Chacas road is a extreme road between Chacas and Carhuaz, with a length of 73.8km in the province of Asunción, in the Ancash Region of Peru, surrounded by the Cordillera Blanca. The dangerousity of the road (officially called 107) makes that the trip takes longer than 4 hours.
Several buses of Transvir company cover this trip daily. The highway is not asphalted and raises by dangerous steep, but the bus drivers generally take their time. This road is one of the most spectacular in Peru taking you up to well above the snow border. During the rainy and snowy period the road may be closed.
Starting in Chacas (at 4.067m above sea level) you will pass the south face of Peru's highest mountain, the Huascaran (6,768 meters). The road curves endlessly down into a quiet valley and continues to Carhuaz, close to Huaraz in the Callejon de Huaylas. The road climbs the Punta Olimpica pass, at an elevation of 4,890m above the sea level. Carhuaz is a city in the Ancash Region, located at 34 km from Huaraz, at 2,688m above sea level.
With more time you can continue traveling in the Callejon de Conchucos from Chacas to off-the beaten track Huari. From this town you can take a nice walk up to a mysterious lake which can be crossed by boat. The road continues from Huari to famous Chavin de Huantar where you can explore the 3000 year old ruins of the Chavin culture.
Chacas is a characterful town of about 5500 to 6000 inhabitants in the Department of Ancash, Peru. Architecturally, the most outstanding features are the impressive Virgen de Asuncion Church, and the modern stone built hospital.
Italian Padre Hugo de Censi, 84 (2008), has been the Catholic Priest for Chacas and its outlying communities since 1975. He is incredibly dedicated to the District of Chacas, raising substantial funds through his nephews in Italy, and can be thanked for the modern hospital. Thanks to his dedication, the hospital enjoys much modern equipment, making it the most modern for some distance.
This route is not available all year, being closed for several months when the snow line reaches down to the level of the road. The unpaved route is especially hazardous just before the road is closed.
Depending on your driver, the journey is likely to be something of a trial. Many westerners, and younger Peruvian children are likely to get travel sick. Eat little before the journey, and drink only mineral water. All but the hardiest should take travel sickness pills.
This is a maintained road where a high clearance 2WD vehicle is able to travel safely at low speeds on long dry straight-of-ways, without losing control due to wash boarding, ruts, or dips. All primitve dirt roads may be rocky with areas or soft gravel or sand that makes travel unsafe for sedans or RVs. Some road sections may require a high clearance 4WD vehicle, in four-wheel-drive, driven by a driver experienced in 4WD drive techniques to drive the road without getting stuck.
If you dare take the risk and travel along this dusty and bumpy route, then make sure to be driven by someone who has experience of the road. Staying on track here takes oodles of concentration. There's sheer drops virtually along the entire route and enough hairpins to make a whirling dervish dizzy.
The road bad conditions, with extremely large pot holes could potentially pop a tire, crack a rim, or screw up your cars allignment.
The unpaved sections of the road can be impassable when wet. In any case, driving 4WD is recommended due to uneven surface. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle and can easily get muddy if it rains making it challenging to get through.
Although it can be a reasonably easy drive in favourable conditions it also has the potential to be a very difficult track and at times impassable after wet weather. It is very important to check rainfall in this area before setting off and make sure you are well prepared for the trip.
Menacing desert terrain with numerous steep, rocky climbs. Large, sharp rocks require tight maneuvering, increasing the likelihood of tire damage. High clearance, skid plates and differential lockers required. No stock vehicles. A complex network of poorly defined roads makes route-finding very difficult, even following a GPS tracklog. Very hot in summer. Carry plenty of water. Never drive this trail alone.
Due its climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and pass through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared. Check weather forecasts before leaving home, and remember that it becomes cooler and often more prone to storms at higher elevations. Be prepared with jackets, water, and emergency kit in your car.