The Ancash coast is a largely barren desert strip that quickly rises into Andean foothills when you head east and away from the ocean. Most people going this way will be travelling between Lima and either Huaraz (6–7hr) or Trujillo (8hr). Huaraz is reached by a turn-off from the Panamerican Highway following a well-maintained road that climbs furiously to the breathless heights of the Callejón de Huaylas. There is a small beach resort near Barranca, and Casma and Chimbote have some intriguing archeological sites nearby, and offer alternative routes up to Huaraz.

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15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

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