Pato Canyon Road is a path hewn out of sheer rock

Cañón del Pato (Spanish for Duck Canyon) is a scenic but dangerous canyon located in the Huaylas Province of the Ancash Region in Peru.

Cañon del Pato

Where is Pato Canyon?

Tucked away on the southeastern part of Huaylas Province, the road follows the canyon carved by the Rio Santa (Santa River) at the north end of the Callejón de Huaylas (Corridor of Huaylas) in north-central Peru.

Can you drive Pato Canyon?

The road through the canyon runs along a path hewn out of sheer rock, over a precipitous gorge and passes through 54 unlit tunnels, hand-cut through solid stone. The road is mostly paved. It’s called Ruta 3N. It is 52.2 km (32.43 miles) long, running south-north from Caraz (in the Caraz District) to Yuracmarca or Yuraq Marka (in the Yuracmarca District).

Is Pato Canyon road challenging?

The road is extremely narrow, not made for 2 cars or vans to pass at the same time. During the rainy and snowy periods the road may be closed. Falling rocks is a major concern. The total route involves over 50 tunnels, most of which are one lane and rough cut through the mountainside. The road rises from 500m to over 2000m. It gets narrower and narrower with a succession of one lane tunnels. These were hand cut out of the mountain and some of them are very narrow, needing a steady hand on the wheel to negotiate. There are vertigo-inducing depths of up to 1000m.