Huaraz founded as San Sebastian de Huaraz, is a city in Peru. It is the capital of the Ancash Region and the seat of government of Huaraz Province, the urban agglomerations population is distributed over the districts of Huaraz and Independencia. The city is located in the part of the Callejon de Huaylas Valley and on the right side of the river Santa. Huaraz is the headquarters of the provinces Roman Catholic Bishop and the site of his official cathedral. Huaraz is the financial and commerce center of the Callejón de Huaylas. Huaraz is the place of winter sports and adventure. The origins of the city came before the Inca Empire with the development of human settlements surrounding the valley of the Santa River. Its Spanish occupation occurred in 1574 as a Hispanic-indigenous reduction, during the Independence of Peru, the whole city supported the Liberty Army with food and guns, gaining the city the motto of Noble and Generous City named in that way by Simón Bolívar. In 1970, 95% of the city was destroyed by an earthquake damaged a great part of Ancash Region. The city was supported with international help by many countries. For this reason the city was named as a capital of International Friendship, along with the snow peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, one can visit archaeological sites as Chavín de Huantar and the eastern highlands of Ancash, known as Conchucos. The name of the city comes from the Quechua word Waraq, Huaraz is in north-central Peru, about 420 km north of Lima, and at an altitude of 3,052 metres. It is the largest population center in the agriculturally important Callejón de Huaylas valley, the Callejón is a north-south valley bounded on the east by the Cordillera Blanca and on the west by the Cordillera Negra. The Cordillera Blanca includes Huascarán, the highest mountain in Peru at 6,768 metres, Huascarán and the adjacent peak Huandoy in fair weather are clearly visible from Huaraz. The Santa River flows north through Huaraz and it is not commercially navigable but has always furnished the city with good water. The river is a narrow stream of glacier-fed cold water that flows generally west of center in the Callejón. There it rushes downward through the narrow Cañón del Pato, turns westward at the town of Huallanca, the Santa River is the traditional west boundary of Huaraz, although part of the citys population has lived on the west bank there for as long as two centuries. The nominal north boundary of Huaraz is along a westward flowing creek that empties into the Santa River, the creek, whose watershed is the westward facing nearby foothills and slopes of the Cordillera Blanca, has twice since 1940 been the channel of two devastating earthquake-precipitated floods
Image: Huascaran Huandoy Chopicalqui seen from Huaraz
Huaraz is surrounded by prairies and forests in the middle of the valley.
Modern neighbourhoods were built after 1970's earthquake