Photo: juanpabloms/Shutterstock

After 6 Years, You Can Again Fly to the 'Adventure Capital' of Peru

Peru News National Parks Airports + Flying
by Suzie Dundas Jun 7, 2024

Thanks to an investment of more than $15 million into a rural Peruvian airport, the country’s “Adventure Capital” is once again available to tourists.

The town of Huaraz sits in the country’s Áncash Region, in western Peru. It’s just west of the country’s Cordillera Blanca Mountains, part of the Peruvian Andes, topping out at more than 22,000 feet above sea level. The city itself is more than 10,000 feet above sea level, and its airport, Comandante FAP German Arias Graziani Airport, has just one runway. Unfortunately, for the last six years, the airport has been unable to accept commercial flights. That meant the only way to get there was to charter a private jet, or take a connecting flight to Chimbote, Peru, then drive five hours east.

But with the new infrastructure improvements, including runway improvements to accept larger planes, the airport is ready to start welcoming travelers again. And LATAM Airlines, the largest air carrier in South America, announced that it will begin commercial flights to Huaraz on July 1, 2024. It’ll be the only airline making the trip, running four times a week. The flight will be about an hour from take-off to touch-down, with tickets priced around $50 each way.

That makes it now far easier for visitors to add a few days in Huaraz to a longer trip to the country, opening the high-elevation outdoor adventures of the region to international travelers. LATAM is not part of Sky Alliance, but it does partner with Delta Airlines to run codeshare flights and offer Delta loyalty flyers the ability to earn and redeem miles on LATAM flights.

About Huaraz, Peru

huaraz peru mountaineering

Photo: Steven Kruzeniski/Shutterstock

Tucked into Peru’s Callejón de Huaylas valley, Huaraz, Peru, is cradled by the twin titans of the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra mountain ranges. It’s an adventure hot-spot within the country, with most slopes traversed by hiking trails, lots of lagoons with impossibly blue water, and lots of climbing and bouldering routes.

It’s where you’ll find Huarascán National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to a diverse range of plant and animal life. That includes spectacled bears, pumas, vicuñas, and Andean condors, the largest flying bird in the world by wingspan. In the park alone, there are more than 100 hiking and backpacking trails. The most famous (and photographed) is probably Laguna 69, or Lake 69.

Around Huaraz, lots of companies run guided backpacking, climbing, and backcountry ski trips through the region’s various peaks, and mountaineering is also an option for experienced alpinists. Huaraz is also home to some of the country’s longest and most impressive mountain biking trails, as well as road cycling. But because of the sheer number of lakes, trails, viewpints, and activity operators, it’s easy to find appealing activities across all ability levels, from short hikes to the Pastoruri Glacier to guided birdwatching, wildlife photography tours, and multi-day treks between the region’s most impressive peaks.

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