Trekking Huayhuash: The Cordillera Huayhuash is located in the South of the Condillera Blanca mountain range. For those, who want to explore more of the stunning surrounding of Huayhuash, you can hike around this mountain range from 8 to 15 days, from moderate to strenuous level. The mountain range is filled with colors, from turquoise lagoons, green lush through snow capped picks to blue cascading rivers. It is a home for legendary icy peaks such as the Jirishanca, the Siula Grande, the Yerupaja, the Ninashanca etc. The Cordillera Huayhuash trekking is considered as one of the best trekking circuits in the World.
Running from north to south, the main zone that has some twenty summits within about 25 km, with a secondary mountain change of summits of lower elevation toward the west that is about 15 km long. Six of the peaks are higher than 6,000 meters. Among the peaks, Yerupajá (6,617 m) stands out - it is the second highest mountain in Peru (after Huascarán, at 6,768 m.) Also of note is Siula Grande (6,344 m), which achieved fame through the book and subsequent film “Tocando el Vacio“ (Touching the Void) by mountaineer Joe Simpson.
Mountain Pisco: This is a very appealing mountain and a good option for beginners climbers or for acclimatization. Previous experience in mountaineering is not required, though you should be in good physical condition. At the summit (5752 m), you are rewarded with magnificent views of the Cordillera Blanca (White Range), including the 4 peaks of the Huandoys, Alpamayo, Artesonraju, Chacraraju and Chopicalqui. You’ll also be able to see North and South Huascaran, the highest mountain in Peru, at 6,768 meters.
Join a scheduled departure or book a private or custom trip with dates to suit you.
Day 1: Flight to Lima - Lodging in the hotel
Arrival in Lima - the largest city in Perú; population approximately 11 million. Rest or explore the city on your own. Overnight Hotel
Day 2: Travel by bus to Huaraz (3100 m) - 400 km/approximately 8 hours
This ride follows the Panamerican highway north across the impressive Pacific coastal desert. Continuing toward higher terrain, we pass through the Cordillera Negra (Black Range) at Conococha Pass (4020 m) into the Santa Valley and Huaraz (3100m.) Once across the pass, you’ll see a charming view of the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, without a doubt some of the most impressive scenery in the world. You can also fly via LCPERU - flight duration 50 minutes. Overnight Hotel (B/-/-)
Day 3: Huaraz - Day Hike to Laguna Willcacocha (3700 m)
Duration: 20 min (by car) 3 - 4 hours (hiking)
Our guide will pick up you at your hotel after breakfast with our transportation and we’ll drive about 20 minutes southeast of Huaraz to the bridge of the Santa Cruz Village where we will start ascending to the lake Willcacocha . The hike is a gradual ascent up on a local trail for about 2 ½ to 3 hours. Along the way you may expect to meet local Quechua people still wearing their traditional colorful Andean clothes. You’ll pass close to their traditional adobe houses and see how they have lived for countless centuries surrounded by richly green farm lands where they grow their products as: wheat, corn and potatoes. Upon arriving the lake, you will be amazed with the magnificent views of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range with its highest mountain Huascaran at 6768m/22,205ft. At such a vantage point, you will have the perfect lookout point for enjoying the surrounding breath taking views and shooting some “10 on the drool scale” photos and we have lunch enjoying the panorama view, before we begin our easy descent to the Shansha Village Bridge trailhead. On our way down you’ll have the great view of the valley below and of the Cordillera Blanca peaks accompanying you. Our private transportation will be waiting to take back to Huaraz Hotel.Total time of this acclimation journey is approximately 6 hours. (B/L/-)
Day 4: Huaraz - Day Hike to Laguna Churup (4450 m)
Duration: 50 min (by car) 5 - 6 hours (hiking)
Drive up on the dirt road to the parking place at Pitec ( not a village , but a few farmhouses),along drive we pass through traditional village of Unchus and Llupa with its traditional adobe houses and reach farmlands, there is opportunity to see local quechua people on their traditional clothes and working land with their hands. Then as we reach Pitec , after checking with the Huascaran National Park range, start ascending following the path over the long ridge. After about 1 ½ you reach a steep an rocky part, to the left of the water fall. From there, you reach lake Churup after a quite intimidating 45 minutes climb. This climb can be a real challenge climb , to avoid this steep part, there is an option to climb more to the left where is a a kind of metal rope that helps to climb. Then as you arrive to the lake will be impressed for the beautiful view of the lake and landscape sourrounded.
Spend time walking around lake side , take pictures, relax and have box lunch enjoying the nature. Then return on the same way back to Pitec , where our transportation waits to drive you back to Huaraz. Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)
Day 5: Huaraz - Cuartelhuain (4300 m)
Duration: 4 hours (by car) 4 - 5 hours (hiking)
We drive from Huaraz to Chiquián, enjoying distant views of the awesome Huayhuash range from afar. From Chiquián we descend to a cactus and scrub environment and continue to the village of Llamac (3300m) and then into a wide Ushaped grassy valley with rolling hills and flanked by broad expanses of quenual (polylepis sp.) forest. We camp at QuartelHuain. (4200m) (B/L/D)
Day 6: Cuartelhuain – Cacanan Pass (4700m/15416ft) – Mitucocha
Duration: 5 hours aprox
Distance: 12 km aprox
This morning we cross our first pass, Cacanan Punta (4700m). Here, at the Continental Divide, we sometimes observe the Andean Condor flying overhead. We descend to the Jalca plain and on to our camp at the beautiful Laguna Mitucocha lake (4220m), located at the foot of the stunning Jirishanka Grande peak, and those of its neighbours Rondoy and Ninashanca.
If you have the energy, there’s the option this afternoon of walking around the lake or up to one of the nearby hanging valleys.(B/L/D)
Day 7: Mitucocha – Carhuac Pass (4500m/14760ft) – Carhuacocha
Duration: 5 -6 hours aprox
Distance: 12 km aprox
We flank the Jalca floodplain then ascend south to the Paso de Carhuac pass (4650m). From here an awesome panorama suddenly comes into view; a row of Huayhuash giants: Yerupajá Grande, the second highest mountain in Peru, Yerupajá Chico(6121m) and Siulá Grande (6344m), of “Touching the Void” fame. From here we descend to our camp at the large Laguna Carhuacocha lake (4150m), with the chance en route of spotting Viscacha rodents among the moronic debris. From our camp we look directly up the lake to the peaks and ice fields of the famous Siula Grande, Yerupajá Grande and Chico and Jirishanka Chico. (B/L/D)
Day 8: Carhuacocha – Siula Pass (4850m/15908ft) – Huayhuash
Duration: 6 hours aprox
Distance: 13 km aprox
There are two optional approaches to our next camp at Huayhuash. We can take the normal trail to ascend the Carnicero Pass at 4600m/15,092ft or the more challenging alternative by ascending the Siula Pass at 4800m/15,748ft. While this second alternative is more demanding, it is truly rewarding because of the surrounding panoramic views. We descend passing close to Carnicero Lake then camp at Huayhuash 4300m/14,108ft. 6-7 hours walk Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Tea Time & Dinner. (B/L/D)
Day 9: Huayhuash – Portachuelo Pass – Viconga
Duration: 6 hours aprox
Distance: 11 km aprox
We climb to the Portachuelo de Huayhuash pass (4750m) on a steady gradient. From here, looking southeast, we see a new collection of nearby snow peaks; this is the Cordillera Raura range and the nearby snow peak of Leon Huacanan. We descend to and skirt around the large Laguna Viconga lake – look out for Alpacas - before walking up the valley for ½ hour to set up camp (4480m). There are some, al fresco open air hot springs near Viconga, so a hot bath could certainly be appreciated! (B/L/D)
Day 10: Viconga – Cuyoc Pass – Huanacpatay
Duration: 5 - 6 hours
Distance: 10 km aprox.
Today we cross our highest pass, Punta Cuyoc, with a sustained uphill hike of 2 to 3 hours to a breathtaking 5000m. The panoramas here are breathtaking: to the southeast we see the sharply serrated ridge of the Cordillera Raura, and to the north, several of the giants of the Huayhuash range are seen from a new perspective. Sarapo (6127m) is also seen for the first time. The initial 50m of the descent is quite steep and loose, becoming easier as we continue descending quickly to the broad Quebrada Huanacpatay valley, where we stop for lunch. We then have a relaxing and easy hike down the valley to our camp (B/L/D)
Day 11: Huancapatay – San Antonio Pass – Cutatambo (4400m / 14432ft)
Duration: 5 - 6 hours
Distance: 10 km aprox.
From camp we climb to a pass on Cerro San Antonio. This is a demanding day with some steep hiking, but by now you should be well acclimatised and feeling strong at altitude. After 2 hours we are on the top of the pass at 4800m, with fantastic views of all the giants of the Cordillera Huayhuash and the 3 lakes of Sarapococha, Santa Rosa & Jurau. We can also see the Siula Glacier which Joe Simpson crawled down in his epic battle for survival, and we see Siula Base Camp quite clearly in the distance. The descent is initially steep, but safe, on scree for around 100m. We then follow a cattle trail winding down to Lake Jaurau and finally to our camp in the Quebrada Calinca at Cutatambo (4100m). (B/L/D)
Day 12: Cutatambo – Huayllapa – Huatiac
Duration: 7 hours aprox
Distance: 15 km aprox.
We walk back down the Quebrada Calinca valley, which becomes the agricultural Quebrada Huayllapa valley (the first sign of crops for over a week). We continue until, just before the tiny village of Huayllapa 3600m (the first village since Llamac and last before we return to Llamac), we begin a hard climb in the afternoon of about 2 to 2½ hours to our campsite high up on the flat pasture of Huatiac (4350m). (B/L/D)
Day 13: Huatiac – Yaucha Pass (4800m/15744ft) – Jahuacocha
Duration: 7 hours aprox
Distance: 16 km aprox.
Today we cross two passes. Initially we hike up the trail to reach the first pass Punta Tapush at 4750m/15,584ft then make a short descent before again starting our next climb up to reach the second pass of Punta Yaucha at 4800m/15,748ft. It is certainly a challenging experience to reach the second pass as you ascend up on a switch back trail which is rocky in areas as we approach and reach the Yaucha Pass. The efforts to reach this dramatic vantage point are well worth it for the magnificent views of the surrounding high peaks are truly impressive. We descend down through lupines along the valley to our final camp at Jahuacocha Lake at 4150m/13,615ft. We’ll camp overnight beside the lake enjoying the views of the majestic mountains surrounding Jauacocha Lake. (B/L/D)
Day 14: Rest Day at Jahuacocha Lake.
Optional: Trekking to the Berlin Mountain overlook (5,094 m) or to Sambuya/Rondoy Pass (4,750 m) or to Solteracocha Lake Rest day or 3 possible activities: Unhurried hike to Solteracocha Lake, or the ultimate mountaineering tour with an ascent of the very easy (non-technical) Cerro Berlin (5094 m) or to Sambuya/Rondoy Pass (4,750 m). Overnight Camp (B/L/D)
Day 15: Jahuacocha – Lamac – Huaraz
Duration: 4 hours (hiking) 4 hours (by transport)
After an early start and gentle descent for an hour, we start our gradual climb to the final pass, Pampa Llamac (4300m), from where we have our final views of much of the Huayhuash range. Then it is a long descent back to the Llamac valley and the village of Llamac.
In Llamac the bus will be waiting to take us back to Huaraz and your hotel for that long-awaited hot shower!! We arrive in Huaraz at about 16:00 hours. (B/L/--)
Day 16: Transfer Huaraz to Cebollapampa. Hike to Laguna 69 (4450 m) and to Base Camp Pisco (4680 m)
Duration:3 hours (transport) + 5 hours (hiking)
Laguna 69 has been called the most famous and well known lake in the Cordillera Blanca. Our trail winds through picturesque montane forests and a somewhat marshy area, always alongside a steep imposing ridge. Behind us, the fortress-like peak of the ice giant Huascarán looms. Winding trails lead us past several waterfalls to the lake, which is flanked by glacial moraines. Immediately above the deep blue surface of the lake, we see the steep ice walls of Chacraraju, one of the most beautiful, but also most difficult of the 6000 meter peaks in the Cordillera Blanca.
After a little stop and eat our lunch we will continue to the base camp of Pisco. Trought this trail which is one of the routes that is less taken, alternative trails are often not in excellent shape, an unfortunate condition of this alternative hike. Luckily the famous little towers of flat stones indicate the route pretty well. . Overnight base camp Pisco (B/L/D)
Day 17: Base Camp/Peru Hut - Climb Nevado Pisco (5752 m) - back to Base Camp. Optional: hike just to Moraine Camp (4900 m) Duration: 12 hours approx.
A little after midnight we leave Base Camp, climbing up to cross the long moraine to arrive at the glacier. A sharp climb brings us to the saddle of Nevada Pisco. Next the final long climb over the glacier to the peak, 5752 meters in elevation. We are again going to have a magnificent view of the highest mountain in Perú - Huascarán, and also nearby Huandoy, Chopiqualci and many more. Later we descend back to Refugio Peru. Optional: The group can climb to Moraine Camp comfortably in 3 or 4 hours and then return to the refuge or if hikers are not up for the return trip, we can camp on the moraine (4900 m.). Overnight Camp (B/L/D)
Day 18: Base Camp - Trekking to Refugio Pisco - Transfer to Huaraz
Our trek is nearing its end. Early in the morning we begin our descent toward Cebollapampa and continue hiking until we arrive at the highway. From there, we take a vehicle to return to Huaraz. Tired and happy, we arrive at the hotel. Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)
Day 19: Transfer to the bus terminal in Huaraz for the trip to Lima. In Lima, transfer to the hotel. Options: Flight or bus. Flights are via LC-Peru and last 50 minutes. Overnight Hotel (B/-/-)
Day 20: Stay in Lima - transfer to the airport. Free day; depending on your departure schedule. Return to your country of origin. (B/-/-)