N ot only The Huaraz Telegraph gets contacted daily by worried tourists, but also the many agencies and hotels in town, so we learned yesterday. The devastating images of the results of huaícos have reached all corners of the world and will without a double have a negative impact on tourism for many years to come. However, given that the most affected areas are located along the coast, including cities such as Huarmey, Trujillo and Piura in the north, most places located in the Andes such as Huaraz, Arequipa and Cuzco can be visited without any problems.
Huaraz has suffered a couple of power and water cuts but the city itself, and the touristic attractions around it, are fine. The biggest blow at the moment are the access roads towards Huaraz. Mining company Antamina and the Peruvian government are working seven days a week to repair the damage. At the moment, Huaraz can be reached by taking a morning/early afternoon bus from Lima or via air. LC Perú is the only airline operating between Huaraz and Lima and tickets are, so we were informed by email, scarce. It´s important to mention that there are currently no overnight busses between the two cities because the road is only open between 6am and 4pm, however overnight services may start again in the next few days. Leaving Huaraz is thus only possible in the morning/early afternoon until further notice.
Sadly, due to poor communication by some local and national media, many hoteliers and tourism agencies have received many cancelations of trips, packages and hotel rooms for the forthcoming months. The Huaraz Telegraph recommends people interested in visiting Peru or Huaraz later this year, to contact reputable hotels and travel agencies to get informed about the current situation before taking a hasty decision. Additionally, we recommend that you check the situation with the bus companies before traveling, as they can give you the most reliable updates on the situation.
In another email we received a question about the rain in Huaraz. Is it raining 24/7 in Huaraz? No it is not. Is it raining more than normal? Maybe a little, but this time of the year is rainy season in the Andes. Although frequently wrong stated in many guidebooks, Huaraz can be visited in the rainy season. From October to April, it normally rains in the afternoons. As most day hikes start early in the morning, there is only a slight chance to get wet. Longer treks such as the Santa Cruz Trek can be completed without any problems, however it is usually better to do the longer/higher treks, such as the Huayhuash Trek, during the dry season. Pay attention; only use a reputable agency and make sure to have decent equipment such as a waterproof tent. If there are questions or doubts, make sure you get a receipt before buying a trek or renting equipment.
Other activities that can be done are mountain biking, rock climbing, bouldering etc. Day trips to the Llanganuco Lakes, the receding icecaps of the Pastoruri Glacier or the archeological site of Chavín de Huantar leave every day and can be booked on arrival or on the morning of the trip.