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The Highest Mountain in Peru & Her Other Gigantic Peaks image

The Highest Mountain in Peru & Her Other Gigantic Peaks

Peru is home to some of the most majestic mountains on Earth. From Huascarán to Salkantay, Peru’s peaks are guaranteed to take your breath away (literally.) For thousands of years, these soaring peaks have been worshipped as Apus, Mountain Spirits, and held with the utmost respect by Peru’s native cultures. Below is a list of Peru’s 11 most remarkable mountains, ranked by height in descending order.

Laurel Thompson

1. Huascarán

22,132 feet (6,746 m), Cordillera Blanca Taking the title of the highest mountain in Peru is Huascarán. It is the southernmost peak of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range, standing at 22,132 feet (6,746 m) tall. The mountain lies within Huascarán National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to incredible animals such as cougars, jaguars ,and the Peruvian tapir. Ever since it was scaled back in 1932, the area has been a popular destination of climbers and trekkers. You can reach the mountain by traveling to Huaraz and then to the small village of Musho.

2. Yerupajá

21,709 feet (6,617 m), Cordillera Huayhuash The second highest mountain in Peru is Nevado Yerupajá at 21,709 feet (6,617 m). It stands in the same area (Ancash department) as Huascarán but rests within the Cordillera Huayhuash range. Yerupajá is not a climb for the fainthearted. With its characteristic knife-edge summit ridge, it makes for a difficult climb for even the most skilled mountaineers. It is nicknamed El Carnicero (“The Butcher”) by the locals for its blade appearance and complex climb. To arrive at Yerupajá you must travel via Huaraz and Chiquián.

3. Coropuna

21,079 feet (6,425 m), Cordillera Ampato About 90 miles outside of Arequipa sits the highest volcano in Peru, Nevado Coropuna. This volcano reaches a height of 21,079 feet (6,425 m), making it the third highest mountain in Peru. Worshipped by the Incas and said to hold one of the most sacred apus, (mountain spirits) in Peru, this volcano is still revered today. Ancient temples and Inca trails rest visibly on the base and slope of this striking peak. Although Hiram Bingham was the first to be recorded scaling this beast, it is likely the Incas reached the summit long before he did.

4. Huandoy

20,981 feet (6,395 m), Cordillera Blanca Located near Mt. Huascarán, Huandoy is the second-highest mountain in the Cordillera Blanca range and the fourth highest mountain in Peru The tallest peak of this mountain stands at a cool 20,981 feet (6,395 m). Once again you can reach this mountain via Huaraz, the gateway to the Andes, and the capital of the Ancash department of Peru.

5. Huantsan

20,981 feet (6,395 m), Cordillera Blanca Tied with Huandoy at 20,981 feet (6,395 m) is Huantsan. The peak resembles an arrowhead and poses a great challenge for those willing to try to conquer it. Getting to Huantsan is easy by way of Huaraz, but the climb itself is a dangerous and difficult one.

6. Ausangate

Jutting up at 20,945 feet (6,382 m), makes Ausangate the tallest peak in the Cordillera Vilcanota range, and the fifth highest mountain in Peru. It is located in Southern Peru, 60 miles from the Inca capital of Cusco. Similar to Coropuna, Ausangate is one of the most important apus (mountain spirits) in Inca mythology. The multi-day Ausangate Trek is a popular one amongst climbers looking to experience the massive mountains in this country. Folks typically leave from Cusco for Tinqui, Chilca, or Pacchanta to begin the trek.

7. Chopicalqui

20,817 feet (6,345 m), Cordillera Blanca Although Chopicalqui is one of the tallest peaks in the Cordillera Blanca, and the eighth highest mountain in Peru, it has a reputation for being one of the easiest to climb. This fact makes it a popular destination for trekkers of all levels. As with most of these climbs, people typically start in Huaraz then head to Yungay for the base camp of Chopicaliqui.

8. Siula Grande

20,813 foot (6,344 m), Cordillera Huayhuash Siula Grande is the most famous mountain in the Cordillera Huayhuash mountain range and the ninth highest mountain in Peru. Joe Simpson and Simon Yates were the first to scale the west face of this beast and their incredible journey was documented in the book Touching the Void, which later became a movie.

9. Chinchey and Palcaraju

20,698 feet (6,309 m) and 20,584 feet (6,274 m), Cordillera Blanca Located in the Cordillera Blanca lie Nevado Chinchey and Nevado Palcaraju. The former is the tenth highest mountain in Peru, and the latter is the twelfth highest mountain in Peru. Both peaks are a part of the Chinchey massif. Chinchey is slightly taller than Palcaraju, standing at 20,698 feet. Like many of the imposing mountains in this list, Chinchey and Palcaraju can both be reached via Huaraz.

10. Ampato

20,630 feet (6,288 m), Located in Southern Peru, Cordillera Ampato is the eleventh highest mountain in Peru. This dormant stratovolcano reaches a height of 20,630 feet (6,288 m). Ampato is located about 60 miles outside of Arequipa, the second most populous city in Peru. Ampato has become a legendary peak due to a 1995 expedition by Dr.Johan Reinhard, who discovered the frozen and mummified remains of an Inca girl close to the summit. This discovery was evidence of child sacrifice to honor the apus. (mountain gods). Her well-preserved remains are housed in the Museo Santuarios Andinos, a must-see exhibit in Arequipa.

11. Salkantay

20,574 feet (6,271 m), Cordillera Vilcabamba Nevado Salkantay claims the title for the highest mountain in the Cordillera Vilcabamba. It is located in the department of Cusco, near the famous Machu Picchu. Salkantay was one of the most sacred mountains in the Inca Empire and was said to have the capability to control weather and fertility in the surrounding area. One of the more famous mountains, it is often traversed as an alternative multi-day trek to the Inca trail. The trek is a challenging one ,but attracts climbers of all skill levels. Climbers approach the mountain via Cusco and Mollepata. The views on this trek are unforgettable.

Whether you are gazing at the snowcapped mountains from a rooftop in Arequipa, or trekking to the top of one of these impressive peaks, experiencing Peru’s mountains is an item you’ll want to add to your bucket list. Reach out to one of our specialists to start planning your adventure today.

Plan exploreInca Trail to Machu Picchu
Plan exploreDestino Cusco
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