Huayhuash Trek (10n/11d)

Huaraz, like many places in Peru is very scenic. But if you plan on trekking make sure you can handle the altitude when planning your trip

Huaraz, like many places in Peru is very scenic. But if you plan on trekking make sure you can handle the altitude when planning your trip

Day 1: Huaraz-Conococha-Huallanca-Cuartel Huain
We’ll pick you up in a private vehicle early in the morning, and we’ll head for the southern part of of Callejon de Huaylas, as we drive by the towns of Recuay, Ticapampa and Catac. On our ascent up the Santa River valley, we reach Lake Conococha (4100 meters (13451 feet) above sea level), where we can see several species of Andean migratory birds, particularly the Andean flamingo or parihuana, which nests in the lake during its migration period. From this area we can also see the Huayhuash Mountain Range and its majestic snow-capped peaks. We then go down to the mining town of Pachapaqui, then we go back up to the Yanashallash Pass (4680 meters (15354 feet) above sea level). We descend again, through the eastern slope of the Cordillera Blanca, through the mining town of Huanzala, until we reach Huallanca. From here we head to the Huayhuash Mountain Range, following the course of the San Juan River until we reach the Cuncush Pass (4750 meters (15583 feet) above sea level). From there we continue to the locat on of our first campsite at Cuartel Huain (4100 meters (13451 feet) above sea level). We’ll have lunch en route, and dinner at the campsite.

Day 2: Cuartel Huain-Kakanan PuntaLaguna Mitucocha
After breakfast we start trekking upward to the Kakanan Punta Pass (4700 meters (15419 feet) above sea level), where we’ll enjoy the view of some of the snow-capped mountains of the Central Range of the Andes. We continue our journey as we look at the snow-capped Hirishanca (6126 meters (20098 feet) above sea level), Ninashanca (5446 meters (17867 feet) above sea level) and Yerupaja (6634 meters (21765 feet) above sea level), until we finally reach Lake Mitucocha where we’ll spend the night (4250 meters (13943 feet) above sea level). We’ll have lunch en route, and dinner at the campsite.

Day 3: Mitucocha Lagoon – Paso de Carhua – Carhuacocha Lagoon
Today we’ll trek through the Janca ravine, then we’ll ascend to the Carhua Pass (4650 meters (15255 feet) above sea level). From here we’ll descend to Lake Carhuacocha, where we’ll set up our new campsite (4138 meters (13576 feet) above sea level). Here we’ll find several Andean varieties of birds such as the ibis, gulls, geese, coots, ruddy ducks and pintails. This incomparable campsite offers impressive views of the most important snow-capped peaks of the Huayhuash Mountain Range, the Hirishanca Chico (5446 meters (17867 feet) above sea level), Yerupaja, Yerupaja Chico (6121 meters (20082 feet) above sea level) and Siula Grande (6344 meters (20813 feet) above sea level). We’ll have lunch en route, and dinner at the campsite.

Day 4: Carhuacocha Lagoon – Paso Siula-Huayhuash
Today we’ll enjoy an impressive trek down 7 beautiful snow-capped mountains, and the beautiful lakes of Siula, Cangrajanca and Quesillo Cocha. We’ll go up to the Siula Pass (4800 meters (15748 feet) above sea level) from where we can admire the beauty of the Yerupaja, Siula Grande, Carnicero (5960 meters (19553 feet) above sea level) and Trapecio (5644 meters (18517 feet) above sea level) mountains. Then we’ll go down to our campsite in Huayhuash (4350 meters (14271 feet) above sea level). We’ll have lunch en route, and dinner at the campsite.

Day 5: Huayhuash-Portachuelo Huayhuash – Viconga Lagoon
After breakfast we resume our trek and we’ll ascend to the Portachuelo de Huayhuash Pass (4750 meters (15583 feet) above sea level), from where we can see the snow-capped Trapecio and Puscanturpa (5430 meters (17814 feet) above sea level) mountains, as well as the Leon Huacanan (5427 meters (17805 feet) above sea level) and Quesillo Janca (5357 meters (17575 feet) above sea level) mountains of the Raura Mountain Range. We then continue on our way and descend toward Lake Viconga, where we’ll set up our next campsite (4500 meters (14763 feet) above sea level). After lunch we’ll go to the thermal baths at Viconga. We’ll have lunch and dinner at the campsite.

Day 6: Viconga – Paso Cuyoc – Huanacpatay
We continue ascending until we reach the Cuyoc Pass (5000 meters (16404 feet) above sea level), which offers a spectacular view of all the snow-capped peaks of the Huayhuash and Raura Mountain Ranges. Then we’ll go down the ravine until we reach Huanacpatay (4350 meters (14271 feet) above sea level), our campsite for today. We’ll have lunch and dinner at the campsite.

Day 7: Huanacpatay – Paso San Antonio – Cutatambo
Our ascent will take us to the San Antonio Pass (5000 meters (16404 feet) above sea level), considered the spot with the most beautiful view of all the mountain passes on our route. From here you can see the snow-capped Jurau (5599 meters (18369 feet) above sea level), Cuyoc (5549 meters (18205 feet) above sea level), Siula, Yerupaja and Sarapo mountains. You can also see lakes Jurau and Sarapococha with their clear turquoise waters. We will also see lupinus plants en route to our campsite at Cutatambo (4400 meters (14435 feet) above sea level). After lunch we’ll visit Lake Sarapococha and the campsite of Joe Simpson, whose spectacular adventure is retold in the book and movie Touching the Void. We’ll have lunch and dinner at the campsite.

Day 8: Cutatambo – Huayllapa
From Cutatambo we descend along the Huayllapa River valley, through the Calinca ravine. We’ll set up our campsite near the town of Huayllapa (3600 meters (11811 feet) above sea level). We can use this free afternoon to explore the place on our own. We’ll have lunch en route, and dinner at the campsite.

Day 9: Huayllapa – Paso de Tapush – Gashpapampa
Today we’ll ascend to the Tapush Pass (4800 meters (15748 feet) above sea level), from where we can see the snow-capped Juituhuarco (5448 meters (17874 feet) above sea level), Auxilio (5560 meters (18241 feet) above sea level) and Diablo Mudo (5220 meters (17125 feet) above sea level) mountains. Then we’ll go down to our campsite in Gashpapampa (4400 meters (14435 feet) above sea level). We’ll have lunch and dinner at the campsite.

Day 10: Gashpapampa – Paso Yaucha – Laguna Jahuacocha
Today we again trek upward, this time to the Yaucha Pass (4800 meters (15748 feet) above sea level), where we can enjoy the amazing view of the snow-capped Huacarish (5622 meters (18444 feet) above sea level), Tzacra (5548 meters (18202 feet) above sea level), Ratzak (6017 meters (19740 feet) above sea level), Siula Grande and Yerupaja mountains. We’ll go down the Huacrish ravine to the impressive Lake Jahuacocha (4050 meters (13287 feet) above sea level), where we can see several species of Andean birds that live there. We’ll set up camp on the shores of this beautiful lake. We’ll have lunch en route, and dinner at the campsite.

Day 11: Jahuacocha Lagoon – Paso De Pampa Llamac – Llamac – Huaraz
On this last day of our trek, we’ll head to the town of Llamac (4300 meters (14107 feet) above sea level). We’ll walk through Polylepis forests and observe the diversity of vegetation in the Pampa de Llamac (4300 meters (14107 feet) above sea level) and in the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash mountain ranges. From Llamac we’ll return by private vehicle to our hotel in Huaraz.

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