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Length: 6 days
Grade: Moderate. Up to 5-7 hours physical activity each day. Some exposure to heights
Pre-trek Briefing: The guide will meet you the day before departure at 4.30pm at 777 Bello Horizonte Passage, Huaraz to do a full gear check and finalize last minute details.
Start: 7:30am Huaraz
Departs: April to September
Join a scheduled departure or book a private or custom trip with dates to suit you.
This popular trek ascends the Santa Cruz Valley and crosses the Punta Union Pass at 4750m and Paso Yanayacu 4850m, below spectacular peaks of the Cordillera Blanca and skirting turquoise glacial lakes. Beautiful Andean wildflowers are prolific during the trekking season.
Day 1: Huaraz – Cashapampa – Llamacorral
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 hour 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 2: Llamacorral – Taullipampa
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 3: Taullipampa – Punta Union Pass – Paria
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 then coming down into the Huaripampa Valley to camp at Paria 3890m. 7 hours walk
Day 4: Paria – Colcabamba – Molinopampa
An easy walk down the Quebrada Huaripampa Valley where we pass by many farm houses and see a lot of local people, children, sheep, caws, goats and donkeys on the path and then we walk along the road to our camp at Molinopampa 3600m. 6 hours walk.
Day 5: Molinopampa – Campo Avalancha
We ascend steadily, passing through a Quenual forest, small lakes and then we climb up a zigzag trail to our last campsite at Avalanche 4600m. From our campsite we have views of Nevado Contrahierbas Mountain. 4 hours walk.
Day 6: Campo Avalancha – Paso Yanayacu Pass – Ulta Valley – Huaraz
We ascend to our last pass Paso Yanayacu 4850m from where we have spectacular close-up views of Nevado Chopicallqui and Huascaran mountains. We then descend to Ulta valley passing small lakes and enjoying views of the big mountains. At Quebrada Ulta our private vehicle will be waiting to take us back to Huaraz. 5 hour walk and 2½ hours drive.
Grading & Fitness
Most people who enjoy a weekend in the hills or mountains at home are capable of undertaking a trek at this level: you need to be in good health and reasonably fit, and you will almost certainly be taking regular exercise. Walking at higher altitude and the occasional longer or more difficult day may be involved, but generally conditions underfoot will be fair. A walking day would normally be between 5 to 7 hours, and no experience is necessary.
We highly recommend that you arrive in Huaraz at least 2 days before the trek departs and spend time doing day hikes to higher altitude, this will help with acclimatization to the new altitude. We can help organise day hikes for you.
We offer full service trekking holidays, which basically means we do the work and you walk. We provide full support so all you have to carry is a daypack with whatever you require for that day's walk. Our staff will also erect and take down the tents, cook, wash up and even supply bed tea in the morning. This allows you plenty of free time to relax or explore your surroundings as you wish.
Guides & Safety
The mountain guides are qualified through the Peruvian Mountain Guides Association. The AGMP are affiliated to the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association – UIAGM/IFMGA who governs mountain guiding worldwide. All have strong first-aid skills and a wealth of local experience on the routes guided.
Period April – October 2013
1 person: USD 260 per day x 4 days = USD 1040
2 people: USD 211 each per day x 4 days = USD 844 each
3 people: USD 180 each per day x 4 days = USD 720 each
4 people: USD 177 each per day x 4 days = USD 708 each
5 people: USD 174 each per day x 4 days = USD 696 each
Please note that this trip is open to private groups of up to 12 people and at your own departure schedule.
For regular scheduled trips, we like to keep the group small – maximum 5 people.