Cordillera Blanca also aptly known as the “White Range” due to its numerous perennially snow-capped peaks and glaciers is the world’s highest and most glaciated tropical mountain range and has the greatest concentration of above 6000m peaks outside the Himalayas. The world renowned Santa Cruz Trek which crosses from one side of the range to the other will take you through fertile alpine valley, glacier-fed turquoise lakes, glistering waterfalls and roaring rivers. The trek offers close-up view of some of the most famous and spectacular mountains the worlds: Huascaran (6768m) – the highest peak in Peru, Alpamayo (5947m) – considered by many to be the most beautiful peak on the world, Artesonraju (6025m) – said to be the inspiration for the famous Paramount Pictures logo) etc. Other highlights of the trek includes the climb up to the 4750m high Punta Union Pass – higher than any peaks in Asia outside Himalayas, possible sighting of wild animals like chinchilla and raptor and a peek into the lifestyles of the Quechua mountain people.
HUARAZ – PORTACHUELO – VAQUERIA – PARIA
In the morning, you will be picked up by our friendly guide via private transport to the trail head in Vaqueria (approx. 5 hrs drive). The first highlight of the day is the beautiful sister lakes of Llanganuco. The drive there is also an adventure within itself as you wind up the mountain via 32 switch-backs to the 4760m high Portachuelo Pass. The breathtaking view from the pass includes Huascaran, Huandoy and Yanapaccha and the beautiful emerald waters of Llanganuco lakes at your feet. Today’s trek is relatively easy walk (approx. 3 hrs) through the Huaripampa Valley which are inhabited by the friendly Quechua people. Be captivated by the rural mountain scene with farmers tilting land, cows grazing in the fields and children yelling out “Hola” to welcome you. You will set up tent for the night beside a stream in Paria (3870m).
Overnight: Tent with sleeping bag
PARIA – PUNTA – TAULLIPAMPA
Today’s trek is the longest and toughest (8 hrs trek). It begins with a climb up and over Punta Union (4750m) – the highest point along the trek – which takes about 6 hours follow by a 2-hours descent to the campsite at Taullipampa (4250m). Punta Union is a high pass which provides the only route since pre-columbia time for transporting goods between the Huaripampa valley and the Santa Cruz valley. Towards the pass, look out for wild chinchilla (yes, the cute rodent which you keep as pet in Singapore!) among the rocks and soaring raptors in the sky. At the pass, you will be rewarded with close-up view of Taulliraju (5,830m) and its glacier lake and the peaks of other Andean giants Pucarjirca (6040m), Alpamayo (5947m), Artesonraju (6025m), Paria (5600m) across the valley. After enjoying these awesome views, you will descend downhill to your campsite at the pretty meadow of Taullipampa.
Overnight: Tent with sleeping bag
TAULLIPAMPA – JATUNCOCHA – LIAMACORRAL – CASHAPAMPA – HUARAZ
Today, you will continue the hike down the valley to Cashapampa (approx. 7 hrs trek). The trail is wide in most places and surrounded by towering peaks and glistering waterfalls on both sides. Along the way, you will pass by the beautiful glacial lakes of Laguna Jatuncocha and Laguna Ichicocha. After Llamacorral, you will follow the gushing Santa Cruz River to Cashapampa where you will be picked up by private transport back to Huaraz. Enjoy an enchanting sunset over the terraced fields as the vehicle climb up the switch-back mountain route towards Huaraz.
- All meals and drinks (boiled water, coffee and tea) during the trek
- All camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, sleeping bags)
- Local Peruvian trekking guide (English speaking)
- Porters for tents, sleeping bags, food and communal equipment
- Return international air ticket*
- Travel insurance*
- All meals not indicated
- Tips for guide and porters
- All expenses of a personal nature
*International fights and AIG Travel Guard Insurance can be arranged on your behalf.
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