• Alpamayo – the most beautiful mountain in the world
  • Stunning turquoise and azure Andean lakes
  • Joins with part of classic Santa Cruz Trek
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!

The traverse of the Cedros Valley and Alpamayo with its different ecosystems that converge in this area and home to rough trails, deep valleys, highly rated and ancient snow-capped peaks, as well as the scenic splendour of the high Andean turquoise and blue lakes. With its pyramid-like peak of ice, Alpamayo at 5,947m is one of the most emblematic mountains of the Cordillera Blanca and considered the most beautiful mountain in the world; winner of a scenic beauty contest in Munich, Germany in 1966. Hiding here is one of the most epic routes linking the Huaylas and Conchucos valleys (callejones), inviting us to incredible and transcendent experiences both physically and mentally, beside towering mountains and away from the city, that will create unforgettable moments. This trek combines with a section of the Santa Cruz Trek.

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.**Starting from Hualcayan (with 1,486m ascent on the 1st day) is only recommended for strong trekkers. (2x options only) Starting at Vaquería is recommended if you prefer a more gradual ascent and acclimatisation.

Day 1: Hualcayan (3,139m) / Wishcash (4,290m) / Lake Cullicocha (4,625m)

8 – 9 hours / elevation change  (+1,486m)

Our journey starts from the city of Huaraz, heading north on private transport to Hualcayan (3,139m), passing through the city of Yungay and Caraz. Today we face the challenge of a long ascent. After good refreshment and sustenance in the morning, we start our day ascending with a zig-zag trail with a moment spared for the Cordillera Negra on the horizon and the Huaylas Valley (callejon) with its patchwork of agriculture. Skirting the rocky slope, we arrive at Cullicocha campsite (4,625m) with the snow-covered peaks of Santa Cruz in the background.

We continue to Wishcash (4,290m) where we take a short break to recover our strength and energy and enjoy the view of our first lake, Yanacocha, shining at the bottom of a closed valley. As we continue, we pass along the edge of Azulcocha Lake (blue lake) that feeds the waters of Cullicocha Lake. Here the clear sky sunset paints the peaks a variety of lovely colours with their reflections dappling in the waters of Cullicocha Lake.

Day 2: Lake Cullicocha / Osoruri Pass (4,860m) / Ruina Pampa (4,005m)

7 – 8 hours / elevation change  (+235m / – 855m) / Maximum Altitude: 4,860m

We begin the day along the stunning crystal blue Cullicocha Lake, during the gradual ascent we’ll be  able to see the snow-capped peaks of Santa Cruz north, chico and south. Crossing the Osoruri Pass at 4,860m and descending, we pass the Torupishtanan Pass and the serpentine trail along via the slopes of Osoruri before ascending to the Vientunan Pass (4,770m).

Pausing a moment to enjoy the view of the snow-covered Milluaraju, we then start a long descent along a zig-zag trail on a barren slope toward Ruina Pampa (4,005m). The edges of the valley is decorated with ancient terraces of ancestral Andean people. We camp here for the night.

Day 3: Ruina Pampa / Jancarurish (4,225m)

3 hours / elevation change (+220m)

The journey continues to Jancarurish at 4,225m. A short day with a slight ascent as we head into the valley where after a few kilometres we see the Alpamayo summit glittering in the distance. After skirting the right edge of the Cedros Valley, we arrive at Jancarurish and pitch camp.  We take the rest of the day to rest.

Day 4: Jancarurish / Mirador de Alpamayo (4,850m) / Jancarurish

5 – 6horas /  elevation change (+655m / -655m) / Maximum altitude: 4,880m

We leave our campsite in the direction of Jancarurish Lake (4,300m) with its emerald-colour waters filled directly from the snow of Alpamayo (5,947m). With these images in our mind we ascend to the viewpoint of the Alpamayo and over a grassy plateau, rich in rare plants of the area. Breathtaking views of the ice pyramid (Alpamayo) await our arrival, as well as views of other mountains like Santa Cruz, Quitaraju, Jancarurish, Tayapampa and some high Andean lakes.  We return from here to our campsite at Jancarurish.

Day 5: Jancarurish (4,225m) / Cara Cara Pass (4,830m) / Huillca (4,000m)

7 – 8 hours / elevation change (+605m / -830m)

Departing Jancarurish northward through the gorge, we start with an ascent along the left side of Jancarurish,  a hidden trail between the pastures of Ichu and traverse a few lakes up to the Cara Cara Pass at 4,830m. With time to enjoy the amazing panorama, we spare a moment for a final look at the Cedros Valley and descend via the Moyobamba ravine, skirt the valley plain and reach the Mesapata Pass at 4,460m after a short ascent.

Continuing on, we descend to the pampa of the Tayapampa Valley to take a detour to the Safuna Lake (4,340m), a splendid blue-violet beneath the snowy peaks of Pucajirca. We return to the Tayapampa Valley and continue to Huillca at 4,000m – our campsite for the night.

Day 6: Huillca / Yanacon Pass (4,610m) / Jancapampa (3,528m)

7 – 8 hours / elevation change (+610 m / -1082m)

We undertake the today’s march along unique Andean features to ascend the Yanta Queñua ravine, a valley not lacking herdsman/women’s sites. After passing a small plateau where rocky areas are inhabited by viscachas, we go up the steepest ascent to the Yanacon Pass at 4,610m. After the fabulous scenery here, we descend to the Yanajanca Valley who’s cliffs shelter the wide Sactaycocha lake surrounded by vegetation. The trek continues to Jancapampa which is a plateau with distinctive houses, and waterfalls to the base of the snow-capped Pucarirca – this is where we set up camp in the natural amphitheatre.

Day 7: Jancapampa / Tupatupa Pass (4,360m) / Huacroncocha Lake (3,950 m)

6 – 7 hours / elevation change (+832 / -410m)

We head north-east, skirting the edge of Jancapampa and ascend via the right side through the village of Pishgopampa from where we continue on the marked herdsman trail to the Tupatupa Pass at 4,360m. This quiet place is high puna with great views of the Taulliraju and Pucajirca mountains. The descent down the Tuctubamba valley leads to the tributary of the Lucma River; a short ascent later we arrive at Huecroncocha Lake with a lot of trout and reed habitat for a large variety of Andean birdlife. This is also where we’ll camp for the night.

Day 8: Huecroncocha Lake / Paso Alto de Pucaraju (4,640m) / Paria (3,850m)

7 – 8 hours / elevation change (+690 / -790m)

We continue the trek via the Huecroncocha Lake with a light ascent to the valley, followed by a much steeper ascent that winds up the slope to the Alto de Pucaraju Pass at 4,640m. This geo-division ideally located to view the mountains of Chopicalqui (6,354m), Huascarán (6,768m – highest in Perú) and Huandoy (6,160m) in the distance. Later we descend to the plateau of Tuctupampa via the south edge of the Pucaraju Pass adorned by a Queñual forest. After crossing a small stream, we join the classic Santa Cruz trail and follow the trail to the Paria Valley, lined with Queñual forest, to our campsite. A tranquil site with views of Taulliraju mountain.

Day 9: Paria / Vaqueria (3,600m) / Portachuelo de Llanganuco pass / Huaraz

4 – 5 hours / Elevation difference  -450m / +200m

The final day consists of a short walk through small Andean style villages before the final ascent up to Vaquería. After lunch break and packing our kit and equipment from the mules at Vaquería, we return to Huaraz by private vehicle via the high pass of Portachuelo de Llanganuco at about 4,760m.  A short stop here to enjoy the beautiful and breathtaking scenery of the several high peaks like Huascaran and Chopicalqui and the colourful lakes of Llanganuco (Chinancocha and Orconcocha) before continuing to Huaraz.

Good to know
DIFFICULTY GRADE
Moderate
50%
Equipment Transport

Virtually all kit and equipment will be transported by mules. Personal items will be carried by you in your day-pack.

Accommodation

During our expedition we will camping in tents.

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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