CORDILLERA BLANCA TREKKING AND HIKING
|| Come with us to experience the magic of the Cordillera Blanca - an amazing place in Peru to trek and hike


The Cordillera Blanca means 'The White Mountain Range', so named because of the seemingly endless chain of snow capped peaks. Countless trails, high mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers offer some of the most varied scenery and spectacular trekking and hiking of anywhere in the world.

Huascarán – Cordillera Blanca

Huascaran - Cordillera Blanca

The Cordillera Blanca is also a climbing playground with several peaks suitable for beginner climbers, through to technically difficult and challenging climbing including the famous Alpamayo, and the highest mountain in Peru - the massive Huascaran.


PERU TREKS - YOUR PERU TREKKING OPTIONS
CORDILLERA BLANCA TREKKING, HIKING & CLIMBING

Use our programs to join a group tour or we will design your own independent program. CONTACT US for full details of our service and descriptions of our Peru trekking, hiking and climbing adventures.


All our treks start and finish in Huaraz. Add extra days for international flights and travel from and to Lima and the important acclimatization days in Huaraz.


Acclimatisation:
We do recommend that you arrive in Huaraz at least two days before the trek departs to help you become acclimatised to the altitude. It is good to have a full day or two in Huaraz to recover from the travel and to do one or two day hikes to help with acclimatisation. We can organise day hikes for you. Refer our Huaraz Tours and Day Hikes Page.


Peru Trek Grading & Fitness:
Trek grading and walking times are average times only for people of average to good fitness. Walking times vary depending on fitness levels. The effects of altitude do make hiking harder than a similar trek closer to sea level. You need to have average to good fitness and be able to climb a sustained uphill for 2 to 2.5 hours without distress to enjoy these Peru treks & hikes.

If you are not sure which trek may be suitable for your level of fitness. Contact Anne and we can advise appropriate treks or design a special trek or camping trip for your fantastic Peru adventures.

During treks we use donkeys to carry camping and cooking equipment, food, your personal gear. You only need to carry a light day pack with camera, snacks, lunch, warm clothes, etc.

We offer a PONY TREK option on some treks for those who would like to enjoy a mountain wilderness experience but are not sure if they will be able to manage very well with hiking at altitude or hiking up the passes. Contact Anne to discuss options for your Horse or Pony Treks


Donkeys On Santa Cruz Trek

Donkeys On Santa Cruz Trek


Our descriptions of treks are a summary only. We are flexible with our Peru trek itineraries.  Contact Anne for a detailed itinerary or to help you design a special itinerary and for prices.

CORDILLERA BLANCA TREKKING
QUEBRADA QUILLQUEYHUANCA AND LAGUNA CHURUP 3 Days

Grade: Easy / medium

Fun in the Quillcayhuanca Valley
Fun In The Quillqueyhuanca Valley


A great short trek into a beautiful valley away from some of the other busy trekking trails. Ideal as acclimatisation for climbing and suitable for families or for those looking for an easier hike or camping trip while still experiencing magnificent mountain scenery. Features visits to glacial fed high mountain lakes.


Day 1: A relaxing hike up the valley Quebrada Quillqueyhuanca to camp at Olivos 4250m. 4 hours. In the afternoon we can hike into the valley Quebrada Cayesh where we have close views of mountains and glaciers.


Day 2: A hike up to the lake Laguna Tullpacocha 4350m where we often see ice from the glacier floating in the lake. Return to camp at Olivos.


Day 3: An easy walk down the valley, and return to Huaraz.

Options: To hike up to Laguna Churup 4485m or to hike up to a high pass crossing into the Cojup Valley at around 4800m.


Quillcayhaunca Valley

Quillqueyhuanca Valley

Contact Anne for more information and prices.

Olleros to Chavín Culture Trek 3 Days

Remote Trek!

Pony Trek Option or Llama Trek Option

 Grade: Easy / medium


Chavin Olleros

Dominating Mountain Views

Spectacular Chavin Ruins Chavin Ruins

 Ruins Chavan De Huántar


Wanting to experience some of the ancient Peruvian culture in a remote area, away from the hoards of tourists?

Our Olleros to Chavín trek combines 3 days of trekking through a remote area of the Cordillera Blanca removed from the busier tourist circuits and where local people still live a traditional way of life.

The trek finishes at the archaeological site of Chavín de Huántar which was the administrative centre and principal temple of the Chavín culture, the oldest major culture in Peru existing from around 1000 to 300 BC. The site of Chavín de Huántar is an incredible feat of engineering, with most of the construction being built underground in an extensive labyrinth of interconnecting chambers and tunnels. The Chavín culture was the predecessor to and a larger civilization than the better known and more short lived Inca Culture which developed many hundreds of years later, inheriting the immense astrological and architectural knowledge from the Chavín ancestors. You will be left amazed at how the ancient culture managed to so accurately construct its building and to lift and fit the massive blocks of stone without the aid of modern building techniques and machinery.

A fantastic short easier trek, combining meeting friendly local people living in remote villages with spectacular countryside and ancient culture & history.

The pony or llama options make this an ideal trek for families with children!

Traditional Agriculture

Traditional Agriculture


Day 1: We start from the village of Olleros half an hour drive from Huaraz, and hike gently up the valley to camp at Sacracancha 4080m. 8kms 5 hours walking


Day 2: Cross the pass Yanashallash which is not steep and descend to camp at Shongo 4088m. 13kms 7 hours


Day 3: We pass through several villages where we meet local children, eventually descending to Chavín 3150m. 4 to 5 hours. We spend the afternoon having a guided tour of the Chavín de Huántar archaeological site, and then return to Huaraz by our private van in the early evening.

Contact Anne for more information, photos and prices.

SANTA CRUZ LLANGANUCO TREK 4 or 5 Days

Grade: Medium

Pass Punta Union

Pass Punta Union


A well known shorter trek in the Cordillera Blanca. Its popularity is due to the amazing variety of scenery that you have in only 4 or 5 days - spectacular mountain views, crystal blue lakes and the challenging pass Punta Union at altitude 4750m.


Day 1: Drive to Cashapampa 2800m 3 hours. Hike continuously upwards through the Santa Cruz river canyon to camp at Llamacorral 3750m 5 hours.


Day 2: An easier day hiking in a wide, open valley to Taullipampa 4250m. 4 hours.


(Optional extra day) Stay another night at beautiful Taullipampa campsite. Options to visit Alpamayo Base Camp, Lake Arhuaycocha, climb Centillo Peak 5000m or have a rest day


Day 3 (or 4): Climb steadily up for 2 to 3 hours to the pass Punta Union 4750m then descend to camp in a secluded valley away from the main trail at Paria 3850m. 7 hours.


Day 4 (or 5): Follow easily down the valley Quebrada Huaripampa passing through farming settlements and villages, and then a short climb to the road end at Vaqueria 4 to 5 hours walk. Our private van will take us over the pass Portachuelo 4767m, passing the famous Llanganuco Lakes and then to return to Huaraz.


Taullipampa Campsite

Taullipampa Campsite


Contact Anne for more information, photos and prices.

SANTA CRUZ TREK AND QUEBRADA ULTA 6 Days

Grade: Medium / hard



Avalanche Campsite

Avalanche Campsite

An exciting extension to the traditional Santa Cruz Llanganuco Trek for those looking for a longer trek. From the Quebrada Huaripampa we leave the Santa Cruz Llanganuco trail and continue into another less visited valley. We have an amazing high campsite at Avalanche Place perched high on the mountainside , then cross the spectacular pass Paso Punta Yanayacu (4850m) finishing our trek in the beautiful Quebrada Ulta, close to Huascaran . A tremendous medium length trek and an excellent warm up for a climbing trip.


Day 1: Drive to Cashapampa 2800m 3 hours. Hike continuously upwards through the Santa Cruz river canyon to camp at Llamacorral 3750m 5 hours.


Day 2: An easier day hiking in a wide, open valley to Taullipampa 4250m. 4 hours.


Day 3 : Climb steadily up for 2 to 3 hours to the pass Punta Union 4750m then descend to camp in a secluded valley away from the main trail at Paria 3850m. 7 hours.


Day 4: At first we walk easily down the Huaripampa Valley passing through farming settlements and villages to Colcabamba, meeting many local children along the way. We then climb gently to camp by a stream at Molino Pampa in the Quebrada Keshu 3600m. 6 to 7 hours.


Day 5: A short day where we climb steadily upwards to a high campsite on a plateau perched on the mountainside called Avalanche Campsite at 4650m. 4 hours. Spend the afternoon watching avalanches crash down from the glacier on the opposite side of the valley.


Day 6: A climb of around 2 hours to the high and narrow pass of Punta Yanayacu (4850m) where we have close views of the glaciers on Nevada Contrahierbas and the massive peaks of Chopicalqui and Huascarán. Then descend to Quebrada Ulta where our van will be waiting to return us to Huaraz.

An exciting extension to the traditional Santa Cruz Llanganuco Trek for those looking for a longer trek. From the Quebrada Huaripampa we leave the Santa Cruz Llanganuco trail and continue on to an amazing high campsite at Avalanche Place , then cross the spectacular pass Paso Punta Yanayacu (4850m) finishing our trek in the beautiful Quebrada Ulta, close to Huascaran . A tremendous medium length trek and an excellent warm up for a climbing trip.

Quebrada Ulta                                       Quebrada Huaripampa

Contact Anne for more information, photos and prices.

OLLEROS - CARHUASCANCHA - Chavín TREK 6 Days

Grade: Medium

Remote Trek Combined With Ancient Culture

We offer a llama trek option & pony trek option for this trek!

Looking for a unique remote trekking experience away from the busy mainstream trekking routes?

Our new 6 day trek is a magical journey through a remote unspoilt area of the Cordillera Blanca not frequented by many trekking groups. Follow an ancient pre Inca route through valleys with waterfalls and numerous small blue mountain lakes, hidden valleys with hanging glaciers, cross passes with fantastic views of surrounding mountains and experience Andean mountain culture when we pass through small remote traditional villages.

The finale to the trek is a visit to the ancient ruins at the archaeological site of Chavín de Huántar which was the centre of the Chavín culture, the oldest major culture in Peru. See the Olleros to Chavín Trek for information and photos about Chavín de Huántar.

Remote Hanging Glaciers

Remote Hanging Glaciers

Day 1: Drive one hour from Huaraz to Quisuar 3686m where we start trekking. Follow an ancient pre-Inca pathway through the valley Quebrada Uqian to our camp at Sacracancha 4120m. 5.5 hours

Day 2: We cross our first pass Punta Yanashallash 4700m from where we see the glacier Uruashraju. We pass by a small lake near the top of the pass, and then descend to our camp in the wide grassy valley of Shongo 3850m. 7 to 8 hours

Day 3: We hike on undulating terrain up the beautiful remote valley Quebrada Alhuina with its cascading waterfalls and small mountain lakes. The massive snowy peak of Huantsan 6395m comes into view before we reach camp at Castillo 4350m. 4 to 5 hours

Day 4: We climb to our second pass Portachuelo 4850m where we have splendid views of the peaks of Huantsan and Pamparaju. Decsend down into a valley closed in by granite mountains to our camp at Rimarima 4300m. 3 to 4 hours. There is time in the afternoon for a hike up to visit the mountain lake of Llanganuco

Day 5: We climb up a grass covered hillside to our final pass Mesapata 4600m from where we can see several beautiful lakes. We can take an optional diversion to Lake Maparaju before descending to our camp in the grassy valley Carhuascancha at 3935m. 6 to 7 hours

Day 6: Descend down the wide valley passing through several small Andean mountain farming villages until we reach the road at the village of San Marcos 2964m where our private van will be waiting for us. We drive to the ruins of Chavín De Huántar where we take a tour before returning to Huaraz.

Spectacular Mountain Scenery River Crossing

Spectacular mountain scenery and remote river crossing

Contact Anne for more information & prices

CIRCUIT OF ALPAMAYO & ALPAMAYO BASE CAMP 13 days

Grade: Medium/hard

Laguna Cullicocha

Laguna Cullicocha

The Cordillera Blanca must provide one of the most varied landscapes for trekking and climbing in the world, with more than 50 peaks higher than 5700m; featuring the beautiful pyramid of Alpamayo which has been voted the most beautiful mountain in the world and the mighty Huascarãn, the highest mountain in Peru.


Our circuit of Alpamayo crosses in and out of the many valleys in the Blanca Range, crossing high passes and passing by blue mountain lakes, glaciers, awesome vertical walls and lush expansive valleys. The trek features an extra day at Cruze Alpamayo camp, treating you to close views of Alpamayo and the opportunity to day hike up to Alpamayo Base Camp.


This is a demanding longer trek, suitable for people with average to above average fitness.

Program for the full circuit:

Day 1: Drive 5 hours to Hualcayan 2900m. On the way we have visits to Yungay where there is a memorial to the thousands of people killed in the 1970 earthquake, and then the colourful local market at Caraz.


Day 2: Climb steadily in a zig zag path from Hualcayan to Wishcash 4300m.4 to 5 hours hiking


Day 3: Continue upwards to the spectacular lake Laguna Cullicocha 4650m, then cross the first pass Paso Osoruri 4850m. A long descent to camp at Ruinapampa 3800m. 8 hours


Day 4: An easy day, walking gently up valley to Cruze Alpamayo camp 4150m. 3 to 4 hours


Day 5: Extra night at Cruze Alpamayo Camp to appreciate the stunning views of Alpamayo. Visit Laguna Jancarurish or Alpamayo Base Camp (4500m).

Alpamayo From Cruze Apamayo

Alpamayo From Cruze Apamayo

Day 6: Climb to the often windy pass Cara Cara 4830m from where we have more fantastic views of Alpamayo and the lakes, then traverse to another pass Mesapata 4500m and before descending to camp at Lake Safuna 4200m 7 hours.

 Paso Cara Cara

Paso Cara Cara


Day 7: From Safuna to another pass Paso Pucajirca 4600m and camp in the open grassy valley of Jancapampa 3600m 7 hours. There are a lot of farming families living in the valley and we meet many curious local children.


Day 8: We pass by many adobe farm houses, sheep, cattle and horses while climbing up to the pass Pass Tupatupa 4400m and descend to camp beside the small lake Laguna Huecrococha (3950m). 7 hours


Day 9: Pass Alto de Pacaraju 4650m from where we have breathtaking views of the mountain Taulliraju, then a steep descent to camp in a lovely quiet valley at Tuctubamba (4250m). 7 hours


Day 10: We enjoy our spectacular mountain surroundings by spending an extra night at Tuctubamba camp. We can take a day hike joining onto the famous Santa Cruz trail and climbing to the pass Punta Union 4750m from where we have grand views of the Santa Cruz Valley, or take a rest day and enjoy the sun at camp.


Day 11: At first we walk easily down the Huaripampa Valley passing through farming settlements and villages to Colcabamba. We then climb gently to camp by a stream at Molino Pampa in the Quebrada Keshu 3600m. 6 to 7 hours.


Day 12: A short day where we climb steadily upwards to a high campsite on a plateau perched on the mountainside called Avalanche Campsite at 4650m. 4 hours. Spend the afternoon watching avalanches crash down from the glacier on the opposite side of the valley


Day 13: A climb of around 2 hours to the high and narrow pass of Punta Yanayacu (4850m) where we have close views of the glaciers on Nevado Contrahierbas and the massive peaks of Chopicalqui and Huascarán. Then descend to Quebrada Ulta where our van will be waiting to return us to Huaraz.

              Jancapmpa Valley                                       Llamas at Avalanche Campsite (left) Jancapampa Valley  (right) Llamas at Avalanch Campsite

Contact Anne for more information, photos and prices.

PERU TREK: ALPAMAYO BASE CAMP 8 to 10 DAYS

Grade: From Moderate (10 days) to Hard (8 days)

This trek offers the most spectacular mountain scenery and lakes on the Alpamayo Base Camp Circuit, but is a condensed version of our classic 13 day complete Alpamayo Circuit trek.

The trek features views of the stunning pyramid shaped Alpamayo, once voted to be the most beautiful mountain in the world and then the crystal blue lake Cullicocha nestled at the base of Santa Cruz mountain.

The description here is for the more gentle 10 day option, but the trek can be condensed down to 9 or even 8 days for fit people who are very well acclimatised.

Alpamayo

Alpamayo

Day 1: Drive from Huaraz past Llanganuco Lakes and over the Pass Portachuelo 4750m to Vaqueria (3600m) 3.5 hours drive. From Vaqueria we have a relaxing trek about 4 hours on a gradually rising path to a secluded campsite in the Paria Valley 3800m.

Day 2: 2 hours hikes further up the valley to camp at Tuctubamba 3950m. We can make a side trip on the way and climb up to the top of the pass Punta Union 4750m to have fantastic views down into the Santa Cruz Valley. 3 to 4 hours extra.

Day 3: We climb steeply on a rocky trail to the top of the pass Alto de Pacaraju 4650m from where there are magnificent views of many snow covered peaks. We then have a long descent down through lupin covered hillside to camp at a small lake Laguna Huecrococha. 3950m. 7 hours

Day 4: We climb to another pass Tupatupa 4400m & descend to camp at the top of a wide valley at Jancapampa (3600m). Directly behind camp we have views of a huge hanging glacier. 7 to 8 hours.

Day 5: A long gradual climb up a forested valley and past the lake Laguna Sactaycocha, then we climb steeply to the top of the rocky Pass Paso Pucajirca 4600m. Descend to camp at Safuna in the Quebrada Tayapmapa. 4200m. A long day 7 to 8 hours

Day 6: We cross two passes today. The first pass is a gradual ascent to the low pass of Mesapata 4500m, then we cross the sometimes windy pass Cara Cara (4830m) from where we have our first great views of the pyramid shaped Alpamayo. We camp below the majestic Alpamayo at the camp named Cruze Alpamayo 4150m. 7 hours

Pass Cara Cara

Pass Cara Cara with Alpamayo behind on the left

Day 7: We stay another night at Cruze Alpamayo Camp. Climb up the moraine to the lake Laguna Jancarurish for close up views of Alpamayo or continue upwards towards Alpamayo Base Camp (4500m). 5 to 6 hours return. Or REST DAY.

Day 8: Tomorrow is a hard day. We make it easier on ourselves by hiking for about 2 hours down the almost flat valley to camp near the bottom of the Osoruri pass.

Day 9: A tough day. We have a long climb to the pass Paso Osoruri 4750m. We then descend and climb again to a second pass Paso Cullicocha 4850m from where there are fabulous views of the magnificent mountain Santa Cruz. Descend to camp at the crystal blue high lake Laguna Cullicocha (4650m). 7 hours

Laguna Cullicocha

Laguna Cullicocha

Day 10: Downhill all the way today. We descend on a long zig zag track to the village of Hualcayan 2900m. About 5 or 6 hours. Our van will be waiting for us at Hualcayan to drive us about 4 hours back to Huaraz.

Contact Anne for a detailed description and prices

PERU TREKKING & FLOWERS IN APRIL AND MAY

April is at the end of the rainy season in the Cordillera Blanca. From April until mid May, everything is fresh and green and the valleys and mountains sides abound with hundreds of different varieties of wildflowers, many that are unique to the Cordillera Blanca.

Lupins in flower Vibrant colours from native flowers

Lupins in flower and Vibrant colours from indigenous plants

The smell of the lupins and other flowers can be intoxicating and trekkers are treated to a display of colour that you will not see later when the dry season takes hold and the flowers have finished.

The busy trekking season has not started yet and you can enjoy the flowers without as many other people around as you will encounter later in the season.

These Cordillera Blanca treks are great for flowers in April and May:

*Santa Cruz Llanganuco Trek 4 or 5 days

*Santa Cruz Ulta Trek 6 days

*Alpamayo Circuit 13 days

*Alpamayo Base Camp Trek 9 or 10 days

For details of great treks to see the flowers in April to mid May, see our Special Interest Botanical Treks page

Flower Trek Botanical Trek in Peru

Amazing flowers

Discount is available for APRIL treks

Contact Anne for trek descriptions, more photos & prices