• 6 day Santa Cruz – Ulta offer some of the most impressive views
  • Two high passes  with breath-taking scenery
  • Always surrounded by snow-capped mountains
Difficulty
Moderate
50%
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!

Text Info

Day 1: Lima

Arrive at airport and transfer to hotel.

Day 2: Lima – Huaraz (3,091m)

Bus north to Huaraz! It’s a 400 km trip that lasts approximately 8 hours and snakes up the Pan-American highway through the coastal desert to the north of Pativilca. The ascent begins up to the Conococha Lake (4,080m) at about km 230. On the horizon appear the imposing silhouettes of the first snow-capped mountains, their white walls adorned with fine-ridged formations of ice and snow by way of narrow corridors (called flutes here). This spectacular area is called the Cordillera Huayhuash and to the north is the Cordillera Blanca.

Huaraz is located at (3,091m) with a population of around 100,000, by far the largest population in the area. The capital of adventure sports in Peru welcomes thousands of mountaineers and hikers every year that arrive with a desire to climb and explore the surrounding mountains. Nesteled between the Cordillera Blanca with its gleaming 5,000-6,000+ meter peaks and the Cordillera Negra, lower in altitude but surrounded by grandeur is Huaraz. On arrival we transfer directly to the hostel.

Day 3: Huaraz – 1 day of acclimatization
Today we explore the city of Huaraz and do a half-day hike to Laguna Willcacocha (3,745m) for an initial acclimatization.

Day 4: Huaraz – Cashapampa (2,900m) / Llamacoral (3,770m)

4 – 5 hours / 10 km / ascent (+870m)

Our trip leaves from the city of Huaraz, driving north in private transportation and runs the length of the Huaylas Valley passing by the cities and towns of Carhuaz, Yungay and Caraz. Gradually the road detours and ascends to Cashapampa, arriving after 3.5 hours this is  the beginning of the hike. We meet up with our team and load gear onto the pack mules.  After a short break we began the journey that starts gradually by the Santa Cruz gorge and following the path of its namesake river, which is to our left. After 1.5 hours the trail transitions to more of a open plain always adorned with shrubs and native fauna. Next we see the cascade Paccharuri, its spring slides off the Nevado Santa Cruz south (6,241m) and Abasraju (5,785m). We continue to Llamacoral (3,770m). Here we set up the tents, overlooking the snowy Taulliraju (5,830m) here we also get a good look at the bottom of the valley.

Day 5: Llamacoral (3,770m) / Taullipampa (4,250 m)

7 – 8 hours / 13.5 km  / ascent (+480 m)

We continue up the long Santa Cruz gorge a few kilometers to Ichiccocha Lake. Many different species of Andean ducks and waterbirds can be seen here in abundance in the lake. Immediately we trek up a side trail to Jatuncocha Lake where it’s not uncommon to see cows, horses, or donkeys in the valley. Before reaching the camp, we detour toward the valley Arhueycocha, with a footpath that winds along the hillside of the valley to the north. Next we cross a short plain and trek up to the Arhueycocha Lake (3,430) with its colours of turquoise and surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of Alpamayo (5,947m), Quitaraju (6,036m), Pucarashta, Rinrijirca and Artezonraju (6,025m) (also known as Paramount) that sparkles in the background. Next we descend through the valley of Santa Cruz and up to Taullipampa (4,250m). Here we spend the night camping with beautiful panoramas of snow-peaks including Taulliraju (5,830m)!

Day 6: Taullipampa (4250m) / Quebrada Paria (3,850m)

7 – 8 hours / 14 km / ascent (+ 510m) & descent  (– 900m)

Having spent 2 days on a gradual ascent, we’ve acclimatized much more. Today we cross the first ridge of the tour. The ascent of 3 hours winds up to the crest of Punta Union with stunning views of the amazing Taulliraju mountain. This ancient path was used to a great extent in the pre-columbian and colonial times as a route for the transport of goods from the eastern side of the Andes. From the last switch backs we approach Taullicocha Lake (of glacial origin).

After a few minutes we reach the Punta Union pass ( 4,750 m). With magnificent views guaranteed of, if the weather cooperates, the snowy mountains Rinrijirca (5,810m), Quitaraju (6,036 m), Chacraraju (6,112m) etc. Once over the pass, we enter the Huaripampa and Santa Cruz Valleys. The marked trail then descends by the stony hillside overlooking considerable gaps and transitions to the Huaripampa Valley adorned by dense forests of Queñuale trees. Continuing to Pariah or Cachina (3,850 m), we spend the night with a view to the south side of the snowy Taulliraju.

Day 7: Paria / Molinopampa (3,750m)

5 – 6 hours / 12 km / descent (-100m)

After leaving the camp, we make a descent of 2.5 hours to the south to the valley of Huaripampa. Scattered along this trail are peculiar looking houses created by the peoples of Huaripampa, Colcabamaba, Chalhua and Machco. This is followed by an ascent up a rise that allows us to enter the short valley of Quetush Molinopampa. Our camp tonight is located on the banks of the river that flows through the valleys of Shanoj Ichiq Ulta.

Day 8: Molinopamapa / Avalanche (4,500m)

4 – 5 hours / 12 km / descent (-580m)

We walk around the corner to the valley of Ichic Ulta. Today is a short day and the route goes straight to the avalanche. The trail travels on the right side of the valley with views of the massif of the snow-capped mountain nevado Contrahierva and Cajavilca (5,657m) and in the background is a lake with waterfalls. Here there is a little spot for our tents in the plains. We spend the afternoon enjoying the waterfalls that originate from the mountain waters above.

Day 9: Avalanche / Paso Yanayacu (4,850m) / Ulta y Huaraz

5 – 6 hours /12 km / ascent (+ 350m) descent (-900m)

Today we finish off the trek with an ascent of 2 hours. Then we arrive at the Yanayacu pass (8,450m), as always offering us vistas with outstanding panoramas of the giant nevado Huascaran south (6,768 m), Ulta (5,875 m), the massif and Chopicalqui and Hualcán. We stop at the lower lake with the beautiful reflections of the Chopicalqui glaciers. We continue along the valley, cross a creek and continue until we reach the road (3,950 m). Finally we are on our way to Huaraz by vehicle through the Ulta valley passing through the village of Chair. At last we arrive in Huaraz and transfer to the hotel.

Day 10: Return to Lima

You can return aboard the night bus, if desired, or you can do day tours (complimentary) before embarking on the journey to Lima. Arrival to the capital – transfer to the airport.

Good to know
DIFFICULTY GRADE
Moderate
50%
Number of Days

6 days/5 nights

Accommodation

3 nights in Akilpo Hostel 5 nights camping

Equipment Transport

with donkeys

Meals

All meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

The Program Includes:

  • Bus: Lima – Huaraz – Lima. On “Cruz del Sur”  or “Móvil Tours”
  • One day of acclimatisation before our trip
  • Trekking guide
  • Cook, porter, mules, etc.
  • Food during the trip
  • Entrance to Huascarán National Park
  • Transportation to and from excursion
  • First Aid
  • Tents & Sleeping mat

The Program Does Not Include:

  • Personal Equipment
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Airfare to and from destination
  • Does not include the first breakfast or last dinner.
  • Personal expenses and drinks in town
  • Other medical insurance, personal medications and/or emergency services.

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
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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.