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Cordillera Huayhuash Trek

Highlights

  • World's second highest mountain range!
  • Wonderful solitude in a remote corner of the Andes
  • 4 mountain passes, 2 over 15,000 feet in elevation!
  • Comfortable camps at stunning alpine lakes and meadows
  • Ruins of an ancient Inca city, Wanuku Pampa
  • Several days of acclimatization hiking

Description

This trip takes us into the Cordillera Huayhuash, a tightly bunched, sensational 18-mile long collection of high peaks in the Peruvian Andes. This trekker's paradise is remote, wild and stunningly beautiful. The range is the home of Siula Grande (20,814'), the location of the famous mountaineering book and movie "Touching the Void." We acclimatize for several days near Huaraz, Peru before heading into the high mountains. We cross four high passes, all over 14,000 feet and two higher than 15,000 feet. We camp next to stunningly beautiful alpine lakes and in broad, grassy valleys with wildflowers and rushing alpine creeks. And all the time we're staring in awe up at the soaring, snow-laden Andes giants that tower above us with peaks at elevations above 20,000 feet!
Don't miss this truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hike one of the world's most amazing mountain ranges! Call us at 888-966-TREK (8735) to learn more or book your spot today!
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 888-966-TREK.

 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

On this Peru trekking trip, a Wildland Trekking representative will pick you up from Comandante FAP Germán Arias Graziani Airport (Airport code ATA), in the village of Anta, Peru, or from the bus station in Huaraz, Peru. We transport to our hotel and get checked into our rooms. The afternoon is yours to explore the city until the scheduled orientation meeting this evening. After our meeting we go to our favorite, local Huaraz restaurant for dinner. Be sure to drink copious amounts of water en route, as flying and traveling will certainly dehydrate you, and Huaraz is over 10,000 feet in elevation. Being hydrated (i.e. drinking lots of water and not drinking alcohol in excess) is a critical component of dealing with significant elevation changes. Self care begins immediately.


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 3.1 miles
Lowest Elevation: 10,334 feet
Highest Elevation: 11,811 feet
Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours


This morning we enjoy our first Peruvian breakfast at the hotel in Huaraz. Subsequently, we pack our day packs and head to Chiwipampa, where we find the trailhead for Lago de Wilcacocha. Upon arrival at Chiwipampa, we lace up our boots and set out on a 2-3-hour hike to the beautiful Wilcacocha Lake. At the lake, we will have lunch and take in the amazing panorama of the whole Cordillera Blanca while helping our bodies acclimatize. After lunch, we descend to our transportation and ride back to Huaraz, where we have free time until we meet for dinner. Our guides will provide the plan for the following day.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 4.3 miles
Lowest Elevation: 12,467 feet
Highest Elevation: 14,599 feet
Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours


This morning will serve as a second acclimatization day. After a hearty breakfast we pack our day packs and drive roughly 1 hour to the village of Pitec. At Pitec, we begin to hike slowly on our way up to Churup Lake. The walk will take 3-4 hours and once we arrive, we'll have lunch and enjoy the amazing glacial lake and stunning mountain scenery. When we are ready, we will descend down a different trail between 2-3 hours until we get back to Pitec. Upon arrival at Pitec, we board our transportation for the 1-hour drive back to Huaraz. We will have time to freshen up before meeting for dinner. At dinner our guides will provide the plan for the following day.


Day 4

Shuttle: 4 hours
Camp Elevation: 12,303 feet


This morning, after another wonderful breakfast we depart Huaraz and drive approximately 4 hours to the village and ruins of Wanuku Pampa. Wanuku Pampa is the ruins of an ancient village built by the Inca (Quechua) people on the trading highway from Cusco to Quito. It features wonderfully preserved buildings, walls, and other village structures, and is situated in a beautiful expanse of meadows and grasslands. We will spend the afternoon exploring and photographing Wanuku Pampa, which for most guests is an extremely rich experience, after which we'll set up camp adjacent to the ruins. Our professional camp chef will prepare tonight's dinner - the first of many - and your guides will provide the plan for the subsequent day.


Day 5

Shuttle: 3 hours
Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
Lowest Elevation: 7,939 feet
Highest Elevation: 14,763 feet
Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours


After a delicious camp breakfast at Wanuku Pampa, we breakdown camp and load our vehicle to begin our drive roughly 3 hours to the trailhead at Queropalca. Upon arrival, we meet our ‘Arriero’, aka mule driver, and pack our food and gear on the mules. From here, we lace up our boots and begin our epic hike. We will be accompanied by the breathtaking mountains Siula Grande (from the movie and book "Touching the Void"), Yerupaja and Ninashanc and stop for a picnic lunch with these towering, snow-covered giants framing the landscape. We walk 3-4 hours until we arrive at Carhuacocha Lake, one of the most stunning mountain lakes you'll ever see (the main webpage photo above is of Carhuacocha Lake). Upon arrival at camp, we find our tents set up near the shores of the lake and are greeted with hot drinks and popcorn. At camp we have time to change clothes and rest until dinner is served. Our guides will provide the plan for the following day.


Day 6

Hiking Mileage: 4.9 miles
Lowest Elevation: 13,615 feet
Highest Elevation: 15,091 feet
Trekking Duration: 6-7 hours


After a tasty Peruvian breakfast this morning we pack up camp and start our trek for the day. We begin hiking slowly for roughly 3 hours until we reach the Carhuac pass (14,107 ft.) At the pass we stop to appreciate and photograph awe-inspiring views of the giant mountains Jirishanca (20,098') and Ninashanca (18,396'). We'll enjoy a picnic lunch and take in the amazing views around us before descending to Mitucocha camp. Upon arrival at camp, we are greeted by our crew with hot drinks and snacks. Free time until dinner is served and the plan for the following day.


Day 7

Hiking Mileage: 5.6 miles
Lowest Elevation: 13,451 feet
Highest Elevation: 15,419 feet
Trekking Duration: 7-8 hours


After an early breakfast, we pack up and leave camp by 8 am. We begin our ascent to our second pass, Cacanan (15,419 ft.) Once again, we are surrounded by gigantic, glaciated mountains and breathtaking views. We are literally hiking in the Land of Giants today, which for most guests is an indescribably rich and humbling experience. We'll have lunch at or near the pass and descend to camp at Cuartelhuain (13,451 ft.), a high meadow beneath the towering peaks. We have dinner and our guides will deliver the plan for the following day.


Day 8

Hiking Mileage: 5.5 miles
Lowest Elevation: 13,451 feet
Highest Elevation: 15,748 feet
Trekking Duration: 7-8 hours


After a delicious breakfast, we pack up and begin our 3-4 hour ascent to our third and highest pass, Sambunya Pass (15,675 ft.) As we hike we'll soak up amazing views of the mountains Ninashanca, Jirishanca, Yerupaja and Huacrish. After lunch and when we are ready, we head down to our last camp at Jahuacocha lake (13,451 ft.) Upon arrival at camp, we have free time, hot drinks and snacks before being served our delicious dinner. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day before we enjoy a much-deserved sleep for the night.


Day 9

Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
Lowest Elevation: 10,826 feet
Highest Elevation: 14,107 feet
Trekking Duration: 5-7 hours


After an early breakfast, we begin hiking up to our last pass of our expedition, Pampallamac (14,107 ft.) We have our last views of the Cordillera Huayhuash and the mountains Diablo Mudo, Yerupaja and Jirishanca. We descend for roughly 1-2 hours to Llamac Village where we de-rig our mules, have lunch and board our private vehicle for the 3.5 hour drive back to Huaraz. Upon arrival in Huaraz, we check into our hotel rooms, have showers and meet for our last celebratory dinner!


Day 10

This morning breakfast is served at our hotel and our tour will conclude with your shuttle ride back to the airport in Anta. Please let us know what time your flight leaves so we can arrange transportation accordingly. You will not be disappointed by the Cordillera Huayhuash! Thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking!


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureacratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • A professional U.S. Wildland guide, trained in 1st Aid, risk management and assessment and responsibility to provide overall standard of excellence in service quality.
  • Local Peruvian guide(s), expert in cultural and natural history, the local area, fauna and flora, etc.
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Lodging before and after the trekking portion of the trip
  • All camping gear and supplies (including a dining tent and kitchen tent)
  • Porters or mules to transport all gear, food, and most personal items
  • Professional camp chef
  • Drinking water and hot water for washing face, hands...etc.
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • All meals for the duration of the tour
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Huaraz, Peru
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Gratuities (industry recommendation is 10-15% of the trip cost, distributed between their guides and porters.)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This Peru hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. We'll have dinners at carefully selected, wonderful restaurants in Huaraz as well as meals prepared on the trail by a professional camp chef.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

We will meet you at the airport or bus station on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included), where we'll conduct an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the first evening. Your guide will be in contact approximately 4 weeks before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our Global Destination trips are led by professional hiking guides (U.S. and local) along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Finally, we've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


Guides

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals (both U.S.-based and local, click here to learn more) with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 10 guests and 2-3 guides, with a minimum of 2 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in Peru

Peru is home to part of the Amazon Rainforest as well as the towering Andes Mountains. Most of our treks in the region reach elevations well above 10,000 feet, some reaching or exceeding 15,000 feet. Because of the wild elevation changes, the temperatures and weather can also vary wildly.

The average temperatures and precipitation in the Huaraz region are:

Month Hi Low Precip
March 57° F 34° F 22 days
April 54° F 32° F 23 days
May 52° F 30° F 18 days
June 50° F 27° F 26 days
July 48° F 27° F 19 days
August 48° F 27° F 18 days
September 48° F 27° F 16 days
October 50° F 28° F 17 days