Timing: 3 Days
Grade: Medium to Hard
This is a special mini trek along the famous Santa Cruz Llanganuco Circuit especially for those travelling with limited time available, but still wanting to experience the splendor of the Cordillera Blanca mountain scenery.
The trek offers amazing mountain scenery with spectacular views of snow covered mountains, vertical rock walls, crystal blue lakes and the challenging pass Punta Union at altitude 4750m, all condensed into 3 days.
This is a medium-demanding trek, suitable only for fit people who are already well acclimatized. It is an ideal trek to combine with treks and tours to other areas of Peru or as extra acclimatization for climbing.
Day 1: Drive to the famous Llanganuco Lakes, and then on to the settlement of Vaqueria (3600m) where we start trekking. A relaxed gradually ascending hike through the agricultural settlements of the Huaripampa valley, then we enter the wilderness of the Huascaran National Park and camp in a secluded hidden valley at Paria (3900m) 5 hours
Day 2: A sustained climb up to a narrow notch in a granite wall which is the pass over the Divide, Punta Union (4750m). The massive snow capped mountain of Taulliraju dominates the skyline and we also see Rinrihirca and Quitaraju mountains, and in the distance we glimpse blue Jatuncocha Lake. After admiring the views and taking photos, we take an easy zig zag trail down to our camp in a meadow at Taullipampa (4254m) 6 to 7 hours.
Day 3: We make a short detour to hike up for views of the famous Alpamayo Mountain, once voted to be the most beautiful mountain in the world. We then have a long but easy downhill hike on a good trail next to a tumbling river to the village of Cashapampa (2900m) 6 to 7 hours where our private vehicle will be waiting for us & we return to Huaraz
Note: Special Interest
If you choose to do this trek, you will be helping and contributing to improving the economic situation for the local people of the villages of Colcabamba and Vaqueria at the start and end of the trek.
Because of unfair local politics, the donkey drivers from these villages are not permitted to work on any treks other than those starting from Vaqueria. The work as donkey drivers is a vital source of cash income for the people who live in these villages, and without this work they have very little cash with which to improve their lives and educate their children.