Caraz, I tell you everything (address, scams and visits)

Caraz is a small town located 62km from Huaraz. It is here that is truly magical places to visit that are offered by tourist agencies in Huaraz. It is also a city where there is little tourism and so little development. But we love it when the tours get a little complicated, right?

Caraz et la place des armes

So what to do in Caraz, which visits, which address, which traps to avoid? I give you here my experience and advice.

Canon Del Pato

This is the narrowest point between the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca, formed by the power of the river Santa. From south to north, granitic rocks are eroded. The Canon del Pato is located 22 km north of Caraz in the district of Huallanca.

The story goes that rain and melted glaciers have sought a path at this point and that the hundreds of years of water flow and erosion have created a narrow canon 1000 meters deep at most a distance 15 km long.

There are two versions about its name. The first refers to the existence of an edible plant with yellow flowers called Pato. The second version concerning its geographical configuration resembling a duck figure!

From Caraz, we will offer to drop you at the dam of the power plant. 35 minutes and 7 soles (one way) in collective car but it does not worth it in my opinion. You will end up under a blazing sun to walk through narrow and dangerous tunnels.

This is the road to Caraz from Trujillo following the Rio Santa, which is really beautiful. It goes between the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca.

Canon del Pato, barage a Caraz

Fill the attraction of this place by passing 35 tunnels. You can also admire suspension bridges, waterfalls and dam hydroelectric plant Bocatoma.

During my trip to the dam (yes, because I just did what he should not have to), I had to hitchhike to return and it’s with a police car I went back to Caraz. The Peruvian police thank you!

Puyas Raimondi

Plant species discovered by the Italian scientist Antonio Raimondi in 1826. This plant can exceed up to a hundred years of life. After 50 years starts flowering lasts for three months. It produces flower clusters and 8000 and to 10 million seeds per plant. This species of the high Andes is the largest of its kind bromeliads (pineapple) and can reach up to 12 meters high.

The locals call the Puya Winchus because of the abundance of hummingbirds that live there, whose name in Quechua is Winchus. These plants are located between 3900 and 4150 meters altitude. They are found 42 km from the city of Caraz through Pueblo Libre and 48 km by Huata.

In addition to the tour, an impressive view of 120 km around.

Laguna del Paron

Located in the sub Llullan basin del Paron Lagoon is located 32 km east of the city of Caraz and 99 km from Huaraz. 4170 meters, a depth of 76 meters and about 53 million cubic meters of water.

It is the largest lagoon of the Cordillera Blanca and Huascaran National Park, declared by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve in 1977 and Natural Heritage of Humanity in 1985. Its turquoise water invites to activities such as hiking, camping, biking, bird watching, climbing, etc.


In a beautiful setting, surrounded snowy peaks Aguja, Caraz, Artesonraju, Piramide Garcilaso, Chacraraju, Pisco and Huanday. There are some representative species of wildlife with deer … and flora with orchids. Paron has large granite rocks that form at peak impressive cliffs. We are faced with a gigantic wall. This would almost dizzy!

The city itself

Caraz is a very pretty little town with its narrow steep streets. It is the capital of the province of Huaylas. Many flowers are grown are for export, such as lilies or chrysanthemums.

Dans les rues de Caraz

The market offers a typical atmosphere where you can find good food, clothing, fruit, etc. Every Sunday, people from surrounding villages come to the Caraz market to sell their products. It’s a real mess as we like. At the heart of the traditions, you can admire the best outfits of Quechua women and their beautiful hats.


My addresses

  • The San Marco without hesitation. It is located in Plaza de Armas. We can not do more central and it is two blocks from the market.

The place is huge so the dorms are really only two rooms with beds and you can enjoy the dorm price (15 soles) having the room to yourself! There is hot water, wifi and two small courtyards quiet to relax.

No breakfast and kitchen though, but given the very low prices in the city and short distances, this is not a problem. A trip to the market to stock up and it is a royal feast ahead.

  • Pony’s expeditions, the “adventure” shop in the city. If you seek advice, a guide, a trek, it’s here. Alberto, who speaks several languages, has all the material quantity to take you all over the region by bike, on foot or by car. More info on the website of Pony’s expeditions.

Traps to avoid

Caraz is not a tourist town and people sometimes take the opportunity to raise prices or give you bad information on purpose. For example, it will tell you at the bus terminal there are more combi so that you make a taxi.

Take your time, ask at the tourist office, reinforced good advice and located on the Plaza de Armas.

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