In order to acclimatize before attempting the Santa Cruz trek, we stayed in Huaraz and did a couple of day trips to Pastoruri glacier and the archaeological site of Chavín de Huantar. Both involved a lot of time spent on a bus, but the landscapes we passed through on the way to the sites were beautiful. For some reason, lunch was always served late, very late. Like 4pm late. I think it was a Peruvian disorganisation thing.
Water that’s always bubbling. The guide couldn’t really explain why, except that this land used to be a volcano.
Rock paintings on the way to Pastoruri.
Walking to Pastoruri. At 5,000m above sea level, some people choose to take a horse instead.
The glacier is retreating (although some people claim not). We met a Peruvian man who had visited in 2007 and said what he saw today was much smaller.
It may not look like much today, but Chavin was an important ceremonial centre more than 3,000 years ago.
The steps on the main temple are made half from black and half from white stones.
It’s thought that Andean cosmology has it’s origins in Chavin.
The underground chambers were built with double layers of stone to withstand earthquakes.
The tour to Pastoruri cost 30 soles, and to Chavín de Huántar 40 soles. There are a bunch of agencies in Huaraz all with the same trips, so shop around. Lunch has to be bought seperately and there are obligatory stops at restaurants for this purpose. It costs about 12 soles. Bring snacks because, like I said, lunch is served late.