The department of Ancash starts on a slightly hilly coastal strip and climbs up to the highest snow-capped mountains in Peru. Spread out along the Callejon de Huaylas, a dazzling valley stuck between two mountain ranges, the Blanca and Negra Cordilleras, you will find picturesque and pleasant cities like Recuay, Carhuas, Yungay, and Caras, while the urban and commercial center of the area is the capital of Ancash, the energetic city of Huarás. It was between the years 1200 b.C. and 200 b.C. that the Chavín lived in the region, the same that left as their legacy the impressive archeological complex of Chavin de Huantar, which, in 1985, UNESCO placed on the World Cultural Heritage List. Throughout the entire department, you can see the most spectacular snow covered mountains, among them Mount Huascaran (6,768 ma.s.l.), the tallest peak in Peru. In addition, there are hot springs and spectacular lakes as those of Llanganuco; in all, it is an area perfect for adventure sports like white water rafting, mountain climbing, mountain biking, and trekking. The Huascaran National Park, placed on the World Natural Heritage List by UNESCO, guards wildlife species in its beautiful surroundings like condors, vicuñas, deer, pumas, Andean foxes, and viscachas.