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Huascarán National Park, Peru

Containing the highest tropical mountain range in the world, Huascarán National Park (HNP) is a global treasure. The Park contains most of the 6,000+ meter peaks within the Cordillera Blanca range and is noted for its spectacular mountain scenery, cultural richness and biological diversity. With elevations ranging from 2,800 meters to 6,768 meters above sea level, the topography varies to include permanent ice and snow, 663 glaciers, tundra, 296 lakes, and 41 rivers.

HNP was designated as a National Park in 1975, recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 1977, and as a World Heritage Site in 1985.

The local population around the Park still maintains many of the traditional characteristics of Andean culture, including their native language, Quechua. Archaeological sites still awaiting research include rock paintings, walkways, trails, dwellings, tombs, forts, irrigation canals, micro-dams and others.

Seven life zones within the Park create varied microclimates that provide habitats for an impressive diversity of flora and fauna. A study of high Andean flora by Dr. David Smith documented the existence of 104 families, 340 genus and 779 species of plants, notable among which is the Puya Raimondi that exhibits the world's largest flower cluster, reaching heights of up to twelve meters. Preliminary fauna studies have identified 112 species of birds and 10 mammals, including Bespectacled Bears, Vicuñas, Andean Condors, Vizcachas and Gray Deers.

HNP, from 1936 Kinzel Expedition Book

Polylepis Tree, Huascaran National Park (HNP) Peruvian Andes
Polylepis Tree, Huascaran National Park (HNP) Peruvian Andes

Speckled Bear, Peruvian Andes
Speckled Bear, HNP, Peruvian Andes

Achupaya plant, a favorite food of the Speckled Bear
Achupaya plant, a favorite food of the Speckled Bear

1936 Kinzel Expedition1936 Kinzel Expedition
1936 Klinzel Expediton, Huascaran

Lake Yanganuco, HNP, Peru
Lake Yanganuco, HNP, Peru

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