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Santa Cruz Trek

Overview

Experience 8 days of trekking through the most spectacular Cordillera Blanca areas.This trek along the great extension of the Cordillera Blanca allows us to discover one of the main mountainous regions of the world. Here we find a major concentration of peaks over 6,000m. We combine the classic trek of this impressive mountain range with an extension to the Ulta valley; rewarding us with a view of the most impressive mountain landscapes of the earth. We reach three high passes: Punta Union (4,750m), Portachuelo de LLanganuco (4,765m), Punta Yanayacu (4,900m).

We start in the Santa Cruz valley, crossing the Punta Union pass and then heading down the Huaripampa valley. We continue towards Vaqueria and from the Morococha valley we ascend to Portachuelo de LLanganuco. We return again to Vaqueria, to continue the trek by the Queshu valley, reaching the highest point on the trek at Punta Yanayacu. From there, descend the Ulta Valley.

Trip Code: PETSSCT

Location: Huaraz

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

Leaving Huaraz city, heading to the north of the Callejon de Huaylas, we descend for one hour by a road to Caraz (2,300m). Then, from this place we begin to ascend for two hours towards the Cordillera Blanca to the small town of Cashapampa (2,900m), where we meet up with our mountain personnel: guides, cooks, muleteers, etc. and begin the walk having loaded up our donkeys. We begin the trek for 3 hours heading up the Santa Cruz valley to set up our first camp in Llamacorral (3,650m).

Huaraz - Cashapampa (2900m) - Llamacorral (3,650m)

We continue the trek up Santa Cruz's wide valley, passing Ichiccocha and Jatuncocha lakes. We arrive at Quisuar, where we can make a diversion towards Alpamayo base camp via the Arhuaycocha valley. Here we have splendid views of the peaks of Quitaraju (6,040m), Alpamayo (5,947m), Artezonraju (6,025m) and others. Tonight we camp in Taullipampa (4,000m) at the foot of the impressive Taulliraju peak (5,830m) and surrounded by snow peaks.

Llamacorral - Taullipampa (4,000m)

This will be a long and tiring day ascending by a steep zig zag path at the foot of the impressive Taulliraju and overlooking the Taullicocha turquoise lake. After three hours We arrive at Punta Union (4,750m) and see the peaks of Chacraraju (6,112m), Artezonraju (6,025m), Pyramid (5,885m), Huandoy (6,395m), Alpamayo (5,940m), Santa Cruz (6,259m), Rinrihirca (5,810m), Taulliraju (5,830m) and others. Now on the east side of the Cordillera Blanca, we begin to descend passing the Morococha lake and then into the long, broad Huaripampa valley. Passing through red-barked quenual forests and pleasant Andean grasslands, we approach our camp in Huaripampa (3,600m).

Taullipampa - Huaripampa (3,600m)

We continue descending for 1 hour to the small Andean town of Colcabamba (3,350m) and then we begin to ascend for 3 hours towards Vaqueria (3,700 m) to set up our camp.

Huaripampa - Vaqueria (3,700m)

This day will be free to rest. A vehicle will pick us up to ascend for 1.5 hours to Portachuelo de LLanganuco (4,765m), with splendid views of Huascarán Norte (6,768 m) Huascarán Sur (6,650 m), Chopicalqui (6,354 m), Huandoy (6,395 m), Pisco (5,752 m. We also have great views of the Llanganuco valley and the two lakes of Orkon-cocha and Chinan-cocha. Return to our camp in Vaqueria.

Vaqueria (3,700m)

We begin the trek ascending the Keshu valley coming closer to the impressive Contrahierbas (6,036m) peak, setting up camp (4,400m) near Punta Yanayacu.

Vaqueria - Yanayacu (4,400 m)

This will be a tiring day. Our objective will be to cross the Punta Yanayacu pass (4,900m) with impressive views of the Cordillera Blanca mountains: Huascarán (6,768 m), Chopicalqui, Ulta, Contrahierbas, Hualcan and others, also towards the north the mountain Taulliraju is in view (5,830m), as is Quitaraju (6,040m) and Rinrihirca (5,810m. Then, we descend the Ulta valley to set up amp in Ocshapampa (4,400m), in front of Contrahierbas (6,036m), Ulta (5,875m), Hualcan (6,112 m), Chopicalqui (6,354m) and others.

Yanayacu - Ocshapampa (4,400m)

This is the last day of trek descending toward the Ulta valley to take a vehicle back to Huaraz.

Ocshapampa - Broken Ulta(4,100m) - Huaraz(3,100m)
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WHY TAILOR-MADE?

  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs
  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

Travel Style Departing Duration PRICE FROM
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Important Information

  • Transportation to the beginning or the ending of the trek to Huaraz
    Full Accommodation during the trek
    Tent for two, dining room-kitchen tent
    Trek guide, cook, muleteers, donkeys
    Meals for the days in the trek
    First-aid kit
    Oxygen                                   

    Communication equipment

    Sleeping bag

  • 2 (average fitness required)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.
4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.