extension and population
| Brief historic
Main attractions of the Callejon de Huaylas
Main attractions of the department of Ancash
Typical dishes and beverages |
EXTENSION AND POPULATION
The department of Ancash is located in the northwestern part
of the country. It has the privilege to harbor every landscape
of the world in its territory. On one side, Ancash is bathed
by the waters of the Pacific Ocean and, on the other, it is
surrounded by the Andes in the Sierra.
It has an extension of 36,308
km² (14,000 sq ml) and a population of over 980,000 people.
The capital is Huaraz,
located at 3,100 m.a.s.l. (10,000 ft). The city of Chimbote,
on the Coast, is considered among the largest fishing ports
in the world, and the biggest iron and steel industrial center
in Perú. Due to the diversity of its geography, the
weather in Ancash also differs, that is, it is warm in the
Coast and cold in the Sierra. Nevertheless, mornings are mild
and fresh all year round.
The beginnings of civilization
in this region were around the years 400 to 600 AD. Chavín
was the native culture, a civilization that practiced intensely
the worship of its gods, and was outstanding for its ceramics
and sculptures in stone. The Chavín people offered
a strong resistance when the Incas decided to enlarge their
When the Spanish arrived to what
today is known as Huaraz in search of gold and silver,
they caused great destruction because the local people rebelled
In spite of the pressure that
Francisco Pizarro imposed upon them to obtain the dominion
of the national wealth of the region at any price, the Waylas
and Conchucos would not subdue, thus, causing a massacre.
This is one of the reasons why the real date of the founding
of the city is unknown, in spite of some unreliable versions
that think otherwise.
During Colonial times, Huaraz
was not as important as other cities in the country, that
is why there are very few remnants of Colonial mansions there.
Yet, what was significant was the ill-treatment of the natives
Corregidores (Spanish magistrates), which led to a
systematic confrontation between the authorities and the clergy,
who strove for better treatment of the locals.
The people of Ancash committed
vehemently with the struggle for independence. Many among
the most important figures in Ancash incorporated to the forces
led by Bolívar. Likewise, during The War of The Pacific
(with Chile), the Ancashinos showed great endurance against
the invaders. General Andrés Avelino Cáceres
organized the resistance in the Battle of de la Breña
by moving the troops from Huaraz to Yungay without
ATTRACTIONS OF THE CALLEJON DE HUAYLAS
The CALLEJÓN DE
HUAYLAS is a circuit including the towns of Recuay, Aija,
Marcará, Carhuaz, Mancos, Yungay and Caraz, which are
different and comprehensive. So, even if Huaraz is the starting
point of the circuit, after visiting its traditional sites,
such as, the Plaza de Armas or Main Square, the Cathedral,
doing the Callejón de Huaylas circuit, which
is not very far, is a necessity and a great opportunity to
be in contact with nature, people and their folklore.
the route, the footprints of a wonderful cultural past in
sculpture and architecture can still be appreciated, such
as, the chulpas or graves of Willcahuín
and Honcopampa; a tomb at Janku; and sites like Huallac, Kekamarca,
Marcún and Keyash.
Park. Created in 1975 with the objective of preserving
the flora and fauna, geological lands, archeological sites,
and the beauty of the Cordillera Blanca, the park comprises
not only the famous Huascarán, but all the area
that surpasses 3,300 km² (1,300 sq ml).
The province that was buried together with its 50,000
people during the 1970 earthquake and stands today in the
same place. At 25 km (15 ml) from this site, the Yanganuco
Lagoon, a beautiful natural wonder of blue waters and Edenic
scenery, is located.
Laguna de Conococha. Located
over 4,100 m.a.s.l. (13,400 ft), this lagoon is where the
Callejón de Huaylas and the Santa river start.
Cañon del Pato. This
canyon is famous for its hydroelectric plant and for being
at the northern end of the Callejón de Huaylas.
Monterrey Thermal Baths. They
are located at only 7 km (4 ml) from Huaraz, with waters that
reach up to 49°C (120° F).
Chancos Thermal Springs. At
a distance of 30 km (18 ml) from the capital, with temperatures
ranging from 68° to 72° C (155° to 160° F).
ATTRACTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ANCASH
Archeological Complex Chavín
de Huantar. Located
in the Callejón de Conchucos, Chavín de Huantar
was once one of the main religious and cultural centers in
the western hemisphere. An example of its outstanding architecture
in stone is the castillo or castle and its labyrinth,
a mysterious construction of narrow paths and a multitude
of enigmatic figures in carved stone, such as, the Cabezas
Clavas, sculptures with ferocious faces.
This fortress is located in the Coast, within the limits
between the departments of Lima and Ancash. In spite the fact
that some archeologists believe this imposing construction
was a religious ceremonial site, the majority coincide in
that it was used as the last bastion of the Chimús,
before submitting to the forces of Inca Pachacutec in the
middle of the fifteenth century.
Nepeña. At 35 km
(22 ml) from Casma in the Coast, this valley is near the huaca
(tomb) of Pañamarca, built from adobe and which still
shows vestiges of a Mochica past, with paintings
unique in their style.
Huarmey. Coastal province
with several fish mill industries and beautiful beaches along
its coast, specially Tortugas.
2 main attractiveness: Sechín.
This was the first cultural site in the Peruvian Coast. It
houses an archeological complex by the same name with an antiquity
of over 3,000 years. It is impressive on account of its architecture
and stone ornaments, uncommon to the cultures of the Coast.
It is located at 5 km (3 ml) from Casma. Tortugas´s
Beach. It´s leaving the city, in the route to Chimbote.
Chimbote. Once considered
the most important fishing port in the world. The city is
located in the broad bay of El Ferrol, one of the most sheltered
and safe in the world.
DISHES AND BEVERAGES
Due to the variety of its climate
and geography (Coast and Sierra), Ancash has dishes to please
the most demanding tastes. Beside the cebiche and other
dishes based on fish and seafood that may be tasted on the
Coast, well-known in the Sierra are, Huaracino style
guinea-pig picante, jaca-chasqui (a variation of the
former dish, but as a soup), papa-chasqui (soup based
on potato, milk and cottage cheese), yuca-shupe (an
low fat soup served in the morning after a night of amusement),
pecán-caldo (lamb head broth), huallpa-chasqui
(chicken broth with ground nuts and almonds), and humitas
It is recommended to drink any
of the different fruit punches, according to the season.
January 18 through 21.
Virgen de Chiquinguirá. Caraz honors its
patron dancing, drinking and eating during those days.
February 2. Virgen
de la Candelaria. The province of Aija honors this Virgin
with dancers disguised as black men, and tasting typical food.
This is a celebration in Huaraz and other districts with great
pomp and exhibition of folk dances, food and costumes.
Holy Week. Several
activities are planned during these days to remember the sacrifice
of Jesus Christ on behalf of humanity. At Huir, processions
take place during the whole week, the locals carrying a different
image each day. At Lujuriaba, on Palm Sunday the whole town
participates in the celebrations with the palms they have
previously gathered from the fields and which are to be blessed
and carried during the processions. At Carduza, the people
wear black garments and keep mourning on Holy Thursday and
Good Friday. At Huasas, there is a gathering of images and
retreat. At Corono, the people stay home and do penance on
May 3. Señor
de la Soledad, patron of earthquakes and disasters. On
this day, the people from other districts and villages arrive
bringing with them small typical music bands with quenas
(Andean flutes) and bombos (large drums),
and also gigantic candles made by themselves to carry during
June 8. Fiesta de la
Virgen Purísima. The province of Raimondi organizes
the festivity in honor of this Virgin with bullfights, typical
dances, cattle selling, and also pageants of the Inca period.
June 29. Fiesta de
San Pedro de Corongo, patron of the province. With diverse
activities, folklore, food and drink, among others.
Chimbote Week. It
takes place the last week in June, with artistic, cultural,
sports and social activities. National and foreign performers
attend. On the 29, the patron of the city, San Pedro, is taken
in procession around the bay.
July 8. Fiesta
de Santa Isabel. One of the most pompous festivities in
Huaylas. It includes the participation of several music bands,
dancers and guests, who enjoy themselves both day and night.
July 25. Fiesta de
Santiago Apóstol. At the province of Aija, religious
and folklore activities are organized, where the town people
practice the yuca-canga, which means 'yuca gift.'
August 15. Fiesta de
la Virgen de la Asunción. It is celebrated in the
provinces of Huari, Raimondi and Huaylas, up the mountain
slopes announcing the arrival of the Virgin. At Huari, there
are also bullfights, cockfights and ribbon tournaments. Here,
the men compete on horseback as in medieval times, trying
to pick with a small stick a ring that bears their lovers
August 20. Santa
Regional Fair, where the people of the province sell and
exhibit their products.
August 30. Grand celebration
of the founding of the province of Aija. People dwelling in
other cities return to their homeland to celebrate this festivity
as it deserves. Also in Chiquián, a province of Bolognesi,
Santa Rosa is honored on her day. During the whole week, music,
dancing, bullfights and soccer matches takes place.
September 14. Exaltación
de la Cruz.
November 1 and 2. All
Saints Day and Day of the Dead. Family and friends visit
different cemeteries of the department to recall their dead.
They attend together with musicians, food and drink, which
they consume until dawn.