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Altitude: 2,650 m (8,692 ft) Population: 5,044 Phone Code: 43

Carhuaz takes its name from the Quechua word for “yellow,” in reference to the abundant and native retama flower that grows in the region. The year-long, spring-like climate makes it a delectable place to visit.

This city sits an altitude of 2,650 meters (8,692 ft), and though it can get chilly during the night, it is pleasantly dry and sunny throughout the day. Carhuaz is smaller, quieter and cleaner than Huaraz, though it has far less tour operators and travel agencies. It has a charming main square and a curious abundance of ice cream shops, all featuring creative homemade flavors such as, believe it or not, beer.

Actual beer and various spirits flow freely during this city’s main festival, the Virgen de la Merced celebration in September, inspired by a purported miracle. In 1745, travelers on their way to Caraz, carrying a box containing an image of the Virgin, decided to rest for one night in Carhuaz. The next morning they attempted to lift the box, but it mysteriously refused to budge. This was interpreted as a holy memorandum on behalf of the Mother of God: Carhuaz—not Caraz—was to be their designated destination. The resultant annual carnival on September 24 features processions, pyrotechnics, dancing and other diversions. Another point of interest is the Sunday market, a colorful experience featuring indigenous cuisine and crafts.


Other places nearby Carhuaz: Huaraz, Chiquián, Yungay and Caraz.

By Ricardo Segreda
Growing up in New York, Rick Segreda used to cut out of high school in order to hang out at the Museum of Modern Art and catch foreign-language...
09 Jul 2012

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