13-Day Huayhuash Circuit
Hike Peru’s second highest mountain range, the Cordillera Huayhuash.
Mountaineer's dream come true, comparable to Himalayas and Rockies in scenery and difficulty.
Snow-capped peaks, immense glaciers, emerald lakes, and mountain vegetation.
7 nights' camping, 5 nights' hotels (in Lima, Huaraz & Chiquian)
Fully-supported trek with expert guides and equipment, and all transport.
2018 price from £1,290 / $1,699 per person, when sharing a double room & tent.
Departure Dates: the trekking season in the Cordillera Huayhuash is from June to September.
Sat 11th - Thu, 23rd Aug
Sat, 1st - Thu, 13th Sep
Sat, 1st - Thu, 13th June
Sat, 6th - Thu, 18th July
Sat, 10th - Thu, 22nd Aug
Sat, 31st Aug - Thu, 12th Sep
NB. Please note that we can organise private Huayhuash treks outside of these dates, or if you are a group.
Day 1: Saturday: Lima
Arrive at any time at Lima Airport. You will be met by a representative and transferred in a private vehicle to the hotel, a journey of about an hour.
The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you are back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your tour leader will review the details of your tour.
Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day, if you arrive early.
Day 2: Sunday: Lima - Huaraz (B)
Today we travel north-east, by comfortable local bus, to the Andean city of Huaraz, surrounded by the stunning snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range.
On arrival in Huaraz, we transfer to our accommodation
Day 3: Monday: Huaraz: Acclimatization Day
Today is free in order to acclimatize to the altitude. There are ample opportunities for optional activities like horse-riding, biking or hiking in the surrounding mountains.
You could spend the evening relaxing at a café and soaking up the natural scenery.
Day 4: Tuesday: Huaraz - Cuartelhuain (L,D)
Today we make the beautiful three-hour journey, by private vehicle, from Huaraz to Cuartelhuain. Along the way, there should be a chance to see Puya Raimondi trees, that are related to pineapples, but look more like triffids!
We start heading south down the Callejon de Huayllas, and then turn east into the spectacular Huascaran National Park, climbing up to Yanashallash Pass at 4,600 m (15,100 ft). Here we stop to take in the view.
We will pause in the village of Huallanca (also spelt 'Wayanka') located at 1,840 m (6,040 ft), and then continue to our campsite at Cuartelhuain (4,200m / 13,780 ft), where we have free time to relax and take in the views, before spending our first night in a tent.
Day 5: Wednesday: Cuartelhuain - Loma Ollocuyoc (B,L,D)
Today is the first of the seven days of trekking along the challenging and spectacular Huayhuash Circuit. We begin with a shorter, five-hour hike from Cuartelhuain, over Cacananpunta Pass (4,690 m / 15,387 ft) to our campsite at Janca (4,250 m / 13,944 ft).
There are spectacular views of the rivers, valleys and mountains throughout.
We should arrive at the campsite at lunchtime, and the afternoon is free for rest or a visit to the nearby Lake Mitucocha.
Day 6: Thursday: Loma Ollocuyoc - Lake Carhuacocha (B,L,D)
We continue trekking beside Lake Mitucocha with Yerupaja, Rondoy and Ninashanca mountains towering in the background as we make the gradual climb to Carhuacocha Pass (4,650 m / 15,256 ft).
We then descend into a hanging valley with superb views of Lake Carhuacocha's turquoise water.
After some seven hours of hiking, covering 11km (7 miles), we reach our picturesque campsite, which is located just below the lake at 4,130 m (13,550 ft) above sea level.
Day 7: Friday: Lake Carhuacocha - Huayhuash (B,L,D)
Today's trek covers 13 km (8 miles), beginning with a gradual climb out of the valley with Yerupaja Mountain - at 6,634 m (21,766 ft) the highest peak in the range - as a beautiful backdrop.
This gives way to a rocky ascent to Siula Pass (4,800 m / 15,784 ft). The effort is rewarded with magnificent views of towering peaks and glacial lakes of turquoise and blue. NB. Siula Mountain came to prominence in Joe Simpson's best-selling mountaineering book Touching the Void.
From here, we descend to Huayhuash Campsite, at 4,400 m (14,436 ft), where we spend the night, after some eight hours' trekking.
Day 8: Saturday: Cordillera Huayhuash - Huanacpatay (B,L,D)
Today, we reach the highest point of the trek, Trapecio Punta Pass which is at 5,000 m (16,404 ft) and has breathtaking views of Trapecio Mountain to the north, and Puscanturpa Mountain to the south.
From here we go down to Quebrada Cuyoc, situated in the shadow of Puscanturpa at 4,600 m (15,092 ft), reaching our campsite after about 8 hours' walking, and having covered 15 km (9 miles).
Day 9: Sunday: Huanacpatay - Huantiac (B,L,D)
Today, we should notice an increase in temperature as we walk down into Huanacpatay Valley.
Walking through cultivated fields, with distant views of waterfalls, we reach the isolated village of Huayllapa.
After lunch, we have a tough ascent to reach Huantiac Camp, a meadow located at an altitude of 4,350m (14,272 ft) beneath Diablo Mudo Mountain.
This evening, we should sleep well, having hiked for eight hours, covering 13 km (8 miles), in what can often be warm and sunny conditions.
Day 10: Monday: Huantiac - Lake Jahuacocha (B,L,D)
We begin today's eight-hour trek by descending into Angoshcancha Valley, passing through forests of gnarled queñua, a tree of the Polylepis genus that is endemic to the tropical Andes.
We then start climbing again to reach Yaucha Pass at 4,800 m (15,748 ft). From here, not only can the mountains of the Huayhuash range be seen in all their glory, but on a clear day, the peaks of the Cordillera Blanca are also visible. It is also a good place to spot Andean condors.
We now head down to Lake Jahuacocha, located at 4,050 m (13,827 ft) and considered one of the Huayhuash's scenic highlights. We camp overnight here, having walked 15 km (9 miles).
Day 11: Tuesday: Lake Jahuacocha - Chiquian (B,L,D)
Today is the last 10 km (6 miles) of the trek, taking about six hours. It begins with one final ascent, up to Shullca Pass (4,550 m / 14,928 ft), offering a last high viewpoint over the stunning Andean ranges.
We then hike down a gravel path to Pocpa (3,500 m / 11,483 ft), from where we meet the vehicle to drive us to Chiquian.
Tonight we can enjoy our first bed for a week, albeit in a basic hotel ... and revel in the sense of achievement of having completed this challenging trek!
Day 12: Wednesday: Chiquian - Lima (B)
After breakfast, we take a private vehicle back to Lima. The journey takes roughly six hours.
Once back in Lima, we can reacquaint ourselves with the modern conveniences we have been without for several days. It is also a chance to sample more of the seafood for which Lima is famous.
Day 13: Thursday: Lima (B)
Depart at any time.