Time: 15 days

Grade: hard trek


The Circuit of the Cordillera Huayhuash is one of the classic trekking circuits of the world. The Huayhuash is a compact, rugged range, and includes the second highest peak in Peru – Yerupajá Grande – 6634m. Every day on the trek hikers are treated to awesome close views of snowcapped peaks, glaciers and blue trout-filled lakes. There are no less than 8 passes to cross, the highest at 5000m. Our 15 day trek features a visit to the Base Camp of Siula Grande, made famous by the epic Joe Simpson book and the film “Touching the Void”

Although not difficult, the length of the trek, the number of nights sleeping above 4000m and the number of high passes warrants a grade of Hard.

Day 1: Drive from Huaraz to the village of Llamac to set up camp 3300m. 4 to 5 hours drive.

Day 2: Follow the river Llamac, hiking gradually up the valley to camp in open grassy countryside at Quartelhuain 4200m 6 hours.

Day 3: Cross our first pass Punta Cacanan 4700m then descend to camp at a large lake Laguna Mitucocha 4220m. 6 hours.

Day 4: We climb steadily to our next pass Paso de Carhuac 4650m to camp at trout filled Laguna Carhuacocha 4150m 6 hours. At the head of the lake are the giant peaks of the Huayhuash – Yerupaja, Jirishanca & the famous Siula Grande.

Day 5: We spend an extra day at spectacular Carhuacocha. Hike up to visit the three lakes of Siula, take an easy walk around Carhuacocha lake, go trout fishing or have a rest day and enjoy your mountain surroundings.

Day 6: There are 2 options: A gradual ascent on a good path to cross Pass Carnicero 4600m (5 to 6 hours) or a more demanding alternative Siula Pass (4800m) 6 to 7 hours. We camp by the small Laguna Carnicero 4300m

Day 7: We pass through the small settlement of Huayhuash where a few farming families live and then climb to yet another pass Portachuelo de Huayhuash 4750m. We descend past a large lake Viconga where we often see large herds of Llama and Alpaca to camp at 4480m 6½ hours. There are natural hot spring baths near the camp – enjoy your first hot bath for several days !!

Day 8: We should be well acclimatised now and ready to cross our highest pass of the trek, Punta Cuyoc 5000m. The descent is initially steep but is then easier and we and camp in large open valley Quebrada Huanacpatay 4300m 4½ hours. Option: to climb Pumarinri this day (5320m)

Day 9: A demanding climb up to the Pass Cerro Antonio (4788m). From the pass we have the most stunning views of the trek, we can see Siula Grande Base Camp and Siula glacier and several small jewel blue lakes. The descent is steep at times and we traverse above Laguna Jurau to camp in the Quebrada Calinca at Cutatambo 4100m 5 to 6 hours. A demanding but fantastic days hiking.

Day 10: We visit the base camp of Siula Grande (Joe Simpson – “Touching The Void”). We can clearly see the route that Joe followed crawling down the glacier and across the moraine rocks to reach the campsite.

Day 11: Follow down the valley Quebrada Calinca to the large mountain village of Huallapa. In the afternoon we need to climb through a steep sided valley to a high camp in the pasture at Huatiac 4350m 7 hours

Day 12: A shorter day which is appreciated after the hard day yesterday. Cross the Pass Punta Tapush 4750m to Laguna Susucocha and Cashpapampa 4500m 3 to 4 hours.

Day 13: Cross the pass Punta Yaucha 4800m to camp at one of the most beautiful sites in the Huayhuash, Laguna Jahuacocha 4150m 4 hours. Option: to climb Diablo Mudo this day (5350m)

Day 14: An extra day at Laguna Jahuacocha. Climb up Cerro Amarrillo Peak 5000m, visit Soltera Cocha Lake, hike up the pass Sambunya 4750m OR take a rest and try trout fishing.

Day 15: The final pass Pampa Llamac 4300m and a long descent to Llamac. 5½ hours. Return to Huaraz in our private van


Alpamayo base camp

Timing: Options from 8 to 10 days

Grade: From Moderate (10 days) to Hard (8 days)

This trek offers the most spectacular mountain scenery and lakes on the Alpamayo Base Camp Circuit, but is a condensed version of our classic 12 to 13 day complete Alpamayo Circuit trek. The trek features views of the stunning pyramid shaped Alpamayo, once voted to be the most beautiful mountain in the world and then the crystal blue lake Cullicocha nestled at the base of Santa Cruz Mountain.

The description here is for the gentler 10 day option, but the trek can be condensed down to 9 or even 8 days for fit people who are very well acclimatized. Please contact us to discuss which option may be best for you. We can advise after considering your level of fitness & previous trekking experience.

Leaving another lonely bivaouc spot at the foot of the north face of Pucajirca (6046m). Huascaran National Park. Cordillera Blanca. Peru.
Leaving another lonely bivaouc spot at the foot of the north face of Pucajirca (6046m). Huascaran National Park. Cordillera Blanca. Peru.

Day 1: Drive from Huaraz past Llanganuco Lakes and over the Pass Portachuelo 4750m to Vaqueria (3600m) 3 ½ hours drive. From Vaqueria we have a relaxing trek about 4 hours on a gradually rising path to a secluded campsite in the Paria Valley 3800m.

Day 2: Two hours hike further up the valley to camp at Tuctubamba 3950m. We can make a side trip on the way and climb up to the top of the pass Punta Union 4750m to have fantastic views down into the Santa Cruz Valley. 3 to 4 hours extra.

Day 3: We climb steeply on a rocky trail to the top of the pass Alto de Pacaraju 4650m from where there are magnificent views of many snow covered peaks. We then have a long descent down through lupine covered hillside to camp at a small lake Laguna Huecrococha. 3950m. 7 hours

Day 4: We climb to another pass Tupatupa 4400m & descend to camp at the top of a wide valley at Jancapampa (3600m). Directly behind camp we have views of a huge hanging glacier. 7 to 8 hours.

Day 5: A long gradual climb up a forested valley and past the lake Laguna Sactaycocha, then we climb steeply to the top of the rocky Pass Paso Pucajirca 4600m. Descend to camp at Safuna in the Quebrada Tayapmapa. 4200m. A long day 7 to 8 hours

Day 6: We cross two passes today. The first pass is a gradual ascent to the low pass of Mesapata 4500m, then we cross the sometimes windy pass Cara Cara (4830m) from where we have our first great views of the pyramid shaped Alpamayo. We camp below the majestic Alpamayo at the camp named Cruze Alpamayo 4150m. 7 hours

Day 7: We stay another night at Cruze Alpamayo Camp. Climb up the moraine to the lake Laguna Jancarurish for close up views of Alpamayo or continue upwards towards Alpamayo Base Camp (4500m). 5 to 6 hours return. Or REST DAY.

Day 8: Tomorrow is a hard day. We make it easier on ourselves in the 10 day trek option by today hiking down the valley to a secluded campsite away from the main trail named Plataforma de Valle Dos Cedros (4200m) 3 hours hiking. In the afternoon relax & enjoy the mountain views in preparation for tomorrows hike.

Day 9: A hard day with two high passes to ascend. We have a long climb to the pass Paso Osoruri 4750m. We then descend and climb again to a second pass Paso Cullicocha 4850m from where there are fabulous views of the magnificent mountain Santa Cruz. Descend to camp at the crystal blue high lake Laguna Cullicocha (4650m). 6 to 7 hours

Day 10: Downhill all the way today. We descend on a long zig zag track to the village of Hualcayan 2900m. About 5 or 6 hours. Our van will be waiting for us at Hualcayan to drive us about 4 hours back to Huaraz