Location: North of Lima.
Extension: 35,459 km2.
Minimum: 4 masl (Chimbote).
Maximum: 3910 masl (Shilla).
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.
The capital of Ancash 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. Most important cities in Ancash are:
Recuay: Located at 3,400 meters above sea level(m.a.s.l.), this interesting town displays it's traditional roots with narrow streets and the Plaza de Armas. Recuay is an important agricultural center as well as a cattle town.
Huaraz: Capital of the Department of Ancash, at 3,100 m.a.s.l. Located in the heart of the Cordillera Blanca, Huaraz is the most important outdoor center. Popular due to it's geographic location and logistical resources, it is used as the base for many expeditions into the surrounding Cordillera Blanca. In 1970 Huaraz, suffered one of the worst natural disasters in world history with an earthquake that nearly destroyed the entire city, leaving 25,000 dead.
Carhuaz: At 2650 m.a.s.l, This is a Popular and welcoming city that is the starting point to the route into the beautiful Ulta valley that crosses the Cordillera Blanca via Olimpica pass (4950 m.a.s.l.). The opposite side offers access to the town of Callejon de Conchucos.
Yungay: The original beauty of this city was completely destroyed by an earthquake and washed away by an avalanche on 31st of May, 1970. It is located at 2537 m.a.s.l. and from here one may see the magnitude of the mountain, Huascaran, the highest peak of Ancash and the Peruvian Andes at 6768 m.a.s.l. This town also offers road access to the beautiful Llanganuco lakes.
Caraz: At 2256 masl, this friendly, warm city still holds onto it's unique urban characteristics present since it's beginning. Caraz is the starting point toward Paron lake, to Cashapampa, and the famous walk into the Santa Cruz valley and the Cedros valley. Here lies the glorious Alpamayo Mountain, also known as the most beautiful mountain of the world.