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At the North side the Callejon de Huaylas ends in the Cañon del Pato (Duck Gorge). Through this very narrow gorge all the water of the Rio Santa needs to be squeezed to get on towards Chimbote and the Pacific. An interesting place for dam builders but also for sightseers. Going from Huaraz to Trujillo through the Cañon del Pato is quite spectacular at times.

The road is famous all over Peru for it's many tunnels (about 32). If you go by bike you should make sure to get a helmet and s headlight with sufficient battery. Even though there is not too much traffic on the road you have to be visible in the tunnels.

Outdoor Adventures (Trekking and Biking) Agency in Caraz

Summit Peru

You can visit the Cañon as a daytrip from Caraz.There are various stores in Caraz renting bikes or organizing trips by car. It will take you a few hours to go down from Caraz by bike. If you are not well trained it is recommended to arrange transport to get you back up to Caraz.

The landscape changes quite dramatically during the descent from Caraz. Frist you drive throught the green fields of the most Northern tip of the Callejon de Huaylas. There are lot's of fruit trees, artichoke fields and many more crops. but it soon gets drier and the cactus takes over, some of which carry delicious fruits.

Hotels in Caraz

Hostal Caraz Dulzura
Hotel Regina
Hotel Chavin

In the narrow parts of the cañon very little grows. Here the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Negra come face to face , cliff to cliff, at only 6 meters apart.

There are a couple a hydro-electrical works in the river that are interesting to take a look at. There are a couple of big water reservoirs in the Rio Santa here that have to control the year-round hugely fluctuating river stream.

Restaurants en Caraz

Las Tres Ositas
Heladeria Caraz Dulzura

There are a couple a bridges hanging over the river seemingly made for engineers mostly. They seem very strong and are fun and open to walk over. naturally you will miss this part if you just pass through by public transportation.
The only thing you won't find in the 'Duck Gorge' is a duck. And if you do you are very lucky: The locals eat them.

The tunnels are sometimes beautiful to see on the inside. Try to get a seat at the front window of your bus to see this best. The right seat in the bus is also recommended if you come from direction Huaraz-Caraz.
The best light for taking pictures is probably the middle of the day. Early in the morning (when most buses leave from Caraz) the sun can't shine in yet at many steap places.

Caraz is a good place to start your visit to el Cañon del Pato. There you can get the necessary gear and there are enough hotels and restaurants.

Organized by Summit Peru, Caraz.
(by Kristinn Kristinsson , August 2005)