Peru's Premiere Hiking & Climbing Destination

Trip Start Sep 13, 2010
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Where I stayed
Casablanca Inn
Hotel Piramide

Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, November 5, 2010

Huaraz   

Huaraz is a town in central Peru with a population of approximately 100,000 and is the capital of the Ancash region. Huaraz is situated at an altitude of 3100 m in the Andes Mountains, some 450 km north of Lima.  

Accommodation

Casablanca Inn, Av. Tarapacá 138 (along from Av. Raymondi), Tel: (043) 422602, Web: www.casablancainn.com . I spent my final night staying at this excellent budget hotel that is housed in a fine white washed colonial building, located across the street from the market. All the rooms have en-suite and cable TV. I can't believe that it hasn’t got a mention in the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide Handbooks, as it’s a far better option than most of the budget hotels that they do list. Their advertised rates are 35, 50, 65 and 80 soles for 1, 2, 3 or 4 persons and include a continental breakfast. Though there is room for bartering – as I got offered a room for 25 soles. It’s a quiet place as all the rooms are set back from the road and there are no bars or clubs around it.

Hotel Piramide, Parque Ginebra, Tel: (043) 428853. I spent a couple of nights staying at this friendly family run guest house that is tucked away on the tranquil Parque Ginebra, just a few yards from the Plaza de Armas. There advertised rates are 25 + 50 soles (nowhere near the 105 and 136 soles that the Lonely Planet mentions) for 1 or 2 persons, but they will drop to 20 and 40 soles respectively if you ask for a bit of discount. But do expect a bit of noise on a Friday and Saturday night from a couple of the bars nearby.

Churup Guest House, Jr. Amadeo Figueroa 1257, Tel: (0051) 43-424200, Web: www.churup,.com . If you’re after in-depth local information, a place to meet other backpackers and a friendly, family run guest house that feels very much like a home away from home, then stay here. This would have been my preferred choice, but even their dorm rate was pretty steep. There current rates, which include a continental breakfast were 25 soles in a 4 bed dorm – book ahead for this, as they only have two rooms, 65 single or 90 soles for a double room with two beds. It’s an excellent guest house (even if a little overpriced) with English speaking staff. It’s kept in pristine condition with plenty of colourful lounging areas on each floor and they offer free internet / Wi-Fi, a laundry service, a garden and secure luggage storage if you’re going trekking for a few days.  

Steel Guest House, Jr. Alejandro Maguiña 1467, Tel: (043) 429709, Web: www.steelguest.com . This excellent guest house with fine rooms is located across the road from Hotel Andino. It offers fine panoramas from its roof top terrace; and a patio garden area with hammocks. Their rates begin at 80 soles which includes a continental breakfast.

Hotel Andino, Jr. Pedro Cochachin 357, Tel: (043) 421662, Web: www.hotelandino.com . This is by far the best hotel in town, located a ten minute walk up the hill from the Plaza de Armas. They offer a choice of immaculate, spacious rooms – from large suites to rooms with a sauna and Jacuzzi bath. The pleasant English speaking staff will certainly make you feel at welcome.

Hostal Casa del Turista Warmi Juicio, Jr. Ramirez Luna 610, Tel: (043) 422637, Web: www.huaraz.org/warmijuicio . I spent one night here checking this place out. If you’re travelling on the tightest of budgets then you can’t go wrong with this extremely friendly family run guest house. Three generations of the same family live here with the man of the house being a lawyer. Located on a quiet street, they offer simple rooms with private bathroom, reading lamps and excellent mattresses for 15 + 25 soles for 1 or 2 persons. There’s also a seating area with cable TV.

There are many budget accommodations in Huaraz that are around the 25-40 soles range, including Hostal Schatzi, Hotel La Colmena and Hospedaje El Virrey. But for the same rates the Casablanca Inn would be a far nicer place to stay.

Transport

Arriving and leaving Huaraz is made easy as all the bus companies respected offices and terminals are located in the centre of town.

Lima – Value for money go with Transportes Julio Cesar who have buses departing for the seven to eight hour journey at 08.30 – 25 soles, 13.00 – 40 soles, 21.30 – 30 soles, 22.30 – 40 and 50 soles (the latter being a cama service on the lower deck), and a full cama service at 23.00 hours costing 50 soles.

Movil Tours is another popular company plying this route with similar departure times. There semi cama service costs 50 soles, cama 65 soles and supercama 95 soles.

Trujillo – Transportes Línea have two buses a day making the nine hour journey to Trujillo. A standard bus leaves at 21.00 hours costing 35 soles, and a cama / semi cama service departs at 21.15 hours costing 60 and 50 soles respectively. Only the lower deck is cama service so these seats do tend to go quickly. Empresa Transportes have a semi cama service departing daily at 21.00 hours at a cost 40 soles. Movil tours have a standard bus departing at 20.30 hours costing 35 soles, and a cama / semi cama service at 21.30 hours costing 60 + 45 soles respectively.

Caraz – Combis leave frequently from Av. Fitzcarrald – between 13 Diciembre and Av. Caraz and cost 5 soles for the 90 minute journey.    

Chavin / San Marcos – Combis depart from Jr. Bolognesi – the next block along from the market, and cost 20 soles for the 2.5 hour journey. Transportes Rio Mosna, Jr. Mariscal Cáceres 265. Have buses departing at 07.30, 13.00 and 20.00 hours at a cost of 10 soles.

Chacas – Transportes El Veloz have buses departing at 06.40 and 15.00 hours for the six hour journey, costing 25 soles.

Pomabamba / Yanama – Transportes El Veloz have buses departing at 07.00 and 18.30 hours for the 7-8 hour journey (298 km / 185 miles) to Pomabamba costing 25 soles. The bus passes through Yanama – around 5 hours and costs 20 soles.
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