Hatun Machay Edit
Hatun Machay is a large area of free-standing limestone boulders and pinnacles. Its about an hour and a halfs drive north of Huaraz and looks like New Zealands Castle Rocks on steroids in appearance. The rock is a sandy limestone and is heavily featured with cracks and pockets in adbundance. Some areas are almost conglomerate in nature. Regardless it is a brilliant venue and well worth visiting if in the area.
The easiest way to get there from Huaraz is to book with Andean Kimgdom who have a close relationship with the owners of the Refugio. A day trip is 40 soles (about 10 GBP at the time of writing), but on top of that you are required to pay 5 soles (about 1.25 GBP) at the Refugio when you sign in. If you are staying more than a day then it is 25 soles each way to the Refugio.
Other companys advertise trips to the area, but details of the cost of their services are unknown at present.
Collectivos (communal mini-buses) may be caught out of Huaraz, but making sure you stop at the correct turn-off could be problematic and you would then face a stiff hour and a half to two hours uphill walk. Alternatively you could likely hire a private taxi but it would probably be more expensive (especially convincing them to hang around all day whilst you climb).
As hinted above there is a Refugio which is 10 minutes walk from the edge of the rocks. It is 25 soles/night to stay in the Refugio itself, although you can camp for 15 soles/night and use all of the facilities in the Refugio itself, including the kitchen. Unless you arrange with Andean Kingdom for them to provide your food you will have to take your own as there are no McDonald's nearby (not even in Huaraz). The same applies for day trips, so take a packed lunch.
The Refugio provides printed topos of some of the popular routes in various states of completeness. These are however likely to be dated as new routes are being put up all the time, an online version is available from Topos Peru. As of writing there is no bouldering topo, wander round and climb what is obvious (generally landings appeared to be good). According to the custodian of the Refugio at the time of writing an individual had recently visited for 36 days and spent most of the time documenting (via GPS) the location of existing and many new (and often hard) problems with the intention of producing a PDF guide and Google Maps overview. If/when this appears it will be linked from here.
Must do (easy) routes include Welcome to Huaraz (*** 6b+), Pincitas (*** 6b) and for the lovers of chimneys/off-widths/laybacking Palito con Vaselina (** 6a).
The dry season in South America is actually the winter and being in the southern hemisphere corresponds to summer in the UK, so its a good place to visit to escape the miserably wet UK summers.