Best of Huaraz & the Cordillera Huayhuash – 10 Days

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2022
10 Day
Availability : Jan 1' - Dec 31'
Cusco
Cordillera Huayhuash
Min Age : 18+
Max People : 15
Overview
Best of Huaraz & Cordillera Huayhuash

Best of Huaraz & Cordillera Huayhuash: Some of the most famous mountains in the Cordillera HuayhuashYerupajá, Rasac, Hirishanca, Ninashanca, and Rondoy – stand out against the rugged backdrop of the Andes. There are beautiful meadows surrounded by deep mountain gorges; and with peaks that reach above 6,000 m (19,685 ft). Following then; this trek program requires a week of trekking; crossing a high pass (Paso de Carhuac 4,650m), plus a day’s drive in the car and a couple of transit days. Then you’ll also have time to explore Huaraz while in transit.

After all; serious alpinists head for the trekking mecca of Huaraz to experience some part of the Cordillera Huayhuash. The Huayhuash is normally less-travelled than the Cordillera Blanca, due to its distance from Huaraz and its incredible difficulty (it ranks among the most demanding hikes in the Americas).

Glaciers and a glut of peaks above 6000m are on the menu; as are a spattering of sparkling mountain lakes, and there’s the added appeal of it being a round-trip trek, which facilitates good planning.

THE BEST OF THE CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH
Season: April to November
Distance: 74 Km
Altitude: 3200 – 4760 meters above sea level
Rating: Moderate
Weather: Warm to hot in the daytime / cold at night
Trekking time: 5 to 8 hours a day approx.


Included
Breakfast x 9
Lunch x 9
Dinner x 6
Private Transport – collection & drop-off
Professional bilingual guide
High Mountain Cook
Horsemen & mules
All camping equipment (Sleeping bags to hire + Trekking Poles)
Accommodation in Huaraz – x2 nights
Accommodation in Lima – x3 nights
Transfers to Hotel

Not Included
International Airfare & Airport Transfers
Hotels before & after (can be organised as part of trip)
Tips for crew
Any additional extras
Domestic flights (can be organised as part of trip)
Travel & Adventure Insurance (we highly recommend some form of medical evacuation insurance)
Entrance fee to the Huascarán National Park (S./150.00 per person)
Emergency mule (can be hired for the expedition)

Suggested Packing
Hikking Boots
Trekking socks (synthetic fibers)
Sun hat
Hat for cold weather (fleece)
microfiber shirts and thermal
Fleece
Trekking pants
Sunglasses
Day Backpack or advance 40 liters
Waterproof Jacket (Gore-Tex or other)
Waterproof Pant (Gore-Tex or other)
Waterproof Layer
Water Bottle
Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
Sunscreen (lips and skin)
Personal First Aid Kit
Photographic Material
Washbag and towel
Sandals
Trekking poles.

Joining Arrangements There will be a pre-trek briefing held usually the evening before departure, at your hotel, to go over the details of the trek and any specific requirements not already captured.
Food & Water Prior to setting off we recommend you steer clear of street food and only eat in good restaurants, to avoid any stomach complaints. Likewise with tap water, it is largely untreated, please only consume bottled water only or sterilised water if you have the right equipment.
Special Diets We’ll ensure that we cater for all of your dietary needs, at the point of booking we’ll collect this information from you. We can secure special menu requests also for your trek party.
Trekking Crew We are able to customise our treks to suit you, but usually our treks are guided by a professional bilingual guide, mountain cook, arriero (horseman) and mules to carry all equipment (passenger horses also available on request). They become a large part of your trekking expedition and it’s a great experience working together.
Acclimatisation
This is a really important part of your trip planning process, please find a link below which explains a little more about preparing for altitude. Altitude Preparation
Preparation
Attached below are a couple of links which will explain how to prepare for your trip & trek in advance of your arrival. We recommend being prepared in advance to save time & stress whilst you’re in Peru. Trip Planning | Trek Planning
Machu Picchu An excursion to Machu Picchu can be included as part of your trip, including professional bilingual guide, entrance tickets, return trip bus tickets, Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountains (mountain climbs to be confirmed on reservation) & your return train ticket to Cusco. 
Covid-19 (Coronavirus) We are working with the latest protocols issued by the Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) to ensure our operations are safe and compliant for the future. We also have access to on-call health services for your time with us.
Covid-19 (Useful Links) World Health Organisation | World Health Organisation – Peru | Covid-19 Data – Peru | Covid-19 Daily Statistics
Available Discounts Throughout 2022 we’re offering a 15% discount for each member of a group larger than 4+
Reservation Please contact us to reserve your trek and we will send you our deposit & payment options.
Customer Service Please feel free to contact us at any point before your trip for any queries or problems.

 

Itinerary

Day 1Arrive Lima - Transfer to Huaraz

On arrival into Lima you’ll transfer to Huaraz by bus or plane.

Overnight: Huaraz
Hotel Recommendation: Hotel San Sebastian

Day 2Lake Willacocha - Full Day - Moderate - 4700m

You wind up through the scattered villages of the mountain. The trail itself is rugged and beautiful with some uphill sections, but is a fairly moderate ascent. The Lake is very pretty, and the views of the Cordillera Blanca are fabulous. On return we’ll take you back to your hotel.

Altitude – 4700m
Distance – 6 km
Time Trekking – 4-5 hrs
Overnight: Huaraz
Hotel Recommendation: Hotel San Sebastian
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3Laguna 69 - Full day - Hard - 4,500m

Laguna 69 is a beautiful mountain high lake nestled under the mountains in the Demanda Valley. Travelling by our private vehicle car from Huaraz past the beautiful Llanganuco Lakes and then to Cebollapampa (3850m) which is the starting point to climb Pisco. (2 ½ hours drive). You start the walk by following the valley for some 40 minutes, then climb continuously on a zig zag track for about 2 hour 40 minutes to Laguna 69, a beautiful lake of the most brilliant blue colour (4500m).

The lake is surrounded by the mountains Chacrarju and Pisco which leave reflections on the lake. On the return walk you look directly towards the mountains Huascaran, Chopicalqui and Yanapaccha. The hike from Cebollapampa to Laguna 69 & return is about 5 ½ hours.

On the return car journey you’ll stop at the beautiful turquoise and light blue twin lakes of Llanganuco – one lake female and one lake male. The lakes lie between the mountains of Huascaran and Huandoy and are surrounded by groves of ancient quenual trees.

Altitude – 4500m
Distance – 10-11 km
Time Trekking – 8 Hours
Overnight: Huaraz
Hotel Recommendation: Hotel San Sebastian
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4Huaraz - La Union - Queropalca

Driving in our private bus for some 5 or 6 hours 230kms from Huaraz to Huanuco Pampa (3736m). Along the way we have our first distant views of the breathtaking Cordillera Huayhuash. Stopping to take in the amazing views and marvel at the vastness of the surrounding countryside.

We’ll set up camp at Huanuco Pampa, near the Inca ruins of Huanuco Viejo which we spend the afternoon visiting. The site was an important Inca settlement, probably a tambo major stopover point and storage site – built on the main Cuzco-Quito route. The site covers several hundred hectares and substantial ruins remain, including the main temple Usnu, accommodation for the Inca elite, women’s quarters and a garrison, not to mention private quarters and baths for the visiting Inca.

Continuing to drive for 3 to 4 hours from Huanuco Viejo to Queropalca village 3,800m where we’ll camp for the night.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5Queropalca - Carhuacocha lake

In Queropalca you’ll meet our donkey drivers & mules to start the trek with a gradual ascent on a gentle gradient to Laguna Carhuacocha (4200m). From this camp we have astonishing views across the lake to the Yerupaja Grande, Yerupaja Chico (6121m), Jirishanca and Siula Grande. This is the first sighting you’ll get of the vast expanse of the Cordillera Huayhuash

Approx. 11kms hiking
Time: 4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6Carhuacocha - Siula punta lookout - Carhuacocha

Staying another night at Carhuacocha to enjoy the mountain surroundings. We’ll take a day hike up a side valley past the base of Yerupaja and Siula Grande. Here you’ll discover 3 glacial lakes, all unique in that each has a different shade of blue or green. Occasionally there are avalanches coming from the glaciers into the lakes.
 
Note: It is possible to continue by hiking a circuit up past the Siula Glacier to a pass at 4800 metres, returning along an unmarked trail through a high hidden valley where you can glimpse wild vicuña grazing, before a descent back to Laguna Carhuacocha (a total 8 hours for the day). Alternatively, you may prefer a gentler day trout fishing or resting at the spectacular campsite.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7Carhuacocha - Mitucocha

Climbing to cross the first Pass – Paso de Carhuac 4650m & camp at another lake Laguna Mitucocha 4250m – 5 hours. A relatively steady ascent on a good path takes us to Punta Carhuac (4650m) pass, with excellent opportunities en route to spot the elusive Viscacha rodent, endemic to the high Andes. From here, weather permitting, we will enjoy excellent views of the Yerupaja and Siula Grande peaks.

Descending, with grass underfoot, to the Janca plateau we’ll trek south-east to reach tonight’s camp at another large, trout-filled lake; Laguna Mitucocha (4250m). After lunch, you’ll have the option of walking around the lake. From our camp we have incredible panoramic views of the sheer face of Jirishanca (6094m) and Jirishanka Chico.

Approx. 12kms
Time: 4 to 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8Mitucocha - Rondoy valley

In the morning, continuing anti-clockwise across puna grasslands (paramo) and crossing the pass at Cacanan Punta (4700m). You’ll descend to the Quebrada Cuncush, a broad valley flanked by immense expanses of quenual forest, and pass a collection of crofts known as Quartelhuain, the site of tonight’s camp (4350m).

Approx. 12kms
Time: 6 to 7 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9Rondoy - Jahuacocha Lake

Today is a long traversing ascent to the Rondoy Pass (4750m). From here enjoying yet more awesome views of the nearby peaks, the highest Huayhuash peak, Yerupaja (6634m), as well as Rondoy and others, dominating the panoramic views. The descent from the pass takes us first past a stunning, milky-blue glacial lake, Solteracocha, and then along the shore of the beautiful Laguna Jahuacocha to our beautiful camp at the head of the lake (4150m).

Approx. 14kms
A harder day – 7 hours.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10Jahuacocha - Llamac - Huaraz - Final night or Back to Lima

After an early start and gentle descent for an hour, you’ll start a gradual climb to the final pass, Pampa Llamac (4300m), from where we’ll take in our final views of the Huayhuash range. Then it is a reasonably long descent back to the Llamac valley and the village of Llamac. Approx. 14kms hiking 5½ to 6 hours In Llamac our private transport will be waiting to take us back to Huaraz and your hotel for that long-awaited hot shower! Arriving into Huaraz at about 06:00pm. From here you can either stay another night or begin the journey back to Lima.
 
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
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