . Photo by Richard Droker


Huaraz Cordillera
	Blanca - Cordillera Blanca
Huaraz Cordillera Blanca - Cordillera Blanca. Photo by elrentaplats
  • Because of the altitude, travelers should take a day or two to acclimate to the change in atmosphere. Something that will help with this is keeping hydrated, it will help tremendously.
  • Keep in mind that the Cordillera Blanca is apart of the Huascarán National Park, so a fee of about $ 23 USD to get in the park will be payable by all who wish to enter.
  • Because of the drastic change of weather from morning through night, you should dress in layers.
  • Do not drink tap water. Many get sick because the water there is not as clean as it is in other places. Make sure to buy plenty of bottled water.

More Than Hiking

In recent years the Cordillera Blanca has become the main center for adventure tourism. There are 269 lakes, such as Lagoon Llanganuco, 42 rivers, and 33 archaeological sites. Unlike other regions of Peru, the Cordillera Blanca is the only area that provides ample variety of adventure, sport activities that makes this adventure a paradise in Peru.

There are different ways for you to enjoy nature such as renting a bike, a car, or even a horse. No matter what your preferences are, there is so much to see and enjoy in this beautiful place.
You cannot miss the chance to try the famous and exquisite Peruvian food. There are many different types of Peruvian food depending on the area. The Andes mountain food is simply amazing and the favorite of many.

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Author: Steffanie Paredes. Last updated: Sep 19, 2014

Pictures of Cordillera Blanca

Laguna 69 - Cordillera Blanca
Laguna 69 - Cordillera Blanca. Photo by elrentaplats

climbers on Huascaran - Cordillera Blanca
climbers on Huascaran - Cordillera Blanca. Photo by Richard Droker


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