Venture Deeper into the Alluring Cordillera Huayhuash

Voted “The Second Most Beautiful Trek in the World” by National Geographic, this classic Huayhuash route takes you through the breath-taking, rugged and remote hiking trails of the Cordillera Huayhuash. Here, you’ll witness a spectacular array of mountains, meadows and lakes; as well as the inhabitants that live among these natural highlights. Covering approximately 10-12km a day, the circuit is demanding on both body and mind. But you can tailor the route according to your preferences, such as having longer or shorter timeframes; incorporating rest days to allow for a more spaced out, slower paced experience; as well as opting for a simpler, gentler ascent.

This journey outline is by no means fixed. As the traveller takes centre stage in our planning – from the type of lodging to daily activities – your journey will be crafted to suit you.

Day by Day Highlights

Day 1
Huaraz (3,090m) – Quartelhuain (4,170m)

Arrive in Huaraz, the gateway to the Peruvian Andes. Take an approximately 4-hour drive south to Quartelhuain. On the way, we’ll pass by the beautiful Lake Conococha and some local villages of Chiquián, Llamac and Pocpa. Once we reach our destination, you’ll meet the rest of the crew – muleteers, donkeys and even an emergency horse – and camp in Quartelhuain for the night.

Day 2
Quartelhuain (4,170m) – Cacanan Pass (4,690m) – Mitucocha (4,270m)

Day one of your eight-day trek begins. You will hike approximately 4 to 4.5-hours today. We will ascend towards the Cacanan Pass by way of a narrow, rocky switchback. Enjoy unobstructed views of the colourful mountain-ringed Lake Pucacocha and watch out for condors soaring overhead. Descend to the next campsite near Lake Mitucocha and settle into your tent for a restful sleep.

Day 3
Mitucocha (4,270m) – Carhuac Pass (4,630m) – Carhuacocha (4,138m)

Commence day two of the trek. You will hike for 4-5 hours today. We’ll make a long and gradual ascent towards the second pass of the trek – the Carhuac Pass – where you’ll be treated to panoramic views of surrounding peaks such as Mount Ninashanca (5,607m) and Mount Jirishanca (6,094m). On the way down to the next campsite by Lake Carhuacocha, spot the snowcapped peaks of Mount Yerupajá (the highest mountain in the Huayhuash mountain range and the second-highest in Peru at 6,635m) and Mount Siula Grande (6,344m).

Day 4
Carhuacocha (4,138m) – Siula Pass (4,800m) – Huayhuash (4,350m)

Day three of the trek is going to be a long but rewarding day, starting with an approximately 4-5 hour hike up to Siula Pass. The climb will take us past three iridescent glacial lakes known as Quesillococha, Gangrajanca and Siula which bejewel the Huayhuash; each characterised by their own natural colours. Descend to the next campsite. You will hike for around 7.5-8 hours today.

Day 5
Huayhuash (4,350m) – Portachuelo de Huayhuash Pass (4,750m) – Laguna Viconga (4,453m) – Viconga Hot Springs (4,300m)

Day four of the trek will be more relaxing than the past few days as we make a gradual ascent to Portachuelo de Huayhuash Pass, where we’ll sit back and marvel at the magnificent vistas of the peaks and glaciers of the Cordillera Huayhuash. Once we’ve got our fill of our stunning surroundings, we’ll descend slowly past Laguna Viconga where you can rest and relax for the night. The total hiking time will be 4-5 hours. The day will end with a much-anticipated warm shower in natural hot springs near the campsite.

Day 6
Viconga Hot Springs (4,300m) – Cuyoc Pass (4,950m) – Huanacpatay (4,300m)

Day five of the trek begins with a climb to Cuyoc Pass – the second highest point of the trek – which offers unbeatable views of Mount Sarapo (6,127m), Mount Siula Grande (6,344m) and Mount Yerupajá (6,635m). Take the time to acknowledge how far you’ve come and remember what it feels like! You will then descend through an open valley to camp at Huanacpatay. You’ll hike for 7-8 hours today.

Day 7
Huanacpatay (4,300m) – Huayllapa (3,490m) – Huatiaq (4,300m)

We will hike for around 6-7 hours today for day six of the trek, starting with a gentle walk along almost flat terrain to the small village of Huayllapa, where you’ll get to interact with the locals and have some lunch. We will then hike up through a steep, U-shaped valley to Huatiaq, our next campsite.

Day 8
Huatiaq (4,300m) – Tapush Pass (4,770m) – Llaucha Pass (4,850m) – Jahuacocha (4,050m)

Brace yourself for day seven as there are two passes to cross and conquer today for a total hiking time of 7-8 hours. In the first leg, we’ll ascend a steep path to reach Tapush Pass, followed by a 300m descent, where we’ll ascend again to Llaucha Pass. The arduous journey will be worth it though, as you’ll get to see Mount Diablo Mudo (5,427m), Mount Jirishanca (6,094m), Mount Yerupajá (6,635m) and Mount Rasac (6,017m) from the Llaucha Pass. After a short break, we’ll head down to the last campsite at Jahuacocha.

Day 9
Jahuacocha (4,050m) – Pampa Llamac Pass (4,300m) – Llamac (3,250m) – Huaraz (3,090m)

It’s the last day of your Huayhuash adventure. After breakfast, head towards the last pass of the trek, Pampa Llamac Pass and soak in the last panoramic views of the glorious mountain range. We will then descend by way of a long switchback to the village of Llamac, where our private transport will be waiting for us to return to Huaraz. It’ll take 5-6 hours of hiking time in total. You made it!

Let’s plan your perfect escape. To start the conversation, contact us via our interactive form or drop us an email at ask@blueskyescapes.co.

Practical Information

Huaraz, Quartelhuain, Mitucocha, Carhuacocha, Huayhuash, Laguna Viconga, Huanacpatay, Huayllapa, Huatiaq, Jahuacocha and Llamac.

May to September.

3,090m-4,950m.

Hard. The very first day involves an altitude gain of 1,080m and subsequent days involve us ascending to various passes. Acclimatising to the altitudes can be a taxing process on your body and mind. Furthermore, although most multi-day treks usually incorporate rest days, this route does not. However, we can customise the journey according to your preferences, such as slotting in rest days and adjusting the timeframe.

From US$1,320/person for a group of 2 on a private basis, including double-sharing rooms/tents. Excludes international flights.

As we’ll customise your journey based on your preferences and needs, please note that this indicative price is just a rough estimate. Prices can fluctuate depending on season, type of accommodation and activities/experiences chosen (private vs. shared) etc.

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