Huaraz & the Santa Cruz trek

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Huaraz or “The peruvian Switzerland” as some of the adventurers call it, contains one of the most beautiful circuits of the world’s highest tropical mountain range, passing below towering peaks – Huascarán, Alpamayo, Taulliraju, Huandoy, Chacraraju and many others in the glacial canyons of Peru’s first mountain National Park and Biosphere reserve. Starts and ends in Huaraz. For this program, we offer a mix of Culture and Adventure so you can get to know the pre-inca “Chavin” Culture, who were one of the first pre-Inca civilizations in their time. The next days are complemented with the circuit of Llanganuco to Santa Cruz Valley, a classic and well-known trek. We invite you to review the full itinerary and observe the many incredible panoramas you can discover along the way. Do not forget to check our tips on the left side of this window, we want you in good condition. See you on the trail!


4 Days / 3 Nights


March – December




Day 1Huaraz

Arrive Huaraz. Transfer from airport or bus station is provided at no cost if you request it in advance. Overnight at local hotel. (No meals included)

Day 2Churup Lake acclimatization hike

Drive up on the dirt road to the parking place at Pitec; along drive we pass through traditional village of Unchus and Llupa with its traditional adobe houses and reach farmlands, there is opportunity to see local Quechua people on their traditional clothes. Then as we reach Pitec, we start the hike along a ridge, giving you breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and snow-capped peaks of the central part of the Cordillera Blanca – the highest snow-capped mountain range in the tropics. You will hike through a small Quenual forest and scramble up a trail next to a stream finally reaching Lake Churup (4450m), a beautiful, deep blue lake at the foot of the icy peak of the Churup Mountain. Spend time walking around lake side, take pictures, relax and have lunch enjoying the nature. Then return on the same way back to Pitec, where our private transportation waits to drive us back to Huaraz.

Day 3Huaraz / Vaqueria / Paria

Leaving early in the morning we drive down 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 on this narrow road to the pass at Portachuelo of Llanganuco at 4750masl. This is a spectacular view point to see Peru´s highest peak Huascaran with Huandoy, Pisco and Chacraraju. After a beautiful stop we descend driving to Vaqueria where we start our trek at 3,700masl. From here we walk towards a trail which makes its way to the left, over a small ridge into the Huaripampa Valley. As we slowly head up this valley we pass a small settlement of farmers, going by their agricultural activity and Andean vegetation. The snow-capped peak of Chacraraju, Taulliraju will come into view passing meadows and fields along the way. Camp in Paria valley at 3875masl. (B/L/D) Hiking time: Approx. 5 to 6 hours

Day 4Paria / Punta Union Pass / Taullipampa

The trail starts ascending towards Punta Union, a pass at 4,750masl. This old trail was heavily used in pre-Columbian and Colonial times as a route for transporting goods from the eastern side of the Andes to the Santa valley. As we approach the pass, Mt. Taulliraju will loom above us and on the other side its glacial lake and glacier will add color and contrast to the amazing view down the Santa Cruz Valley. The peaks of Quitaraju, Artesonaju and Rinrijirca will come into view as well as the two lakes of Ichicocha and Jatunconcha. The trail descends into Taullipampa where we will spend the night at 4250m. (B/L/D) Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours.

Day 5Taullipampa / Llamacorral

Today we continue our hike down the Santa Cruz Valley, past the side-valley of Arhuaycocha with great views of snowcapped mountains including Mt. Alpamayo. The landscape changes, and scree slopes appear on each side of the now marshy meadow as well as rock boulders fallen from the eroded walls above us. We go uphill to Alpamayo Base Camp to see the majestic Alpamayo Mountain. Finally towards the end of the day we walk out of the ever-narrowing canyon into Llamacorral, our last campsite at 3750m . (B/L/D) Hiking time: Approx. 7 hours

Day 6Llamacorral / Cashapampa / Huaraz

A steep descent brings us to Cashapampa in the early morning. We meet a vehicle that will take us back to Huaraz saying good-bye to our camp crew as the road winds slowly down to the main valley, arriving in the afternoon. (B/L) Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours

Transfer Out

  • Detailed tours
  • Entrance ticket to ¨Parque Nacional Huascaran
  • Transportation by vehicle on the days mentioned
  • Hotel overnights at 3 stars property in Huaraz (Day 1 & 2)
  • Double occupancy tents with Thermarest sleeping pads
  • Donkeys & horses to carry luggage to the camp and passengers if necessary
  • Kitchen crew and necessary camping gear
  • All meals as detailed
  • Bilingual guide
  • First aid kit
  • B- Breakfast / BL- Boxed Lunch / L- Lunch / D- Dinner

  • Meals not listed
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips
  • Taxes
  • Laundry service
  • Additional tours
  • Personal Insurance
  • Airline tickets (we can reserve)
  • Transportantion to/from Huaraz
  • Sleeping bags (we can rent)
  • Hiking boots & other personal gear.
  • Extras
  • Cotton short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Fleece or Wool sweater and/or trousers
  • Lightweight pants
  • Regular and long underwear (at over 13,000 ft./4,000 masl)
  • Medium weight parka with fibber fill or down
  • Light cap and wool hat
  • Rain poncho (or rain gear)
  • Water bottle
  • Light gloves
  • Medium weight socks
  • Hiking boots
  • Sleeping bag (-5º to 0ºC)
  • Small daypack
  • Strong waterproof duffel bag
  • Sunglasses, Sun block, lip balm
  • Flashlight with spare batteries and bulb
  • Towel
  • Personal First-Aid Kit. On each trip we carry a medical Kit but we suggest a small personal First-Aid Kit for bruises and blisters. A knee and ankle brace are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.

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