Cordillera Huayhuash Trek
- Guides Choice Peru trip
- World's second highest mountain range!
- Wonderful mountain solitude
- 4 mountain passes, 2 over 15,000 ft
- Stunning alpine lakes and meadows
- Ruins of an ancient Inca city
- Several days of acclimatization hiking
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 three 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!
Trip Dates & Booking
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On this Peru trekking trip, a Wildland Trekking representative will pick you up from the bus station in Huaraz, Peru, or from Comandante FAP Germán Arias Graziani Airport (Airport code ATA), in the village of Anta, Peru. We transport to our hotel and get checked into our rooms. The afternoon/evening 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.
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.
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.
This morning after a hearty breakfast we depart Huaraz and drive approximately 4 hours to the ruins of Wanuku Pampa. Wanuku Pampa is an ancient ruin built by the Inca (Quechua) people on the trading highway from Cusco to Quito. We will have lunch and spend some time exploring Wanuku Pampa. When we are ready we will drive 4-5 hours more to Queropalca where we will have our camp set up, dinner prepared by our chef and the guides will provide the plan for the next day.
After a delicious breakfast, we breakdown camp and pack our food and gear on the mules. From here, we lace up our boots and begin walking slowly. We will be accompanied by the breathtaking mountains, Siula Grande, Yerupaja and Ninashanca. We walk 4-5 hours until we arrive at Carhuacocha Lake where we will drop our bags and have a delicious lunch. After lunch, for those feeling ambitious, we will hike up valley to the Laguna Quesillococha, Laguna Siula and Laguna Jancacocha. We will spend some time taking in the Amazing views of these lakes before heading back to camp. At camp we have time to change clothes and rest until dinner is served. Our guides will provide the plan for the following day.
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 (with the possibility of a hike to Lago Mitucocha) until dinner is served and the plan for the following day.
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.
After a delicious breakfast, we pack up and begin our 3-4 hour ascent to our third and highest pass, Sambuya Pass (15,583 ft.) As we hike we'll soak up amazing views of the mountains Ninashanca, Jirishanca, Yerupaja and Rondoy. 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.
After breakfast we beginning hiking on a flat trail and have our last views of the mountains while hiking. We descend for roughly 1-2 hours to Llamac Village where we repack our gear, have lunch and board our private vehicle for the 4.5 hour drive back to Huaraz. Upon arrival in Huaraz, we check into our hotel rooms, have showers and meet for our last celebratory dinner!
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!
Add-on Rooms: If you'd like to extend your stay, we are happy to book extra room nights at some destinations (not available at all destinations) before and/or after your trip at our preferred hotel for an additional 30% service fee.
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.
- 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 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 (Lodging Details)
- 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!
- Transportation to Huaraz, Peru
- Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
- Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
- All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
- Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
- Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
- Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight (disposable plastic water bottles are prohibited; please have refillable water bottles or hydration bladders)
- Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD is recommended.)
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.
We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Trekking poles
- Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Satellite phone
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.
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, 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.
Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here 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 72 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!
We will meet you at the bus station or airport 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 45 days before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.
Your safety is our top priority. Our Global Destination trips are led by professional hiking guides 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.
Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals with solid guiding backgrounds, 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.
Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.
The standard group size on this hiking tour is 12 guests and 2 guides, with a minimum of 2 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-888-966-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
For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.
If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.
For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.
For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:
Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.comIf you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664
If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.
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:
|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|
Andino Club Hotel
This wonderful hotel is situated a short distance from the main square and cultural center of Huaraz, and has beautiful gardens and appealing, spacious rooms. It boasts stunning panoramic views of the Callejón de Huaylas (the valley between 2 mountain ranges), including 8 towering peaks higher than 6,000 meters!
Our Peru Treks feature premier camping with comfortable sleeping tents, kitchen tents, dedicated chefs, and a team of porters to carry and set up/break down camp each day. We provide all top-of-the-line gear. Our guests regularly rave about the camping accommodations on our Peru adventures!