In 1975, Cordillera Blanca, (the Highest Tropical Mountain Range in the World), located in the state of Ancash, Peru; between the valleys in Callejon de Huaylas and Callejon de Conchucos, was declared by law the Huascaran National Park (HNP). Its surface area measures 340,000 hectares. It is 158 km long, averaging a width of 20 km, facing NW-SE. It is a beautiful landscape, home to many species of flora and fauna. In 1977 and 1985, the UNESCO recognized this protected area as a Biosphere's Reserve "Reserva de la Biosfera" and World Heritage Site.
HNP includes 27 peaks over 6,000 m. (19,680 ft.) high. Among these, it is important to point out the Huascaran South peak which at 6,786 m. (22,200 ft.) is the highest in Peru and is considered the Highest Tropical Mountain in the World. We must also mention snowcapped Alpamayo, declared the Most Beautiful Mountain in the World in a photography contest held in 1976 in Munich, Germany. The topic was Scenic Beauty. Here, we can also find a mountain that bears a striking ressemblance to the Himalaya 's K2. It is the Huantsan Grande, also known as the K2 of the Cordillera Blanca. In addition, there are hundreds of peaks over 5,000 m. (16,400 ft.) high, numerous lakes and valleys formed by glaciers, which attract numerous tourists from various continents in search of adventure in these beautiful locations which still remained untamed by man.
HNP is characterized by many topographic faults, including narrow yet deep valleys, the altitude of which range from 2,400 m. (7,872 ft.) to 6,768 m. (22,200 ft.). There are slopes from 0 to 5º in the depths of valleys and steeper ones at 45º between mountainous flanks. We can find elevation gains from 2,500 m .(8,200 ft.) to 3,200 m. (10,496 ft.) in stretches less then 5 km long. Its bodies of water include glaciers, lakes and rivers. Its geology is still active and its climate is temperate. Seven ecosystems or life zones are found here. Its biogeography incluyes 799 plant species, over 10 mammal species and 112 bird species. In addition to this, it houses the historical richness of indigenous populations.