Alpamayo circuit

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Timing: 12 or 13 days

Grade: Medium / Hard

The Cordillera Blanca must provide one of the most varied landscapes for trekking and climbing in the world. There are more than 50 peaks of 5700m of higher, including the highest mountain in Perú Huascarán at 6768m and also the beautiful pyramid of Alpamayo which has been voted the most beautiful mountain the world. There are blue lakes, high passes, glaciers, awesome vertical walls and spectacular campsites. Our trek passes by all these features.

PROGRAM FOR THE FULL CIRCUIT:

Day 1: Drive 5 hours to Hualcayan 2900m. On the way we have visits to Yungay where there is a memorial to the thousands of people killed in the 1970 earthquake, and then the colorful local market at Caraz.

Day 2: Climb steadily in a zig zag path from Hualcayan to Wishcash 4300m.4 to 5 hours hiking

Day 3: Continue upwards to the spectacular lake Laguna Cullicocha 4850m, then cross the first pass Paso Osoruri 4750m. A long descent to camp at Ruinapampa 3800m. 8 hours.

Day 4: An easy day, walking gently up valley to Cruze Alpmamayo camp 4150m. 3 to 4 hours

Day 5: Extra night at Cruze Alpamayo Camp to appreciate the stunning views of Alpamayo. Visit Laguna Jancarurish or Alpamayo Base Camp (4500m).

Day 6: Climb to the often windy pass Cara Cara 4830m from where we have more fantastic views of Alpamayo and the lakes, then traverse to another pass Mesapata 4500m and before descending to camp at Lake Safuna 4200m 7 hours.

Day 7: From Safuna to another pass Paso Pucajirca 4600m and camp in the open grassy valley of Jancapampa 3600m 7 hours. There are a lot of farming families living in the valley and we meet many curious local children

Day 8: We pass by many adobe farm houses, sheep, cattle and horses while climbing up to the pass Pass Tupatupa 4400m and descend to camp beside the small lake Laguna Huecrococha (3950m). 7 hours

Day 9: Pass Alto de Pucaraju 4650m from where we have breathtaking views of the mountain Taulliraju, then a steep descent to camp in a lovely quiet valley at Tuctubamba (4250m). 7 hours

Day 10: We enjoy our spectacular mountain surroundings by spending an extra night at Tuctubamba camp. We can take a day hike joining onto the famous Santa Cruz trail and climbing to the pass Punta Union 4750m from where we have grand views of the Santa Cruz Valley, or take a rest day and enjoy the sun at camp.

Day 11: At first we walk easily down the Huaripampa Valley passing through farming settlements and villages to Colcabamba. We then climb gently to camp by a stream at Molino Pampa in the Quebrada Keshu 3600m. 6 to 7 hours.

Day 12: A short day where we climb steadily upwards to a high campsite on a plateau perched on the mountainside called Avalanche Campsite at 4650m. 4 hours. Spend the afternoon watching avalanches crash down from the glacier on the opposite side of the valley

Day 13: A climb of around 2 hours to the high and narrow pass of Punta Yanayacu (4850m) where we have close views of the glaciers on Nevado Contrahierbas and the massive peaks of Chopicalqui and Huascarán. Then descend to Quebrada Ulta where our van will be waiting to return us to Huaraz

*FOR THE 12 DAY TREK, WE DELETE ONE OF THE REST DAYS

Santa cruz – Ulta trek

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Timing: 6 or 7 days

Grade: Medium / hard

An extension and more demanding alternative to the traditional Llanganuco Santa Cruz Trek. From the Quebrada Huaripampa where the Classic Santa Cruz Trek finishes we continue on for two more days to a high mountain plateau campsite at Avalanche Place , then cross a second spectacular pass” Paso Punta Yanayacu” (4850m) and finish our trek in the beautiful Quebrada Ulta hiking close to Huascaran the highest mountain in the Cordillera Blanca.

A tremendous shorter trek with great variety, and an excellent warm up for a climbing trip

Day 1: Drive Huaraz to Cashapampa & Trek to Llamacorral

Drive to Cashapampa 2800m 3 hours. Hike continuously upwards through the Santa Cruz river canyon to camp at Llamacorral 3750m 5 hours.

Day 2: Llamacorral to Taullipampa

An easier day hiking in a wide, open valley to Taullipampa 4250m. Today we have our first views of the famous Alpamayo mountain.4 hours.

(Extra Day Optional) You can stay at beautiful Taullipampa Campsite an extra day. Hike up to Alpamayo Base Camp for close views of Alpamayo, or to the small Artesonraju Lake or climb up Centillo Peak (5000m)

Day 3(or 4): Cross Punta Union Pass to Paria

Climb steadily up for 2 to 3 hours to the pass Punta Union 4750m then descend to camp in a secluded valley away from the main trail at Paria 3850m. 7 hours.

Day 4 (or 5) : Paria to Molino Pampa

At first we walk easily down the Huaripampa Valley passing through farming settlements and villages to Colcabamba. We then climb gently to camp by a stream at Molino Pampa in the Quebrada Keshu 3600m. 6 to 7 hours.

Day 5 (or 6): Molino Pampa to Avalanche Camp

A short day where we climb steadily upwards to a high campsite on a plateau perched on the mountainside called Avalanche Campsite at 4650m. 4 hours. Spend the afternoon watching avalanches crash down from the glacier on the opposite side of the valley.

Day 6 (or 7): Cross Paso Yanayacu Pass to Quebrada Ulta / Return to Huaraz

A climb of around 2 hours to the high and narrow pass of Punta Yanayacu (4850m) where we have close views of the glaciers on Nevado Contrahierbas and the massive peaks of Chopicalqui and Huascarán. Then descend to Quebrada Ulta where our van will be waiting to return us to Huaraz.

Santa cruz – Llanganuco trek

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Timing: 4 or 5 days

Grade: Medium

A popular shorter trek in the Cordillera Blanca. Its popularity is due to the spectacular mountain views, crystal blue lakes and the challenging pass Punta Union at altitude 4750m. An amazing variety of scenery in only 4 or 5 days and an achievable high mountain trek for any people with a love of the outdoors & reasonable fitness level.

This is a great trek to combine with the a 4 or 5 day trek to Machu Picchu for those people who would like to see a wide variety of scenery in the Peruvian Andes with only limited vacation time . It is also an excellent trek to acclimatize for climbing.

Day 1: Drive Huaraz to Cashapampa & Hike to Llamacorral

Drive to Cashapampa 2800m 3 hours. Hike continuously upwards through the Santa Cruz river canyon to camp at Llamacorral 3750m 5 hours.

Day 2: Llamacorral to Taullipampa

An easier day hiking in a wide, open valley to Taullipampa 4250m. 4 hours.

Day 3 (or 4): Punta Union Pass to Paria

Climb steadily up for 2 to 3 hours to the pass Punta Union 4750m then descend to camp in a secluded valley away from the main trail at Paria 3850m. 7 hours.

Day 4 (or 5): To Vaqueria – Llanganuco & Return to Huara

Follow easily down the valley Quebrada Huaripampa passing through farming settlements and villages, and then a short climb to the road end at Vaqueria 4 to 5 hours walk. Our private van will take us over the pass Portachuelo 4767m, passing the famous Llangunuco Lakes and then to return to Huaraz.

Santa cruz mini trek

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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.
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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.

Alpamayo base camp

terTiming: 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.

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