The original village was the site of a horrific tragedy on May 31, 1970, when an earthquake dislodged an immense chunk of mud and ice from Huascarán. The resulting aluvión destroyed the town in minutes and killed 18,000 people, nearly the entire village.
The few hundred survivors of the tragedy built a new settlement on a nearby, more protected, site. New Yungay is a mix of modern buildings and a hundred or so prefab wooden cabins that were donated by the former Soviet Union.
The silt plain above the old village has been converted into the Campo Santo Cemetery (8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, US$0.60) and remains a solemn place. The only evidence of the village is the tops of a few palm trees, which once ringed the town’s square and now just barely stick out of the hardened mud, and the church’s old facade.
In the floodplains nearby, huge boulders and a crumpled bus attest to the power of the mudslide. Miraculously, a huge white statue of Christ, which stands above the town’s hilltop cemetery, survived the flooding. It was there that a few hundred people clambered to safety during the mudslide.
From this statue, there are views over the entire valley up to the flanks of Huascarán, where the path of the mudslide can still be seen. There are two festivals here in October, including Virgen del Rosario in the first week of October and the town’s anniversary, October 25–28.
During high season (June–August) minibuses take tourists from Yungay to Lagunas Llanganuco  (26 kilometers). Early-morning buses for Yanama, on the other side of the Callejón de Huaylas , also leave from Yungay.