Orientation Mancos is a tranquil valley town right at the base of Huascaran – the tallest mountain in Peru and the world’s equatorial belt. Despite this prime location, few tourists other than extreme hikers stop here. While there are many hikes to do around Huaraz, Mancos offers a perfect warm-up hike for those having trouble […]
Mancos is a tranquil valley town right at the base of Huascaran – the tallest mountain in Peru and the world’s equatorial belt. Despite this prime location, few tourists other than extreme hikers stop here. While there are many hikes to do around Huaraz, Mancos offers a perfect warm-up hike for those having trouble acclimating to the altitude. It is also a good alternative lodging option for those looking to stay someplace more peaceful than Huaraz.
If you listen to the locals, this cave housed the oldest dated human remains. That is definitely not true, but Guitarrero is widely recognized as a potentially historically significant archaeological site. Now, as far as archaeological sites go in Peru, it is a little underwhelming in and of itself, but the hike up has excellent views of the surrounding valley and the famous Huascaran, which is directly across from the cave. If you listen to locals, Huascaran is the tallest mountain in the world. That is not even remotely true, but it is the tallest mountain in Peru and in the equatorial zone. This is a perfect hike for those struggling with the altitude – after an initial 20 minute climb, the path levels and follows the river and the views are consistently excellent.
How to Get to Guitarrero:
Look at the map below for reference. At the star, climb out of the main path and start following the trail; take the one on the right. After a bit you’ll turn sharply off to the right to follow the trail that leads up to the cave. You’ll come back down the same path to rejoin with the main trail and continue on the way you were headed. Follow the path as it turns into a road that leads you through the town of Shupluy and back out to the highway at the town of Tingua. From Tingua you can catch transport back to Mancos or Huaraz (any van going back the way you came from).
Jack at the Guitarrero Cave
There is a pedestrian street right where you get off the combi that has two different lunch places and back across the road there is another restaurant at the bottom of the hill. All three cost between S/. 5 and S/.7 and none have names so just look for the sign that says “Menu.” At the top of the pedestrian street by the plaza there is a little market area that sells bread, fruit and snacks.
Mancos has a great hostel called “La Casita de Mi Abuela.” It’s about 20 minutes walking from the plaza; up the paved road. The hostel has comfortable beds, hot water and you can arrange all of your meals with the room of you’d like.
From Huaraz: From the plaza, face the church and walk left about 15 minutes down Luzuriaga to the Paradero de Caraz (or it’s a 3 sole taxi ride). Take a combi (van) headed towards Caraz and ask to get off in Mancos; its 1 hour and 5 soles.