Trek where few others venture with panoramas of some of Peru’s highest mountains.
An ideal trek with very few visitors each year and the opportunity to learn about the archeological finds at Joncopampa. The Aquilpo Valley is bordered by two enormous granite blocks, vertically harmonised with Queñual forest, rivers, waterfalls, animals and a campsite next to the lake at the foot of the mountain with the same name. From the highest point (Urus Pass) we get impressive views all around us of the beautiful 6000m+ snow-capped peaks. The Ishinca Valley is famous for its climbing routes with lakes and their splendid colours, plains and slopes with long Ichu grass.
US$ 0-.00 /person
Huaraz / Joncopampa (3,465m) / Aquilpo Lake (4,700m)
Depart Huaraz to the north with the main road up to the village of Tariacá and go onto the dirt road that runs along the Pariahuanca (2,811m) hill and ascend up to the archeological site of Joncopampa at 3,465m (2 hours) from where we visit the archeological remains of Joncopampa. After 2km we enter the Aquilpo Valley that gives us a lovely view of the trail that enters the narrow canyon/valley of Aquilpo with its Queñual forest. We cross the river various times and after a few kilometres the valley opens up to lush pastures. The final section ascends the steeper slope until we reach Aquilpo Lake (4,700m) and its icy waters with their blue turquoise colours dilating the reflection of the snow-capped peak of mount Aquilpo (5,520m). Camping here, we have a view of the valley we’ve just passed through and its surroundings.
7 – 8 hours trek / 13.5 km / elevation change (+1,235m)
Aquilpo Lake (4,700m) / Urus Pass (5,041m) / Ishinca Base Camp (4,380m)
Heading north after packing our equipment, we ascend along the right edge of Aquilpo Lake, at times moving away from the lake as the trail continues along the rocky slope until we reach the Urus Pass at 5,041m (about 2.5km to here). A worthwhile ascent as we now have almost 360 degree views of various snow-capped peaks like Urus, Ishinca, Ocsapala, Janyaraju and 6 miles further, Tocllaraju (6,032m), Palcaraju (6,110m) and Ranrapalca (6,162m).
We continue to descend into the Ishinca Valley when after a few minutes we sight the Milluacocha Lake in the distance, at the foot of mount Toclla. The trail continues along the slope with some Ichu grass until we reach the base camp of Ishinca (4,380m). (this is a 3km descent from Urus Pass)
6 – 7 hours trek / 5.5 km / elevation change (+341m / -661m)
In winter, equipment for snow trekking would be required for Urus Pass.
Ishinca Base Camp (4,380m) / Collon (3,450m) / Huaraz
After enjoying a brilliant dawn and packing our equipment, we descend via the Ishinca Valley with the trail on the right side and dry on the banks of the Ishinca River with its milky turquoise waters. The the prairie/open area gives way to much more lush vegetation and Queñual forest and other thick bush until we get to the valley entrance. 3 hours later we pass through the valley entrance and continue through cultivated areas to the village of Collon (3,450m). We return from here to Huaraz with our private transport.
5 – 6 hours trek / 15.5 km / elevation change (-930m)
Price details coming soon
The program includes:
- Professional and bilingual internationally certified mountain guide
- All meals during the expedition
- Private transportation round trip
- Camping equipment
- Cooking equipment
- Entrance fees to Huascarán National Park
- Cook & assistants
- Donkeys and muleteers / mountain assistants
The program does not include:
- Climbing equipment
- Personal equipment
- Personal expenses & tips
- Travel Insurance
- Items not mentioned above in “Includes”
|No. of Persons||US$ /person|
Many of the access roads to and from the Huascarán National Park are dirt roads and some sections of these road might be very bumpy in addition to winding sections in the ascents/descents.
- There are no toilets along the trail at any point.
- Be aware that there may be some crossings of small rivers and streams that do not have any bridges but only large rocks serving as stepping stones.
- During winter, ice and snow trekking equipment is required for the crossing of at least one high altitude pass.
It is important to do a few days of acclimatisation day treks before embarking on this stunning yet difficult trek. If you have just arrived from another high altitude location and you’re well acclimatised, discuss with us the feasibility of doing it on your first full day.
Recommendations for Best Seasons
All year around. The best time is from mid-April to late September or early October. April, May and June are the best months for lovers of flowers and green landscape. July through August are the best months for blue sky & also an excellent period for photographers (warm colours and clear blue skies are great!). From September to April you get a mixed sunny and pretty cloudy landscape.
The entire Cordillera Blanca has a semi-dry and semi-cold climate, with an average maximum temperature of 23.9° C (75.0° F) and a minimum of 1.1° C (33.98° F). The climate is very unpredictable, even in the dry season it can rain. During the days it can vary from hot to very frigid temperatures, included rain and strong winds or snow over 4800 meters above sea level. It usually starts getting cloudy more often in early September. October and November are the months when after 2-3pm you can count on afternoon showers.
**Note: List of required equipment for the trekking expedition. Please confirm with us which items are included in the price.
**For winter equipment to cross the Urus Pass, please see the EQUIPMENT link below to the Snow & Ice trekking list
**For more equipment lists and the Equipment Rental Catalogue – click on EQUIPMENT
- LED headlamp
- Trekking poles
- Trekking backpack
- Day pack
- Duffel bag
Camp & Cooking
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping bag liner
- Sleeping mattress
- Kitchen/dining tent
- Stove & gas/fuel
- Cooking utensils
- Expedition crates
- Trekking boots
- Waterproof trousers
- Fleece jacket
- Down jacket
- Rain/Hardshell jacket
- Rain poncho
- Light liner gloves
- Hardshell/insulation gloves
- Beanie/wool hat
Available for purchase
*subject to availability
- AA and AAA batteries
- Water bottle
- Water purification tablets
- Cooking gas
- Light liner gloves
- Beanie/wool hat
- Stainless steel flask