The most spectacular trekking route in the Andes. Trekking tour Santa Cruz Alpamayo 11 days; This trekking program combines Alpamayo Base Camp with the classic Santa Cruz Circuit. Both the well-known and popular trekking routes combined into just one program provided you the experience of the full beauty of the Cordillera Blanca.
Join a scheduled departure or book a private or custom trip with dates to suit you.
Day 01: Huaraz – Cashapampa – Llamacorral (3800m/12464ft)
Duration: 3 hours (by car) 4 - 5 hours (hiking)
You are picked up at your accommodation and begin the journey with a spectacular scenic drive along the Callejon de Huaylas Valley to the village of Cashapampa 2900m which is the starting point of the trek (3 hours drive). There are opportunities for photo stops along the way. From Cashapampa we start to ascend steeply for about 2 hours and then the track levels out, we climb steadily along the Quebrada Santa Cruz to camp at Llamacorral 3750m. 5 hours walk.
Day 02: Llamacorral – Jatuncocha – Taullipampa (4200m/13776ft)
Duration: 5 -6 hours
An easier hike up the Santa Cruz valley to our camp at Taullipampa 4250m. 5 hours walk. It is generally flat and we ascend just the last hour towards the camp. We walk past the beautiful Jatuncocha Lake. Our camp is situated near at the base of the beautiful nevado Taulliraju Mountain and we are also surrounded by other peaks such as Paria, Artseonraju, Rinrijirca, Quitaraju and Alpamayo.
Day 03: Taullipampa – Punta Union Pass (4750m/15580ft) – Tuctu
Duration: 7 - 8 hours
We ascend steadily for about 3 hours on a good trail to the Punta Union Pass 4750m. We can feel the effects of the altitude as we reach the pass. From the pass we have very close views of the big mountains of the Cordillera Blanca. From the pass, we have a long descent passing two small lakes and where we often stop for picnic lunch. Continue the descent into the head of the Huaripampa Valley to camp at Tuctubamba 4200m.
Day 04: Tuctu – Alto Pucaraju pass (4640m) – Quisuar (3900m/12792ft)
Duration: 6 hours
Distance: 7.5 km aprox
We climb steeply on a rocky trail to the top of the Alto de Pacaraju Pass (4650m). At the pass there are magnificent views of many peaks, and at 5830m the Nevado Taulliraju mountain towers over us. We then have a long descent - initially on switchbacks, then on a sweeping path - down through lupin covered hillside and quenual (polylepis sp.) forest to camp at a small lake, Laguna Huecrococha, at 3950m. to have Lunch in the nice spot. Then after few minutes walking dawn we will get small village called Quisuar, where we will camp in the left side at (3900m/12792ft).
Day 05: Quisuar – Tupatupa pass (4400m) – Jancapampa
Duration: 5 - 6 hours aprox
Distance: 10 km aprox
This day we will climb gradually, then more steeply to the Tupatupa pass (4400m), with views back to several big snow capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, including Pucajirca Norte (6050m), and then descend to camp at the top of a wide valley at Jancapampa (3600m). Directly behind camp we have views of a huge hanging glacier releasing waterfalls down a broad, horseshoe-shaped wall of granite hundreds of metres high. A lot of farming families live in the valley, and we will be visited at camp by some of the friendly local people and curious, happy children.
Day 06: Jancapampa - Yanacon pass - Safuna or Huillca camp
Duration: 7 hours
Distance: 14 km aprox
We start with a long climb - gradual in parts, steeper in others - up a forested valley with occasional clearings, to the beautiful Laguna Sactaycocha lake. From here, now amid grassy shrubland, we climb steeply to the top of the rocky Paso Pucajirca pass (4600m). On a clear day, the awesome Pucajirca Norte can be seen rising steeply to the southwest. We descend to camp at Safuna in the Quebrada Tayapmapa (4200m), passing a large Alpaca flock at Huillca. A long day.
Day 07: Safuna - Mesapata pass - Cara Cara pass - Cruce Alpamayo
Duration: 6 hours aprox
Distance: 10 km aprox
We cross two passes today. The first is via a gradual, grassy ascent to the Mesapata Pass (4500m). We then enjoy a long traverse, skirting around swamplands, and continue with a steep climb to the high and sometimes windy Cara Cara Pass (4830m). From here we get our first great views of the pyramid shaped Alpamayo (5947m), its neighbouring peaks Jancarurish and Quitaraju (6036m), and Laguna Jancarurish lake directly below us. We descend to camp below the majestic Alpamayo at the camp named Cruce Alpamayo (4150m)
Day 08: Extra day Cruce Alpamayo for Rest or Side Trips and to Enjoy Panoramas
Duration: 4 hours to viewpoint Alpamayo (go & back)
We spend another night at Cruce Alpamayo camp to greater appreciate the beauty of Alpamayo. Climb up the nearby moraine overlooking the Laguna Jancarurish glacial lake for close-up views of the Alpamayo and Jancarurish (5601m) peaks (3 hour return trip from camp). If you feel energised, you can continue upwards and onwards towards Alpamayo Base Camp (4500m). 5 to 6 hours return. If you prefer, you can simply rest in camp.
Day 09: Cruce Alpamayo - Ruinapampa - Osoruri camp
Duration: 4 hours aprox
Distance: 7 km aprox
Today we take it easy with a relaxing hike, initially descending down the valley Quebrada Los Cedros for 2 hours to Ruinapampa and after to ascend for a zig zag path to our secluded campsite on Osoruri camp, a plateau away from the main trail (4400m). From the camp we can admire the jagged peaks of Milluacocha & Tayapampa.
Day 10: Osoruri camp - Osoruri pass - Vientunan pass - lake Cullicocha
Duration: 6 hours aprox
Distance: 9 km aprox
This is a hard day with two big passes to cross. We start with a long climb towards the south on a well-used trail to the Paso Vientunan pass (4770m). We then descend for about 150 metres and climb again to a second pass, Paso Osoruri (also called Cullicocha) (4860m). As we begin our descent, there are fabulous views of the surrounding mountains, especially the magnificent triple summit of Santa Cruz (6259m). We camp at the crystal blue Laguna Cullicocha lake (4650m); from camp we have a phenomenal view of Santa Cruz at the top of the lake.
Day 11: Long descent to Hualcayan village. Vehicle to Huaraz
Duration: 5 hours (hiking), 3 hours (by transport)
Distance: 11 km aprox
It’s a long downhill from here all the way from Laguna Cullicocha via switchbacks and traverses to the last, long zig-zag track down to the village of Hualcayan (2900m) where our private van will be waiting for us at Hualcayan to drive us about 4 hours 116kms back to Huaraz.