HUAYHUASH TRAIL PERU

HUAYHUASH TRAIL PERU

16 Days $3890 ex Lima

Accommodation

8 Nights Camping
7 Nights Hotel

Transportation

Mostly by foot.
Transfers & return flight from Port Moresby

Included Meals

15 Breakfasts
11 Lunches
8 Dinners

Trip Grade

Category 4
Extreme Expedition

Off limits.

That was the response when we’d first considered venturing north.

But it wasn’t just to us, the foreigners, as we’d originally believed.

The hills and mountains around these parts, they were home to banditos and the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path guerillas).

Not even the locals dared venture there, for fear of their lives…

So here we were, half a decade later and the world (at least here) was different.

There was a thrill, but it came from marvelling at soaring, 6,000 metre peaks, and not from the dodging bullets.

There was a shortness of breath, but it was from the efforts of scrambling over scree filled passes, as opposed to fear.

Here we were, finally walking some of the most beautiful and pristine mountains in the world, no crowds, just us and raw nature!

“There is something about mountains that moves the soul.

They arouse a powerful sense of spiritual awareness and a notion of our own transient and fragile mortality and our insignificant place in the universe.

They have about them an ethereal, evocative addiction that I find impossible to resist.

They are an infuriating and fascinating contradiction. Climbing rarely makes sense but nearly always feels right”

Joe Simpson, Touching the Void

Considered the most beautiful trek in South America and ranking as one of the best on the planet, the Cordillera Huayhuash (pronounced ‘waywash’) is a stunningly picturesque landscape dominated by white snow-capped peaks of 5000 and 6000 metres, tumbling glaciers and high altitude meadows. 

Famed as the source of the mighty Amazon river, and for many years the refuge of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) communist guerillas. Today, the guerillas are gone and it remains a sparsely populated region still waiting to be tamed by those intrepid enough.

“The complete Huayhuash circuit has been noted as one of the most physically and emotionally challenging treks in the country, but also one of the most rewarding”

Agnes Rivera, Lonely Planet

Huayhuash Shadow

The Journey

Arrival to Lima and transfer to hotel.

Lima to Huaraz transfer by public bus (8 hours 30 minutes).

We’ll depart in the morning to arrive in the evening. (B)

Rest day in Huaraz.

This allows time for your body to adjust to the altitude. (B)

Transfer from Huaraz (3100 m) to Santa Cruz (3150 m) and trek to lagoon Wilcacocha (3745 m).

Return to Huaraz and enjoy a free afternoon. (B,L)

Transfer from Huaraz (3100 m) to Pitec (4150 m) and trek to Churup lagoon (4450 m).

Return to Huaraz for another free afternoon. (B,L)

Transfer Huaraz (3100 m) to Quartelhuayn campsite (4150 m) by private transfer (4.30 hours).

We’ll depart early in the morning and arrive for lunch. (B,L,D)

Trek from our Quartelhuayn campsite (4150 m) through Cacanapunta pass (4690 m) to Mitucocha lagoon, before finishing at our Mitucocha campsite (4250 m).

We’ll enjoy a picnic along the way. (B,L,D)

Trek Mitucocha campsite (4250 m) via Yanapunta pass (4650 m) to the Carhuacocha campsite (4200 m).

We’ll finish our days hiking early enough to lunch at the camp. (B,L,D)

Today is a stunner.

We’ll walk around the Carhuacocha lagoon, passing by 3 others, the Gangrajanca, Siula, and Quesillococha lagoons. Through Siula pass (4833m) and beyond the Carnicero lagoon to our Huayhuash campsite (4350m).
Picnic along the way. (B,L,D)

Today, our journey from Huayhuash to our Elefante camp, will see us crack the 5000m mark at Trapecio pass, from where more amazing views of the lunar-like landscape can be enjoyed.

Expect an up and down affair today, finished off with campsite views of Nevado Trapecio.

12 km / 5.30 hours / 900 m height gain / 725 m downhill.

Campsite. Views of Nevado Trapecio (5650 m). (B,L,D)

The mountain village of Huayllapa awaits us at the end of day 11, but the difficult descent into the valley below begins with for some, one of the highlights of the trip, the San Antonia pass.

From here, the views (assuming the day is clear) are stunning, including another look at Siula Grande. By days end, we’ll find ourselves roughly 1000m lower in elevation as well. Suck that air in, nice and deep!

17 km / 8 hours / 600 m height gain / 1575 m downhill.

Campsite. Views of Nevados Yerupajá (6635 m), Siula Grande (6345 m), Rasac (6040 m), and Jurau lagoon. (B,L,D)

What goes down, must again come up, and today is a long uphill grind. 1300m in fact to the Tapush pass, before a short descent gets us to our Gashapampa campsite.

Rest those weary legs whilst enjoying views of the 5350m Nevado Diablo Muda and Laguna Susucocha.

13.5 km / 6 hours / 1350 m height gain / 325 m downhill.

Campsite. Views of Nevado Diablo Mudo and Susucocha lagoon. (B,L,D)

After todays relatively short 10km stretch, we’ll find ourselves at the Jahuacocha campsite.

Our afternoon will be spent under the watchful gaze of three 6000m+ peaks, with views of Jirishanca, the 6635m Yerupajá (the highest point in the Amazon river watershed and Peru’s 2nd highest mountain after Huascarán) and Rasac.

Also, enjoy views of lagunas Jahuacocha and Solterococha.

10 km / 5 hours / 650 m height gain / 1100 m downhill.

Views of Nevados Rondoy (5870 m), Jirishanca (6125 m), Yerupajá (6635 m), Rasac (6040 m), Jahuacocha and Solterococha lagoons. (B,L,D)

La ultima dia (the last day)! From our Jahuacocha camp, we’ll complete the final 15km of our Huayhuash trek, along the way passing Laguna Solterococha (another beautiful location for a picnic), the Sambuya pass, before the final descent back to the Quartelhuayn campsite.

From there, our transfer will whisk us back to civilisation. Finally, enjoy the first ‘proper’ bed in days, back in our Huarez hotel!

If you fancy a celebratory drink, why not try one of the locally brewed beers from the Cerveceria Sierra Andina!

15 km / 7 hours (700 m height gain / 700 m downhill.

Accommodation at hotel Andino. (B,L)

Today we will bid farewell to Huaraz, an 8 to 9 hour journey by public bus getting us to the capital Lima by the early evening. (B)

Depart for next destination or stay on for a day or so and explore Lima. (B)

Season

April through to October

Includes

  • 7 nights hotel accommodation
  • Transfers from Lima to Huaraz and return
  • Service of local UIAGM Mountain Guide
  • Service of one auxiliary local Guide
  • Transfer Huaraz bus station – Hotel Andino – Bus station
  • Private transfer Huaraz – Cuartelhuain
  • Private transfer Rondoy – Huaraz
  • Muleteers, donkeys and emergency horses
  • Food for the whole trek: 8 breakfasts, 8 box lunch, 8 dinners
  • Campsite tickets
  • First aid kit
  • Common camping equipment: sleeping tents for two, mess tent
  • Toilet tents, kitchen tent, chairs, tables, kitchen kit, utensils, etc.
  • All meals as indicated in itinerary (Breakfast – B, Lunch – L and Dinner – D)

Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal spending money
  • Tips for General Guides
  • Any meals not listed as included
  • Personal trekking gear: sleeping bag, mattress, trekking boots,
  • Gore-tex jackets/pants, specific medications, etc.
  • Food during stay in Lima and Huaraz
  • Extra meals or drinks, tips, etc.

Your Guides and Safety

An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor experience, a knowledge of the mountains in which you’ll walk, and a passion for the beautiful country that is Peru.

The guide will ensure that your trip is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun, and safe. All guides are trained in Safety First Aid and are connected to our Lima and Melbourne offices by satellite phone.

Accommodation

This is predominantly a camping expedition, so it’s almost as basic as it can get.

We’ll utilise comfortable hotels in Lima and Huarez, but when we’re out in the mountains, we’re under the stars, protected by a thin veil of nylon.

It’s a raw and real experience, that really inserts us fully into the environment.

“Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash has been called “the best alpine trek in the world”.

Fabled for being the source of the mighty Amazon and having peaks that soar snow-fluted above 6,600m, the Huayhuash is a compact range of 20 main mountains knotted together by blue glacier ice: a place of visual magnificence.

A journey around the entire range is 170km of hard, exhilarating walking, where thin-air passes link jagged mountains, azure lakes and vast skies.”

Gabi Mocatta, BBC Travel

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