The Portachuelo Llanganuco Pass, at an elevation of 4.767m (15.639ft) above the sea level, is perhaps the most significant gateway of the Huascaran National Park, Peru. The most challenging section of the road up to the pass is a 8.5km long section. Over this distance, the road includes 28 hairpin turns and the elevation gain is 527 meters. The average percentage is 6.2%. It’s one of the famous hairpinned roads in the world.
The road to the summit is called Carretera de Yungay (or Carretera 106). This gravel track has sheer drops on one side, and stone cliffs on the other; very sharp hair-pin turns and switchbacks. Since pre Inca times this has been the passageway straddling the continental divide. The Portachuelo Pass is located in the Yungay province (Peru) and offers a broad relatively flat corridor, between the Pacific and Atlantic watersheds.
Located in the Cordillera Blanca in the Andes of Peru, this is an exquisite winding mountain drive with sharp and blind curves and hairpin switchbacks leading the traveler over the mountains. The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don’t forget your camera! The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. The breathtaking view from this point includes mounts Huascaran, Huandoy, Chopicalqui, Pisco, Chacraraju and Yanapaccha.
Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. Stay away if you're scared of heights. It is recommended that beginner riders avoid this road. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. One mistake and it's a free fall to your death.
The climb is simply terrible, with a notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. Near the pass, oxygen is in short supply. In many places the road is bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails.