Santa Cruz 5-Day Trek

  • Hike the spectacular Santa Cruz trail from Huaraz.

  • 5 days / 4 nights' camping on most famous of all Cordillera Blanca treks. 

  • Two high mountain passes with fabulous views of peaks such as Alpamayo, Huascaran, Chopicalqui & Taulliraju

  • Lakes, waterfalls, rivers, combined with wide variety of flora & fauna, and local culture.

  • 2018 prices from £478 / $628 for a group service (based on two people sharing). 

Itinerary: NB. Alternative and private Santa Cruz itineraries can be arranged, including a shorter 4-day version. 

Day 1: Huaraz – Caraz – Cashapampa – Llamacorral (L,D)

Santa Cruz Trek - Donkey.jpg

This morning, we pick you up from your accommodation in Huaraz (3,052 m / 10,013 ft) and drive to Caraz, then to the village of Cashapampa, located at 2,900 m (9,514 ft). Here we meet with our muleteer and the donkeys that will be carrying most of our equipment.

We begin by walking up the Santa Cruz Valley, following the course of the river, to our first campsite at Llamacorral (3,750m / 12,303 ft). 

Walking time: 4 - 5 hours.

Day 2:  Llamacorral – Alpamayo Basecamp – Taullipampa (B,L,D)

After a hearty breakfast, we start walking up the valley, with splendid views of Santa Cruz Mountain (6,259m / 20,535 ft) to the north.

The next mountain to come into view is Alpamayo (5,947m / 19,511 ft), which is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Santa Cruz Trek - Lake.jpg

We then walk past three stunning lakes Ichiccocha, Jatuncocha and Arhuaycocha, before arriving at our campsite at Taullipampa. From here we can see yet more high peaks, including Taulliraju, Paria, Artesonraju and Rinrijirca

Walking time: 6 - 7 hours. 

Day 3: Taullipampa – Punta Union Pass – Paria (B,L,D)

Santa Cruz Trek - Punta Union Pass.jpg

After breakfast, we begin the hike up to Punta Union Pass, at 4,750m (15,584 ft) the highest point we reach on foot. From here there are amazing views of the surrounding mountains.

From the pass, we descend down the eastern side of the Cordillera Blanca, passing two small lakes, Collcacocha and Tzakicocha, before arriving at our next campsite at Paria. Our cook will be waiting for us with a welcome hot chocolate! 

Walking time: 6 - 7 hours.

Santa Cruz Trek - Caraz Campesinas.jpg

Day 4: Paria – Vaqueria –  Portachuelo Pass - Cebollapampa (B,L,D)

After breakfast, we start walking down Huaripampa Valley, which is home to traditional Andean villages. We then walk uphill a short distance to the village of Vaqueria where we transfer our bags to a vehicle.

We then drive across Portachuelo Pass, which is at 4,767m (15,639 ft). We stop here to take pictures, before continuing to our next campsite at Cebollapampa (3,950m / 12,959 ft). 

Walking time: 4 - 5 hours.

Day 5: Cebollapampa – Lake 69 – Huaraz (B,L)

Santa Cruz Trek - Lake 69.jpg

We start early in order to hike to beautiful Lake 69. We have lunch in the picturesque surroundings of the lake, and then hike back to Cebollapampa.

From here, the rest of the journey is by vehicle, passing two more beautiful lakes - Chinancocha and Orconcocha - on our way back to Huaraz.

Walking time: 5 – 6 hours.

End of service

* Bilingual or local guide.
* 3 meals a day. NB. Vegetarian food available on request.
* 2-person tents, mattress.
* Porters or pack animals for camping equipment and food.
* Transport.
* Cook & kitchen equipment.
* Transfer from/to Huaraz accommodation. 
* Entrance fees.

Not included:
* Flights.
* Breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last day.
* Sleeping bag. NB. These are available for hire.
* Personal travel insurance.
* Tips & gratuities. 

What our clients say about the Santa Cruz Trek:

The Santa Cruz trek was superb ... The weather was kind and I got lots of good photos, including from the road on the ‘traverse’ back with the support of guide and driver who were willing to stop on demand. Much appreciated.

The guide deserves particular commendation as he was experienced, understanding and obliging in every way.

And the camping kit and logistics was all very good, enabling me to focus on the photography.

Altogether a thoroughly enjoyable and productive trip.
— Peter Howard - Keynsham, Somerset