Challenging routes and trails with awe-inspiring vistas as reward.
The traverse of the Cedros Valley and Alpamayo with its different ecosystems that converge in this area and home to rough trails, deep valleys, ancient snow-capped peaks, as well as the scenic splendour of the high Andean turquoise and blue lakes. 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.
US$ 0-.00 /person
Hualcayan (3,139m) / Wishcash (4,290m) / Lake Cullicocha (4,625m)
**Starting from Hualcayan (with 1,486m ascent on the 1st day) is only recommended for strong trekkers. (2x options only) Starting at Pomabamba is recommended if you prefer a more gradual ascent and acclimatisation.
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.
8 – 9 hours trek / elevation change (+1,486m)
Lake Cullicocha (4,625m) / Osoruri Pass (4,860m) / Ruina Pampa (4,005m)
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.
7 – 8 hours trek / elevation change (+235m / – 855m) / Maximum Altitude: 4,860m
Ruina Pampa (4,005m) / Jancarurish (4,225m)
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.
3 hours trek / elevation change (+220m)
Jancarurish (4,225m) / Mirador de Alpamayo (4,850m) / Jancarurish (4,225m)
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.
5 – 6hours trek / elevation change (+655m / -655m) / Maximum altitude: 4,880m
Jancarurish (4,225m) / Cara Cara Pass (4,830m) / Huillca (4,000m)
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.
7 – 8 hours trek / elevation change (+605m / -830m)
Huillca (4,000m) / Yanacon Pass (4,610m) / Jancapampa (3,528m)
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.
7 – 8 hours trek / elevation change (+610 m / -1082m)
Jancapampa (3,528m) / Tupatupa Pass (4,360m) / Huacroncocha Lake (3,950 m)
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.
6 – 7 hours trek / elevation change (+832 / -410m)
Huecroncocha Lake (3,950m) / Paso Alto de Pucaraju (4,640m) / Paria (3,850m)
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.
7 – 8 hours trek / elevation change (+690 / -790m)
Paria (3,850m) / Vaqueria (3,600m) / Portachuelo Pass (4,767m) / Huaraz
The final day consists of a short walk through small Andean style villages before the final ascent up to Vaquería. After lunch break and unpacking 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.
4 – 5 hours trek / Elevation difference -450m / +200m
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|
Starting from Hualcayan (with 1,486m ascent on the 1st day) is only recommended for strong trekkers. (2x options only) Starting at Pomabamba is recommended if you prefer a more gradual ascent and acclimatisation.
- 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.
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 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