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9 days

The Alpamayo circuit bring you to big mountain summits and deep green valleys in a remote setting; this Classic Cedros - Alpamayo trek is a true adventure. This series of ancient trails weaves through the high passes of the northern Cordillera Blanca offering day after day of stunning views and an opportunity to see the classic north face of Alpamayo. Other highlights include stupendous six-thousand meter peaks like Santa Cruz (6259 m / 20,534 ft), the Pucajircas (6050 m / 19,849 ft), and Taulliraju (5830 m / 19,127 ft) as well as secluded lakes and intact ancient queñual forests. This 9-day trek is moderately strenuous and comparable to the Huyahuash in difficulty and quality, but without the crowds.

9 day alpamayo circuit

The 9 day Alpamayo Circuit brings you to remote regions of the Cordillera Blanca, where you'll experience secluded lakes and ancient queñual forests amidst a backdrop of stupendous snowy peaks.

seasonApril - October
group departuresEvery Monday
mininum: 2 passengers
maximum: 12 passengers
shared plan
private plan
shared plan:You will travel with other adventurers heading to the same destination.

Leaving early in the morning we drive along the Santa Valley passing several villages until we reach present-day Yungay. The road winds slowly up into the gulley between the Huascaran massif and the Huandoy three-pronged peak. As we reach the overhanging valley we arrive at the boundary of Huascaran National Park. Llanganuco, as the area is known, has two lakes, Chinancocha and Orconcocha with beautiful turquoise waters. We continue driving to Portachuelo de Llanganuco Pass located at 4707 m (15,442 ft). Here we have one of the best views to appreciate beautiful mountains such as Huascaran (6768 m / 22,204 ft), Huandoy (6395 m / 20,980 ft), Pisco (5752 m / 18,871 ft), Chacraraju (6112 m / 20,052 ft), etc. Then we drive down to Vaquería where we start our trek at 3640 m (11,942 ft). Breaking our parking place we trek up the Huaripampa Valley, passing through several small Andean agricultural settlements. Pacing out our day sensibly, we ascend to our camp located in Paria valley at 3822 m (12,539 ft) and settle to enjoy mountain views of Paria (5510 m / 18,077 ft) and Piramide (5885 m / 19,307 ft) looming at the head of the valley.

Bus ride: 119 km (73.94 mi)
Time: 5 hours
Trekking distance: 10.6 km (6.59 mi)
Time: 5 hours

Continuing on this ancient trail we take a steady climb over our objective for the day; Pucaraju Pass (4625 m / 15,173 ft) which presents us with beautiful views including mountain peaks such as Taulliraju (5830 m / 19,127 ft), Rinrijirca (5810 m / 19,061 ft), Quitaraju (6036 m / 19,803 ft), Artesonraju (6025 m / 19,767 ft), Chacraraju (6112 m / 20,052 ft), Huascarán (6768 m / 22,204 ft), etc. Continuing our trek onwards and down to Laguna Huecrococha, we camp nearby and enjoy the serenity of South American finest National Park. Overnight at 3837 m (12,588 ft).

Trekking distance: 13.3 km (8.26 mi)
Time: 8 hours

Hiking up through the village of Pishgopampa our route climbs through woodland and ascends via a grassy pass where we hope to see flocks of sheep grazing happily on the mountainside. Heading over the pass at 4351 m (14,274 ft), we appreciate some mountains such as Taulliraju (5830 m / 19,127 ft), Pucahirca (6050 m / 19,849 ft), etc. Then we descend into the picturesque Jancapampa shrub-filled valley including the hardiest of the rose family, polylepis trees which are known to thrive well above the 5000 m (16,404 ft). We camp near the head of the valley (3548 m / 11,640 ft); directly behind camp we have views of a huge hanging glacier and waterfalls cascading down a vast horseshoe of cliffs hundreds of meters high. A lot of farming families live across the valley, and it is our first opportunity since Cashapampa to meet the friendly local people and the curious, happy children who call the valley home.

Trekking distance: 12.1 km (7.52 mi)
Time: 7 - 8 hours

Today’s trek will be around 8 hours long, and we start the day walking up by a gorgeous shrub-filled flanked by Quenual (polylepis) forest. We pass the beautiful tree-fringed Laguna Sactaycocha. The last section, before we reach the rocky pass, we have a short ascent on steep scree. This pass is a continental division, here we back to the Pacific Ocean. Paso Yanajanca, from which—weather permitting—we are treated to awesome views of the snowcapped peak of Pucahirca Norte (6050 m / 19,849 ft). From here we have a short descent on steep scree, but it soon levels out as we continue down a beautiful valley which lead us to Huillca plateau, one of few locations in the Cordillera Blanca where alpacas are found in abundance. Camp in Huillca at 4000 m (13,123 ft).

Trekking distance: 11.6 km (7.21 mi)
Time: 8 hours

Short and easy day! Breaking camp today, our view from Tayapampa Valley encompasses glorious views of Mt Alpamayo North East face (5947 m / 19,511 ft), Pucajirca Norte (6050 m / 19,849 ft). and Pucajirca South (6040 m / 19,816 ft). Never failing to deliver a panorama of glistening peaks, the Cordillera Blanca really is a perfect mountain haven. We get easily to Mesapata pass (4436 m / 14,553 ft), where we have panoramic views over beautiful valleys, chance to see condor flying over the cliffs. Then we descend to Moyobamba valley and we head up to the bottom, where we spend the night with the view of tomorrow's pass in sight. Camp at 4506 m (14,783 ft).

Trekking distance: 8 km (4.97 mi)
Time: 5 hours

Hike over Caracara Pass (4836 m / 15,866 ft), which presents us with superb views of Alpamayo, quite simply a magnificent, pyramid like peak. Alpamayo is probably the most famous peak of the Pukhara massif, of Cordillera Blanca most northerly massif. Even though neighboring peaks dwarf it, the beauty of this mountain has long captivated climbers, trekkers and photographers. After lunch, hike up to the moraine - about two hours roundtrip - and enjoy stunning views of Alpamayo's famed classic pyramid shape and the turquoise green lake below the peak. Camp at Jancarurish Valley at 4206 m / 13,799 ft and take in dazzling views of Alpamayo as the sun sets and rises.

Trekking distance: 5.1 km (3.17 mi)
Time: 4 hours

Waking to Alpamayo makes for a memorable start to today’s walk! As we leave behind views of this magnificent mountain, we begin a long ascent with about 50 vueltas (switchbacks) to arrive at Jatun Viento Pass (4762 m / 15,623 ft). Descend to camp at 4556 m (14,947 ft), our highest campsite, and a well-deserved rest.

Trekking distance: 12.3 km (7.64 mi)
Time: 7 - 8 hours

Hike 1 ½ hours to our last and highest pass, Toro Pishtanan (4870 m / 15,977 ft). Descend to Cullicocha Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in this area of the Andes, with its blue-green waters and view of the three peaks of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the background. Enjoy views of the Cordillera Negra, the snowless mountain range running parallel with the Cordillera Blanca to the west. Continue to Huishcash (3997 m / 13,113 ft) and camp near a modern aqueduct that has replaced an old Inca one.

Trekking distance: 9.7 km (6.03 mi)
Time: 6 - 7 hours

Leaving camp this morning, we enjoy a downhill walk to the pre-Incan ruins of Hualcayan and descend through the farmland and village life of Huaylas Valley. Upon reaching the edge of the national park, we met by our private vehicles with time to sit and absorb the last morning of our trek. Taking a scenic drive back to Huaraz we return to the group hotel for a well-earned shower and in time for celebrations.

Bus ride: 106 km (65.87 mi)
Time: 3 hours
Trekking distance: 6.2 km (3.85 mi)
Time: 3 hours
Our safety standards are the best in the business
  • Transportation
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • Double occupancy tents with Thermarest sleeping pads
  • All meals during trek
  • Non-alcoholic drinks... keep reading
no included
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Laundry service
  • Airline tickets
  • Sleeping bags (rent available)
  • Personal gear... keep reading
what to take
  • Regular and long wicking first layer for cold weather, like polyester, nylon, or merino wool
  • Short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, breathable fabrics, like nylon and polyester
  • Light-colored long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts
  • QuickDry Pants, trekking pants, and shorts
  • Insulated long-sleeve jacket (fleece, synthetic, down, merino wool)... keep reading
Personal First-Aid Kit
On each trip we carry a medical kit, but we suggest you bring a small personal First-Aid Kit for bruises and blisters. Knee and ankle braces are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.

Book alpamayo circuit

$1,700.00/9 days and 8 nights
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