• High altitude trek of nature and culture
  • Considered one of the most pristine and beautiful treks
  • Not easy, but worth every moment!
Difficulty
Difficult
75%
Reviews

Best tour company in all of peru!!!

We were in Peru for almost two months and they were by far the best service givers that we have experienced! They are very honest

Vallunaraju was hard work but so rewarding, the view from the top was really worth it!
I will remember my experience forever. Now I just want to attempt another summit!
Thank you Akilpo for your such an amazing thing and for giving me the best guide ever!

I will remember my experience forever. Now I just want to attempt another summit!
Thank you Akilpo for your such an amazing thing and for giving me the best guide ever!

The Cordillera Huayhuash is located 120km from the Pacific Ocean and 50km south of the Cordillera Blanca where the three regions of Huánuco, Ancash and Lima meet. It’s name Huayhuash comes from a Quechua word for a species of high altitude weasel. This is the second highest snow-covered tropical mountain range in the world after the Cordillera Blanca. It has more than 20 peaks of which 6 are higher than 6,000m, including Yerupaja (6,617m) the 2nd highest mountain in Perú; Siula Grande (6,340m) famous for the book and movieTouching the Void.

The expedition in this stunning cordillera is considered one of the most pristine and beautiful in the world and involves walking 140km at 4,300m or higher. The trail around the cordillera is always at the bases of beautiful snow-capped mountains, numerous lakes of glacial origin, small villages, landscapes and wild valleys. This is a high altitude trip and can be rigorous at times but worth the effort and sweat when you see what nature has in store for you here.

Fixed Departures 2016
August 23 to August 31

Note:  The suggested itinerary is provided for information only, because it can be modified to adapt to flight schedules, weather conditions or other unexpected events.

Day 1: Huaraz / Cuartelhuain (4,170m)

5 hours (120 km) driving) / elevation change  (+1,079m)

Departure from Huaraz south to Matacancha, a 5 hour drive. After 50km of tarred road, we turn onto a dirt with our first views of the Cordillera Huayhaush in the distance. A further 70km and we arrive at Matacancha. We set up camp on the riverbanks with the stone huts and corals of the local farmers as our neighbours.

Day 2: Cuartelhuain (4,170m) / Cacanapunta Pass (4,690m) / Mitucocha (4,270m)

6 – 7 hours / 10 km / elevation change  (+520m / -420m) / Maximum Altitude: 4,860m

We start our journey with a 3-4 hour ascent and cross our first pass at Cacanapunta Pass at 4,690m. The highest point of the pass offers views of the valleys and mountains on both sides with incredibly beautiful natural panoramas. Equally, the descent gives us views of the Caliente Valley and its marshes and hot springs that run into the Atlantic Ocean. We pass the granite block of Cerro Chincana via the Tuctupampa plain on the shores of Mitucocha Lake (4,720m) where we’ll be camping below the peaks of Rondoy, Jirichanca and Ninashanka.

Day 3: Mitucocha (4,270m) / Carhuac Pass (4,630m) / Carhuacocha Lake (4,138m)

5 – 6 hours / 10 km / elevation change (+360m / -492m)

We leave the campsite to move onto our next panoramas. Ascending the Carhuac Pass/Yano Punta at 4,630m via some grassland. Descending along the slopes of the mountains, we have a few minutes to appreciate the vizcachas before continuing the descent to the turquoise lake of Carhuacocha at (4,270m). This is an interesting place to practice a bit of trout fishing where the tranquile waters reflect the massive form of mount Yerupaja that rises above 6,000m. We set up camp on the lakeshore for the night.

Day 4: Carhuacocha Lake (4,138m) / Siulapunta Pass (4,830m) / Huayhuash (4,350m)

6 – hours /  14.2 km / elevation change (+692m / -480m) / Maximum altitude: 4,880m

At dawn, the sun rises slowly, painting the icy giants a variety of colours that are all reflected in the smooth waters of the lake. Meanwhile, the packed mules leave on another trail. We start the trek today along the edge of Carhuacocha Lake, ascending the valley wedged between three lakes to the foot of mount Siula Grande. Before reaching the pass, we have a view that dominates the valley with its lakes and rugged mountains. The Siulapunta Pass at 4,830m opens a wide panoramic horizon for us.

Continuing, we descend with the view of a green marsh always inhabited by Andean birds, to the Carnicero Lake. A few kilometres further we arrive at Huayhuash campsite (4,350m). In this area, the local farming families mainly speak Quechua.

Day 5: Huayhuash (4,350m) / Potachuelo de Huayhuash (4,780m) / Viconga (4,385m)

4 – 5 hours / 10.3 km / elevation change (+430m / -395m)

After energising ourselves in the morning, we start with a light ascent which after a few kilometres brings to the Mitucocha Lakes where without fail there’ll be some ducks busy diving. Reaching the Portachuelo de Huayhuash pass at 4,780m, we enjoy views of the Cordillera Raura with its softly hewn mountains and great glaciers. Although the area does not have many visitors, it’s ideal for snow skiing with mild slopes and accessibility to various mountains. There’s a short descent through a small swamp and grassy plain when after 2 hours, we can see Viconga Lake (4,453m). On the lakeshore is a local family who specialises in raising Alpacas from where we continue a mild ascent that’s ideal for better views of the lake. Soon we arrive at the hot springs of Viconga that’s great for a relaxing and therapeutic bath. We set up camp here for the night.

Day 6: Viconga (4,385m) / Cuyoc Pass (4,950m) / Huanacpatay (4,495m)

6 – 7 hours / 13.5 km / elevation change (+565 m / -455m)

Today we start with a 3 hour climb till we later arrive at Cuyoc Pass at 4,950m with a grand panoramic view. Two mountains are very close to us on both sides; Pumarinri (5,465m) and Cuyoc (5,550). After a break to slide down a sandstone slope, we cross a plateau covered in Ancush plants that’s very typical of the area. The descent continues to where the Huanacpatay and Cuyoc Valleys meet (4,495m). From here, it’s a 525m climb to the San Antonio viewpoint at 5,020m that proves its worth with stunning views of numerous peaks and a pair of lakes of the eastern Cordillera Huayhuash. We return down and to our campsite with its views of the snow-capped Puscanturpa (5,447m) and Sueroraju (5,442m).

Day 7: Huanacpatay (4,495m) / Huayllapa (3,490m) / Huatiac (4,250 m)

7 – 8 hours / ? km / elevation change (-1,005m / +760m)

We leave the campsite in an eastern direction via the Huanacpatay Valley. The trail continues along the right riverbank on a large plain and exits the valley, descending with a zig-zag trail where the river transforms into a waterfall that cascades down in giant steps. Later we continue with a mild descent to Huayllapa (3,490m) where there is the opportunity to top up with supplies. After a break, we ascend 2-3 hours via the Milo Valley to the plain of Huatiac at 4,250m; ideal for a campsite at the foot of mount Diablo Mudo (Silent Devil) (5,350m).

Day 8: Huatiac (4,250 m) / Tapush Punta (4,770m) / Susucocha Lake (4,740m) /

Llaucha Punta (4,850m) / Jahuacocha Lake (4,050m)

8 – 9 hours / ? km / elevation change (+520 / -270m / +350m / -800m)

A long day with two challenging passes, but after an energising breakfast we start the trek with an ascent to views of some Andean homes with their unique thatched roofs. The trails skirts the rocky slopes to the Tapush Punta Pass at 4,770m – a site with very distant panoramas. We descend via the Gaspapampa Valley and SusuCocha Lake (4,470m) with its diverse bird species, to 4,500m. The final ascent for the day is to Llaucha Punta Pass at 4,850m from where we can view some more of the Huayhuash peaks. The long descent is with a winding trail via the Huacrish Valley to Jahuacocha Lake at 4,050m. Our campsite has a dazzling view of the snow-capped peaks which change colour with sunset.

Day 09: Jahuacocha Lake (4,050m) / Llamac (3,250m) / Huaraz

4 – 5 hours / ? km / Elevation change  (-800m )

Our final day in the Huayhuash and we leave the campsite trekking east via the Jahua Valley trail that continues along a water pipeline. Before descending, we enjoy our final panorama of the Huayhuash glittering in the distance and bidding us farewell. The descent is to the village of Llamac at 3,250m from where we return to Huaraz with private transport (5 hours).

Good to know
DIFFICULTY GRADE
Difficult
75%
Transport

Road: private transport Trek: equipment transported by muleteer, mules and/or porters.

Accommodation

We camp in tents during the trek.

Meals

The food is prepared by our local chef. If you have restrictions or are allergic to any product. please inform us when booking your trip.

Options for Trek Extensions

**please speak to us about other versions/extensions of this trek as there are a variety of options to suit your capabilities and requirements.

The Program Includes:

  • Professional trekking guide
  • Camping equipment (tents & mattress)
  • Food during the trip
  • Entrance fee
  • Cook, porter, donkey driver & mules
  • Cooking Equipment
  • Transportation to and from excursion
  • First Aid, emergency oxygen & Radio

The Program does not Include:

  • Personal Equipment
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Does not include the first breakfast or last dinner.
  • Personal expenses and drinks in town
  • Other items not mentioned above

Best tour company in all of peru!!!

We were in Peru for almost two months and they were by far the best service givers that we have experienced! They are very honest

Vallunaraju was hard work but so rewarding, the view from the top was really worth it!
I will remember my experience forever. Now I just want to attempt another summit!
Thank you Akilpo for your such an amazing thing and for giving me the best guide ever!

I will remember my experience forever. Now I just want to attempt another summit!
Thank you Akilpo for your such an amazing thing and for giving me the best guide ever!

Yungay Campo Santo

Highly recommneded tour company. I’ve been traveling the world for 2 years and this is the one of best tour groups I’ve ever used. The trek Santa Cruz was recommended as I only had 4 days and was well organized and the food and companionship was first rate.

Akilpo Team 900

RECOMMENDATIONS & GENERAL INFORMATION

Acclimatisation: This is a difficult trek and is recommended for trekkers who have previous trekking experience and are physically in a good condition and fit. Acclimatisation before the trek is a must! The highest pass you will cross is Cuyoc at 4,950m with most of the trek above 4,000m. If you are coming from up from sea level or anything less than 2,500 meters, you should spend at least 3 days in Huaraz. Please see our 1-day hike programs  that would be useful in helping you adjust to the altitude. Note: We can put together a package that would include acclimatisation hikes/treks as well as a complete program with transport from Lima (return if preferred).

Recommendations for Best Seasons: The best time is from mid-April to late October, November. April, May and June are the best months for lovers of flowers. July through August are the best months for blue sky & also excellent period for photographers (warm colours and clear blue skies are great!). It starts getting cloudy more often in early September. October and November are the months when after 2-3pm you can count on afternoon showers.

Weather: The city of Huaraz has a semi-dry and semi-cold climate, with an average maximum temperature of 23.9° C (75.0° F) and a minimum of 7.1° C (44.8° F). The dry season is between the months of May to September and mid-April and October.

Vaccines: No mandatory vaccines. Recommended the typhus, tetanus, hepatitis A and B.

Languages: Spanish & Quechua (we speak English as well)

Money: Nuevo Sol, but the US dollar is accepted at restaurants, shops, and service stations

Time Difference: GMT -05:00

Location: Peru is located on the western edge of South America bordering Chile (south) and Bolivia (to the southeast), Brazil (northeast), Colombia (north) and Ecuador (northwest).

The Cordillera Blanca is a chain of snowy mountains in the north of Peru, 400 miles (640km) from Lima.

MORE ABOUT HUARAZ

HUARAZ (population: 100,000) is the capital of the Ancash Region in the northern Callejón de Huaylas valley. The eastern skyline of the city is dominated by the impressive snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, much of which is in the Huascarán National Park. One of the landmarks is Perú’s tallest mountain, Huascarán towering up at 6,768m.

At an average altitude of 3,000 – 3,100m altitude, Huaraz is also the base for most of the mountain activities like trekking and climbing in the Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash.

Cuy (guinea pig) is one of the regional specialities although you’ll also find many cebicherías (fish and seafood). Being a base for many tourists, quite a variety of restaurants and bars have sprung up everywhere. Feel free to ask us about what’s the latest/trendiest spots.

TRAVEL TO/FROM HUARAZ

By Road:  Several bus companies serve the route between Lima and Huaraz as well as between Chimbote and Huaraz. Travelling from the south of Perú, connect with a bus service from Lima (about 8 hours). From the north, the best is to connect with a bus service from Chimbote (about 4-5 hours)

By Air:  Daily flights from Lima to Huaraz/Huaraz to Lima are now available. Keep in mind that there are luggage restrictions with 15kg limit per passenger and 5kg hand luggage. The flight is about 50 minutes and a taxi (about S/25 – $8.00) can then get you to Huaraz city, more or less a 20 minute ride. For further information visit the airline site at LC Peru

GETTING AROUND HUARAZ

A range of transport options are available within Huaraz and also for getting to and from the outlying areas and villages.  The most obvious are the little ‘moto’s’ that will take you anywhere (in the day) for S/1.50 (about $0.40 – 0.50). Taxis (cars) are generally in the region of S/3-4 (about $1-1.20). Commonly used by most residents in Huaraz are the different collectivos, cars and minibuses – these are also the cheapest and will pretty much get you anywhere you want to get to.

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