Cordillera Blanca Trek
Trek a Gorgeous, Lesser-Known Region
Days: 6 | Contact us for pricing
- Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
- Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
Go way off the beaten path in Peru's Cordillera Blanca, a region of towering peaks and glacial canyons.Inquire about this trip
Talk to a Vaya Travel
We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.
We consistently receive 5 star reviews from our discerning clients.
At a glance
1 night: enjoy an acclimatization hike to lovely Willcacocha Lake
- Cordillera Blanca Trek
3 nights: hike this spectacular Peruvian mountain range
1 night: relax after your trek
All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.
Fly to Huaráz / Willcacocha Lake
Arrive to Huaráz on the morning flight. Leave your belongings at your hotel and then head south toward the Cordillera Negra to the village of Huamarin, at 10,662 feet. The road zigzags upward to Lake Willcacocha (12,221 feet), where you can see a variety of wild ducks and reed vegetation. Here you begin your trek, a 4-hour exploration of the lake and its beautiful surroundings, with sweeping views of the snowy Cordillera Blanca throughout.
After your hike descend through the villages of Purucuta and Quetscapu and past ancient eucalyptus plantations. At the bottom of the trail you will meet your vehicle to transfer back to Huaráz.
This day’s hike will help you acclimatize to the high altitude of the area. Other acclimatization activities also exist in the area, and can easily be added to your itinerary. Some suggested activities are described below.
Accommodations: Hotel Andino
Set out from Huaráz: Vaqueria and Paria
Set out early from Huaráz and drive along the Santa Valley, passing small villages and rolling scenery. The road winds slowly up into the gully between the Huascaran massif and the Huandoy three-pronged peak, until you reach the boundary of Huascaran National Park. Follow the twisting road as it climbs toward the pass at Portachuelo of Llanganuco (15,580 feet). From here, if the day is clear, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Huascaran, Huandoy, Pisco, and Chacraraju.
Continue by car about another 40 minutes to Vaqueria (12,136 feet), where you will begin your trek. Walk up toward a small farming village, Huaripampa, with views of the snow-covered peak of Chacraraju. The trail leads to Paria, where you will settle into your camp for the night.
About 5-6 hours of hiking; about 7 miles; overnight at elevation of 12,726 feet.
Accommodations: Camp at Paria
Paria, Punta Union Pass, and Taullipampa
Hike toward Punta Union, a pass at 15,580 feet. As you walk, Mount Taulliraju looms above you, its glacier and glacial lake adding color and contrast to the amazing view down the Santa Cruz Valley. The trail you follow was heavily used in pre-Columbian and colonial times as a route for transporting goods from the eastern side of the Andes to the main valley. Descending from the pass, cross into your camp in Taullipampa, at the foot of Mount Taulliraju.
About 7 hours of hiking; about 8 miles; overnight at an elevation of 13,776 feet.
Accommodations: Camp at Taullipampa
Tullipamapa and Llamacorral
Walk through scree slopes that appear on each side of the marshy meadow, studded with fallen boulders from the eroded walls above. The landscape changes as you progress along the wide, flat creek of Santa Cruz, passing by Ichiccocha and Jatuncocha lakes. As you pass the Arhuaycocha Valley, you will have great views of snowcapped mountains including Mount Alpamayo. Later in the day the trail becomes gentler as you reach the extensive meadow area of Llamacorral, where you will make camp for the final night of your trek.
About 6 hours of hiking; about 10 miles; overnight at an elevation of 12,136 feet.
Accommodations: Camp at Llamacorral
Llamacorral, Cashapamapa, and Huaráz
Trek through the sweeping meadows of Llamacorral and descend along Santa Cruz Valley, finishing with a steep descent to Cashapampa. Here, your transport is waiting to take you back through beautiful Peruvian countryside to Huaráz, arriving in the afternoon.
About 3 hours of hiking; about 4 miles.
Accommodations: Hotel Andino
Return to Lima
This morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to Lima.
Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary
If you are unaccustomed to trekking at high altitudes, you may want to add on a day or two to do some day hikes that will help you acclimatize before you set out on the Cordillera Blanca Trek.
Day trek: Huaráz – Pitec – Laguna Churup – Huaráz
Setting out from Huaráz, drive along dirt roads up to the village of Pitec (12,631 feet), where you begin your hike. Ascend slowly through beautiful mountainous landscapes and native vegetation, until you reach Lake Churup (15,091 feet). Here, enjoy a fantastic view over the green lake and surrounding mountains. Rest here with a picnic lunch before returning by the same path to Pitec, where your car will be waiting to return you to Huaráz.
Day trek: Huaráz – Willcahuain – Laguna Ahuac – Huaráz
Leaving Huaráz early, drive northeast and arrive at the Willcahuain archaeological site, where you will start your hike. Walk at a moderate pace until you reach Lake Ahuac (14,763 feet). Rest at the lake and have a picnic lunch, enjoying views of the Callejon de Huaylas and the Cordillera Negra. After lunch, head back down the same path to Willcahuain. You will have time to explore the archaeological site, a compound built by the pre-Incan Wari culture, before returning to Huaráz for the night.
Why Travel with Vaya?
We're TRUE specialists
South America is the only place we do trips, and no one knows our destinations better. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former U.S. expatriates with years of experience in the region.
From the first phone call to after you get back, we're here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.
Thoughtful, respectful travel
Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.