Huascarán: national park and alpine challenge
Anyone who loves to travel to Peru as a nature lover or passionate mountaineer can not miss the Huascarán National Park: it is the second highest of its kind in the South American Andes, right in the heart of the highest tropical mountain range in the world. An amazing variety of wildlife awaits the (in a double sense) breathless visitor: pumas, condors, the Andean fox, mountain cats, deer, the native vizcachas and vicuñas live on its plateaus and glaciers.
The Huascarán National Park includes an incredible 41 rivers, 663 glaciers, 269 lakes and 27 snow-capped mountains – one of which is the eponymous mountain Nevado Huascarán. To climb this with 6768 m highest mountain in Peru we will come later.
However, if you want to explore the Huascarán National Park partially or completely, you should bring a little time for acclimatization. The area of the park covers 3400 km², completely beyond the 4000 meter altitude boundary along the Cordillera Blanca, the highest mountain chain of the American continent with a length of 180 km. In 1975, the area was staked out and completely declared a national park; since 1985, Huascarán is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Since its founding and protection of the wilderness, the entire park is uninhabited, with the exception of a small zone in the plain. There live about 70 families with about 350 people, while 250,000 residents live directly behind the park boundary in about Callejon de Huaylas. This valley includes several small towns and is used for agriculture and nurseries as well as animal husbandry. Also in the plain, with the consent of the inhabitants, some guided herds of llamas and alpacas are allowed to graze.