Yungay (2537 meters, population 10,000) was the site of one of the most tragic natural disasters in all of the Americas. The old city was absolutely swallowed by a huge avalanche from the western face of Huascaran North made of mud, rock, and ice on May 31st, 1970. More than 18,000 were buried. Nearly the entire town. The site of the old city has been turned into a sanctuary, Campo Santo. A new city has been rebuilt 2 km to the south. There isn’t much here other than a few very basic hotels and restaurants, but it makes a good base if you are planning on doing any trekking from the lakes at Llaganuco.
Getting To Yungay
Combis between Caraz and Huaraz pass the plaza and the old city frequently.
Attractions in Yungay
Campos Santo, or Old Yungay is the sanctuary that has been built over where the old town once sat. Thousands are buried beneath the ground where you walk. You can see some remains of the old town such as the very top of the cathedral and four palm trees that sat on the Plaza de Armas. There is also a smashed and twisted bus that shows just how powerful this alluvion charged in here. As with many other sites in the world where disasters have taken place, tragedy has bee replaced by an air of peacefulness there now. There are many serene, flower filled gardens. A replica of the façade of the cathedral has been built to honor the dead, and a variety of other monuments were erected as well. The site offers a perfect view of Huascaran. Open: 8am-6pm. Admission: 5 soles.