Alpamayo with Santa Cruz Trek

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cedros alpamayo via vaqueria inkalandtreks

Cedros Alpamayo Circuit and the Classic Santa Cruz Trek

Cordillera Blanca BEST combination trekking program 

ACTIVITY: Hiking, Trekking  DIFFICULTY: Moderate/Demanding   DURATION: 11D/10N    ELEVATION: 2900m/4850m

Trip Overview


♦ A magnificent trek amongst Peru`s biggest peaks including Alpamayo (Voted as the most beautiful peak in the world & Huasacran the highest peak of Peru).
♦ End to end, through the most famous of Andean ranges.
♦ Eight major pass crossings and fantastic views.
♦ Stunning lakeside camps with this combination trek Santa Cruz & Alpamayo Circuit in only one program.

Our trek begins in the village of Cashapampa the starting point of the Santa Cruz Trek. Walking Each day of the trip program is characterized by a unique and spectacular mountain views in the Cordillera , be it a dazzling glaciated lakes, high dramatic passes, the pyramidal view of Alpamayo Mt- which was awarded the title “most beautiful mountain in the world,” a local Quechua farm set deep in the valley with its traditional lifestyle of small communities. The trail that you’ll follow crosses over the Cordillera Blanca mountain range from east to west and then crosses back again from where it joins up with the popular Santa Cruz trail where the trek concludes at Hualcayan. There are plenty of options for side trips and several rest days are planned in to ensure that the effort of the hiking is complemented by the satisfaction of just ‘being’ in an undeniably beautiful place.
This 2-week adventure promises superb trekking and some of the best views in the Blanca. Well-travelled members of previous IT groups in this region have suggested that the mountain scenery of the Blanca rivals anything that can be experienced in the Himalayas.

Trip Summary and Grading
This adventurous trip offers a variety of trekking conditions, ranging from good trails between villages in the sparsely inhabited high valleys on the edge of the Cordillera Blanca, to steep paths across scree on the approach to the highest passes on our route. It is possible that the highest passes may have a light covering of snow. Overall, the trekking is straightforward and mostly on good trails with the occasional steeper slope of scree or loose rock, but it should be noted that trekking at altitude is challenging of itself. We have set this trip towards the upper end of our DEMANDING grade, on account of the overall length of the trek and the fact that there are at least 8 high passes on our route. We have a couple of days for acclimatization, prior to setting off on trek and there are 2 rest / exploration days built into the itinerary. The trip is suitable for regular hill walkers with a good level of fitness.

Is this Trekking for you?
We have set this trip towards the upper end of our DEMANDING grade, on account of the overall length of the trek and the fact that there are at least 8 high passes on our route. We have a couple of days for acclimatization, prior to setting off on trek and there are 2 rest / exploration days built into the itinerary. The trip is suitable for regular hill walkers with a good level of fitness.

Day A: Suggested Acclimatiaztion Hike ( Churup Lake Or Rajucolta)
Day B: Suggested Acclimatiaztion Hike (Lake 69 & Llanganuco  Lakes)
Day 1: TREK STARTS – Huaraz / Cashapampa / Llamacorral  – (Camp 1)
Day 2: Llamacorral / Taullipampa   – (Camp 2)
Day 3: Taullipampa / Tuctubamba   – (Camp 3)
Day 4: Tuctubamba / Huecrococha  – (Camp 4)
Day 5: Huecrococha / Jancapampa  – (Camp 5)
Day 6: Jancapampa / Huilca or Safuna – (Camp 6)
Day 7: Huilca  or Safuna /  Cruze Alpamayo  – (Camp 7)
Day 8: Cruze Alpamayo / REST DAY  (Hike to Alpamayo Base Camp) – (Camp 8)
Day 9: Cruze Alpamayo / Ruinapampa – (Camp 9)
Day 10: Ruinapampa /  Cullicocha – (Camp 10)
Day 11: Cullicocha / Hualcayan  – After Lunch Celebration – Return to Huaraz / Hotel

Why Inkaland Treks?

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1: Huaraz / Cashapampa / Llamacorral
After the breakfast in your hotel our Inkaland Treks’ team picks you up then drive in our private bus north east from Huaraz to the village of Cashapampa, approximately a 3 hour drive which is the trail head and starting point of our Santa Cruz trek. In Cashapampa we meet our arrieros who load all of our equipment onto our donkeys. After hiking through the Santa Cruz Valley for approximately 5 to 6 hours, we reach our first overnight camp at Llamacorral situated at an altitude of 12,467 ft / 3800 m.
Meals Included: Snack, Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner.

Day 2: Llamacorral /Taullipampa
Your second day on the trail is pleasant and enjoyable. After breakfast we start our hike passing beside the beautiful glaciated lakes of Ichiccocha (small lake) and Jatuncocha (big lake). We continue hiking up the valley filled with Lupine plants and surrounded on both sides with very high, beautiful, Andean white-capped peaks until we reach the switch back trail which ascends up to Alpamayo Base Camp. We’ll ascend for approximately 45 min – 1 hour to get to the view point where you’ll relax and enjoy the splendid summit views of the majestic mountains of Alpamayo, Quitaraju, Artesonraju, Paron and Aguja. After enjoying these awesome views, we then descend downhill for about 1½ hours to our second overnight camp at Taullipampa 13,944 ft / 4250m .
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, and Lunch. Tea Time & Dinner

Day 3: Taullipampa / Tumtubamba
This day we reach the first pass on trek. After leaving our Taullipampa camp at 13,944 ft / 4250m we make a gradual ascend for about 2 ½ to 3 hours until we reach the Punta Union pass at 4750 where we enjoy the magnificent panoramic views of the mountain landscape, turquoise lakes and experience the Andean fresh air at this high altitude. From our panoramic vantage point we will now cross over from the Santa Cruz valley and descend into the rich lush Paria Valley for approximately 3 hours to our camp at Tuctubamba at 3950m.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Tea Time & Dinner.

Day 4: Tuctubamba / Huecrococha Lake
After breakfast we are ready to reach our second  Pass of the trek. From camp we have a slow ascent to the right of the valley where we climb steeply on a rocky switch back trail with the last section scrambling on rocks to the top of Alto de Pacaraju Pass 15,256 ft / 4650m from where we look at the panoramic scene behind us, we have astonishing views of Mt. Contrahierbas (19,798 ft / 6,036 m), Huascaran 22,204 ft / 6768m, Chopocalqui 20,846 ft / 6354m, and Taulliraju with the Punta Union Pass. With its trail that descends into the Santa Cruz Valley. We then descend slowly down through lupine covered hillside to our campsite at beautiful Laguna Huecrococha 12,959 ft / 3950m. (Duration 6 to 7 hours).

Day 5: Huecrococha /Jancapampa
Today we camp at Jancapampa where there is the opportunity to meet the local Quechua people still wearing their native traditional Andean colorful clothing. We might expect to see them at our camp offering to sell beer. As we cross a grassy slope we arrive at a bridge (13,366 ft / 4,100m) from where one can see Mt. Pucahirca and its glacier. We’ll then cross and skirt a marshy pampa and then next pass Tupatupa 14,436 ft / 4400m. From this vantage point we have a broad close-up view of Pucahirca Mountain and many other surrounding peaks. From here we then descend to camp at the head of a wide open valley at Jancapampa 11,811 ft / 3600m. (Time: 6 to 7 hours).

Day 6: Jancapampa / Huillca or Safuna
Today is a long tough day. We start hiking on a long gradual ascent through the forested valley past grassy meadows to finally reach a scree slope and pass Laguna Sactaycocha, then climb steeply to the reach the top of the rocky narrow Yanajanca Pass 15,092 ft / 4600m. From this point we descend to Quebrada Yantu Quenua then continue to walk to the settlement of Huillca or Safuna in the Quebrada Tayapmapa 13,780 ft / 4200m. From our campsite we ascend steeply through a sparse forest below the Yanajanca pass at 14,600 ft / 4,400 m with glacially polished cliffs on either side. Then from the narrow pass we descend to the settlement of Huillca at 13,400 ft / 3,600m where we camp (Time: 7 hrs, Distance: 4.3 miles / 7 km).

Day 7:  Huillca or Safuna / Cruze Alpamayo
Another long day as we cross two passes. To reach the first Pass we climb gradually to Mesapata Pass at 14,643 ft /4460m, and then we descend walking on nearly a flat area for about an hour before we climb to cross the second pass, Cara Cara (15,846 ft / 4830m) where at times it is windy and cold. From here we have the first views of the pyramid shaped Alpamayo and the impressive views of the neighboring peaks of Quitaraju and Santa Cruz. As we descend down from the Cara Cara Pass we have beautiful views of Laguna Jancarurish and the Quebrada Alpamayo as we approach our campsite at Cruze Alpamayo just below the impressive Alpamayo peak 13,615 ft / 4150m. 7- 8 hours.

Day 8: REST DAY- Cruze Alpamayo
Today is an extra day on our itinerary just to relax at Cruze Alpamayo enjoying the pyramid shape of the famous Alpamayo Mt. There is an option to do a short climb up the moraine to the lake Laguna Jancarurish for close up views of Alpamayo (2 ½ hours total). Or simply spend the day at camp just relaxing.

Day 9: Cruze Alpamayo / Ruinapampa
Today we make an easier day. Hiking down the valley to our next camp at Ruinapampa 4200m.Aproximaly 3 hours hike. In the afternoon we spend time relaxing & enjoying the landscape around. This is a short day hike as preparation for next long and hard day.

Day 10: Ruinapampa / Laguna Cullicocha
This day is the hard and long day on trek as we ascend to high passes. We have a long climb to the pass Paso Osoruri 4750m. With magnificent view of the valley down and the Cordillera Negra. We then descend and climb again to a second pass Paso Cullicocha 4850m from where there are magnificent  views of the of mountain Santa Cruz. Descend to our camp at the beautiful crystal blue high lake Laguna Cullicocha (4650m). 6 to 7 hours.

Day 11: Laguna Cullicocha / Hualcayan / Huaraz
We do our last hike downhill to the village of Hualcayan. Descending on a on a long switch back trail you’ll enjoy views of the rich colorful farm land in the valley. As we reach Hualcayan our private transport awaits to drive us back to Huaraz. Aproximately 5 hour walk.
We say good bay to our trekking staff. Then board our transport for the journey back to the selected hotel in Huaraz.

In our section “Join a Group” you will located an ideal offer for those clients that are seeking to join on with a confirmed trip. This “Join a Group” option can help clients to reduce costs. As soon as there is a group confirmed, and the group is seeking to find a additional members to add to their group, we will advertise in our section “Join a Group” to attempt to attract someone interested to join a trip program.


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