ACTIVITY: Hiking, Trekking DIFFICULTY: Hard/Challanging DURATION: 16 days ELEVATION: 4 050 m/5 000 m
Trip Over View
Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit
♦ Superb high-level Andean trekking holiday
♦ The scene of Joe Simpson`s best-selling book, Touching the Void
♦ Experience indigenous Quechua Indian culture
♦ Expert-led off the beaten trail trekking holiday in Peru
Peru’s Cordillera Huayhuash, provides arguably the best trekking and climbing in the whole of South America and the perfect area for a high level trekking experience in the Andes. The compact massif of the Huayhuash range is famed for its dramatic mountain scenery, typified by fluted ice faces and knife-edge ridges. A stunning high-level trail makes an improbable circuit of this mountain group and provides trekking on a Himalayan scale. The area of the Cordillera Huayhuash is also abundant in mineral wealth and every year new mining roads appear in the mountains.
Presenting a rewarding challenge to regular hillwalkers Inkaland Treks offers this new 10 days abbreviated trekking version package trip of Huayhuash circuit, inviting you to hike the more remote wilderness area of the Cordillera Huayhuash mountain range, which hosts the second highest peak in the Peruvian Andes, Yerupaja peak at 21,709 ft/6617m. The hiking trails pass through incomparably beautiful, breath-taking mountain views and lakes of aqua blue water and tiny Quechua villages and farms whose simple thatched huts and historical customs have retained their ancient traditions. This ‘national geographic” setting offers a wonderful recompense for those willing to venture over these ancient trails. With superb campsites beside green glacial lakes and the charming company of our Quechua Indian crew, this trip offers a fantastic South American experience.
We also visit Siula Grande, scene of Joe Simpson’s ‘Touching the Void’ epic.
BRIEF ITINERARY View in full
DAY 1: Transfers from Lima Airport to Hotel / Lima Overnight
DAY 2: Drive north on the Pan American Highway to the mountain town of Huaraz / Hotel
DAY 3: Acclimatization hike to Willcacocha Lake Return to Huaraz / Hotel
DAY 4: Acclimatization hike to Churup Lake / Free afternoon for last minute shopping and relaxation / Hotel
DAY 5: Trek starts- Huaraz / Drive to Cuartelhuain – CAMP 1
DAY 6: Cuartelhuain / Mitucocha – Camp 2
DAY 7: Mitucocha / Carhuacocha – Camp 3
DAY 8: Carhuacocha / Huayhuash – Camp 4
DAY 9: Huayhuash / Viconga – Camp 5
DAY 10: Viconga / Elefante – Camp 6
DAY 11: Elefante/ Cutatambo – Camp 7
DAY 12: Cutatambo/ Huatiac – Camp 8
DAY 13: Huatiac / Jahuacocha – Camp 9
DAY 14: Jahuacocha / Llamac / Huaraz – Hotel
DAY 15: Day bus to Lima / Hotel or Transfer to Airport
Why Inkaland Treks?
Day by day Itinerary
Day 1: Transfers from Lima Airport to Hotel / Lima Overnight
Arrive in Lima at any time. Our representative will be waiting for you at Lima airport with a customized sign with your name on it and private transfer to your hotel. There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel and rest up.
Day 2: Drive north on the Pan American Highway to the mountain town of Huaraz / Hotel
After Breakfast at your hotel transfer to bus station then departure for the mountain town of Huaraz. Heading northwards up Peru’s Atlantic coastline, we follow the Pan American highway and turn eastwards, we drive from sea level to the Andes on a very good paved road up to Laguna Conococha (4100m)-, in a little over 3 hours. Dropping down from the pass, we continue to drive onwards to Huaraz, and check into our hotel for the next three nights.
ACCOMODATION Hotel MEALS B L
Day 3: Acclimatization hike to Willcacocha Lake Return to Huaraz / Hotel
After breakfast at your hotel taking a vehicle transfer, we cross the Santa River and arrive into the Cordillera Negra where we begin the first of our acclimatization walks with beautiful panoramic views of the Cordillera Blanca. We hike a straightforward trail to find our walking legs in preparation for the days ahead.
ACCOMODATION Hotel MEALS B L TIME 4 h trekking
Day 4: Acclimatization hike to Churup Lake / Free afternoon for last minute shopping and relaxation / Hotel
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast we drive up on the dirt road to the parking place at Pitec ( not a village , but a few farmhouses),along drive we pass through traditional village of Unchus and Llupa with its traditional adobe houses and reach farmlands, there is opportunity to see local quechua people on their traditional clothes and working land with their hands. Then as we reach Pitec , after checking with the Huascaran National Park range, start ascending following the path over the long ridge. After about 1 ½ you reach a steep an rocky part, to the left of the water fall. From there, you reach Lake Churup after a quite intimidating 45 minutes climb. This climb can be a challenge climb, to avoid this steep part, there is an option to climb more to the left where is a a kind of metal rope that helps to climb. Then as you arrive to the lake will be impressed for the beautiful view of the lake and landscape surrounded.
Spend time walking around lakeside, take pictures, relax and have box lunch enjoying the nature. Then return on the same way back to Pitec , where our private transportation waits to drive you back to Huaraz hotel.
The rest of the afternoon is free time to relax, purchase any last minute trekking supplies or visit the regional Ancash Musuem, housing Peru’s largest collection of ancient stone sculptures dating back to 1100 AD.
ACCOMODATION Hotel MEALS B L TIME 5 h trekking / 2 h Drive
Day 5: Trek starts – Depart Huaraz to Carhuacocha – Camp 1
After breakfast at your hotel we pick you up and drive south to Cuartelhuain at 4 180 m /13 714 ft where we set up camp. During our drive to Cuartelhuain you’ll pass traditional Andean towns with typical Quechua homes and rich farm land. You’ll have great views towards the east of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range and towards the west you’ll see the Cordillera Negra mountain range. We’ll continue our drive up to Conococha Lake at 4 080 m / 13 386 ft then drive down to Cuartelhuain. 6 hour drive.
ACCOMODATION Camping MEALS B L D TIME 5 h trekking / 2 h Drive
Day 6: Cuartelhuain /Mitucocha – Camp 2
An early start today as we begin our ascent up the Punta Cacanan Pass at 4700m/15,420ft. From the top of the pass you can enjoy a panoramic view of the valley before descending to our second camp at Mitucocha Lake. There are two options to reach camp. One is the normal longer trail or the alternative trail with a steep descent but great views of the surrounding mountains. Overnight at Mitucocha at 4250m/13,944ft.
ACCOMODATION Camping MEALS B L D TIME 5 h trekking
Day 7: Mitucocha /Carhuacocha – Camp 3
This day we reach the Carhuac Pass at 4650m/15,256ft as you ascend constantly on a gentle climb up for approximately 3 hours from where you have the first view of the beautifully stunning peaks of Yerupaja, Siula Grande and Jirishanca. From this vantage point, we’ll descend to our next campsite at Carhuacocha Lake at 4 150 m / 13 615 ft. We’ll camp beside this large beautiful lake and enjoy the views of Yerupaja, Siula Grande, Jirishanca peaks. During the afternoon you can elect to rest or just walk around this beautiful Lake.
ACCOMODATION Camping MEALS B L D TIME 5 – 6 h trekking
Day 8: Carhuacocha / Siula Pass / Huayhuash – Camp 4
There are two optional approaches to our next camp at Huayhuash. We can take the normal trail to ascend the Carnicero Pass at 4 600 m / 15 092 ft or the more challenging alternative by ascending the Siula Pass at 4 800 m /15 748 ft. While this second alternative is more demanding, it is truly rewarding because of the surrounding panoramic views. We descend passing close to Carnicero Lake then camp at Huayhuash 4 300 m / 14 108 ft.
ACCOMODATION Camping MEALS B L D TIME 7 – 8 h trekking
Day 9: Huayhuash / Viconga – Camp 5
Today we’ll have a gradual climb for approximately 3 hours ascending up towards the Portachuelo de Huayhuash pass at 4 750 m / 15 584 ft. From this beautiful vantage point we’ll then descend along the valley as we pass next to grazing llama and sheep then walk beside the large Viconga Lake then just a short climb up to reach Viconga thermal bath at 4 400 m / 14 436 ft where we set up our tents. You can spend the afternoon taking a thermal bath at the hot springs or just relax at camp. 5 – 6 hours walk.
ACCOMODATION Camping MEALS B L D TIME 7 h trekking
Day 10: Viconga / Elefante – Camp 6
Today is challenging day as we ascend the highest pass on the trek, Cuyoc Pass at 5 000 m/16 404ft. We’ll ascend up the trail to reach the pass and enjoy the marvelous views of the surrounding high mountains before descending down over a rocky section then camp at Elefane at 4 600 m.
ACCOMODATION Camping MEALS B L D TIME 6 h trekking
Day 11: Elefante / San Antonio Pass / Cutatambo – Camp 7
A demanding climb up to the Pass Cerro Antonio (4 788 m). From the pass we have the most stunning views of the trek, we can see Siula Grande Base Camp and Siula glacier and several small jewel blue lakes. The descent is steep at times and we traverse above Laguna Jurao to camp in the Quebrada Calinca at Cutatambo 4 100 m.
ACCOMODATION Camping MEALS B L D TIME 5 – 6 h trekking
Day 12: Cutatambo / Huatiac – Camp 8
Follow down the valley Quebrada Calinca to the large mountain village of Huallapa. In the afternoon we need to climb through a steep sided valley to a high camp in the pasture at Huatiac. Overnight at a grassy area (pampa) at Huatiac camp 4 35 m / 14 272 ft.
ACCOMODATION Camping MEALS B L D TIME 7 – 8 h trekking
Day 13: Huatiac / Jahuacocha – Camp 9
Today we cross two passes. Initially we hike up the trail to reach the first pass Punta Tapush at 4 750 m / 15 584 ft then make a short descent before again starting our next climb up to reach the second pass of Punta Yaucha at 4 800 m /15 748 ft. It is certainly a challenging experience to reach the second pass as you ascend up on a switch back trail which is rocky in areas as we approach and reach the Yaucha Pass. The efforts to reach this dramatic vantage point are well worth it for the magnificent views of the surrounding high peaks are truly impressive. We descend down through lupines along the valley to our final camp at Jahuacocha Lake at 4 150 m / 13 615 ft. We’ll camp overnight beside the lake enjoying the views of the majestic peaks surrounding Jauacocha Lake..
ACCOMODATION Camping MEALS B L TIME 8 h trekking
Day 14: Jahuacocha / Llamac – Return to Huaraz Hotel
We’ll complete our 10 day trek today by hiking down the Jauacocha Valley for about 45 minutes and then ascend up to the Llamac Pampa at 4 300 m / 14 108 ft with its great close up view of the Huayhuash Mountain range as a back drop. After resting here and enjoying the close views of the peaks and taking some great panoramic photos, we’ll then make a long descent to the Llamac village where our private transport will be waiting to take you back to your Huaraz hotel. 5 hours hike & 5 hours drive.
ACCOMODATION Hotel MEALS B L TIME 4 – 5 h trekking / 4 h Drive
Day 15: Day bus to Lima / Hotel or Transfer to Airport
Transfer from Hotel to Bus station. Today we make the 8 h drive back to Lima, arriving in the afternoon or evening.
ACCOMODATION Hotel MEALS B TIME 8 h Drive
- An experienced English speaking local leader
- Lima & Huaraz Airport/ Bus station / Hotel transfers as described in the itinerary
- Accommodation as described in the trip Itinerary
- Meals as described in the meal plan – Itinerary
- All land transport involved in the itinerary
- Full service camping including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment & sleeping bag)
What's not Included
- Travel insurance
- Some meals as described in the meal plan
- Tips for porters and other trek staff
- Miscellaneous expenses – drinks and souvenirs, etc
Meal PlanAll breakfasts are included in cost of your package as are all lunches and dinners during the trekking phase of this trip. You will pay directly for a total of 5 or more dinners, plus any meals on day 1 of the land only itinerary (this will depend on your arrival time in Lima). From traditional Peruvian dishes, through to budget bites and fine cuisine you should allow approximately US$10 – 15 per meal.
On trek, the food is a mixture of local and European-style, during our trekking, climbing trips, we cater all fresh meals and will carefully pack and bring as much fresh meat, vegetables and fruits as we possibly can to accommodate our clients request. In addition to meat based meals.All purchased in Huaraz and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. We are pleased to cater to our vegetarian clients on request. It’s your personal trek so it’s your personal meal choice.
In Lima and Huaraz there are a wide range of restaurants cafes and bars serving excellent and varied cuisine.
Typical Trekking Adventure Day Schedule
On a typical trekking day we would wake our clients around 6:00 AM greeting them with a hot cup of tea or coffee and warm water and a face towel brought to your tent, a delicious breakfast served in the dining tent and then we begin our trekking day before 8:00 AM. Trekking is most pleasantly enjoyed before the heat of the late afternoon arrives. At our lunch stop around midday, we serve a cooked lunch. Arrival in camp is usually around 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM in time to enjoy a restful afternoon tea and then relax for a while as we ready the main meal of the day around 7:00 PM. When you arrive at your camp, your tents are already set-up by our hard-working support team of arrieros.
We support our clients’ trekking trip by providing a UIAGM and CEAM professionally qualified English speaking guides, well-trained cooks, arrieros (donkey drivers), assistant guide and a rescue horse for large groups. All equipment is loaded onto our donkeys so that you only carry your light daypack containing sun scream, sunglasses, rain gear, camera, water and your snack. We provide the complementary high quality camping equipment comprised of roomy personal sleeping tents, large dining tent and food preparation/cooking tent a toilet tent and all cooking utensils.
Health and Hygiene
We make health and hygiene our top priority. During our treks we boil all drinking water and we provide our clients with an alcohol based hand washing solution before all meals. We take extreme care with respect to our food preparation process using disinfectant while washing vegetables and fruits. With an increasing number of trekkers on the more popular trekking circuits, camp hygiene and good judgment is vital so this is why we always provide a toilet tent for our clients use while at all our camps.
Our representative in Lima operates all our transfer arrangements from Airport / hotel / bus station. They will hold a sing with your name and our Inkaland Treks and transfer you the place selected.
Huaraz transfers, our base representatives will meet you at the bus station and take to your hotel – viceversa
AccommodationOn arrival in Lima, you will be transferred to a comfortable hotel in Lima. The following three nights will be spent a centrally located hotel in Huaraz. During the trek there will be 9 nights camping. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Depending on availability, it may be possible to pre-book single rooms and/or a single tent throughout the holiday. For additional hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.
View gallery below for images of the style of accommodation and tents used.
Group Leader & Support Staff
On this trip, a first-rate, English-speaking local guide will accompany throughout the group In addition while a full crew of camp staff, porters and mules will support trekking the group.
View our Group Leaders
We estimate that $500 will be sufficient for your personal spending including the above non-included meals, and for tips to drivers, trek crew and local guides, and other incidental expenses such as refreshments. If you intend to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Peruvian Sols) prior to travel. You can also use your credit card to get cash from cash machines at the banks in Lima and Huaraz Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and to pay for meals in Lima and Huaraz. If you are bringing your travel money with you, we recommend that you bring this in the form of US dollars in cash. Please be aware that it is more difficult to change money (especially travellers cheques) in Huaraz.
Guidance on Tipping
Tipping is common in Peru, however you must remember that it is voluntary, and how much you give depends on how you feel about the service you have received. Airport baggage carriers are the only exception and tipping is compulsory. These people are unwaged and make a living by carrying your luggage. The general rule is 5 soles per bag. For hotel staff, tipping is not expected, but is welcome. For hotel porters 5 or 7 soles per bag is reasonable. Drivers of standard taxis do not usually expect a tip. As with most countries, it is usual to tip in restaurants and 10% is expected for good service. For the support crew on trek (guides, cooks, porters etc.), it is recommended that each client contributes around £ to a group tipping pool.
Free Inkaland Treks Gift
We give you a gift as a way to thank all our clients who book a INKALAND TREKS trip. Choose from IT T-shirts, buffs, IT trek bags* (where applicable) plus many more.
* A free KE trek bag is available on this holiday.
While trekking you will only need to carry what you might use during trekking day such as by example; rain gear, spare sweater, camera etc. Elsewhere, the majority of your personal trekking gear will be carried by our donkeys and should not weigh more than 15 kg. so plan to bring a durable, large trek bag to store your personal items during the day and at night in camp, your gear will be with you in your tent.
You can leave some items in your hotel that you will not need while on your trek. A secure lockable bag is recommended if you are leaving valuable items at the hotel.
Group Size & Trip Status
For each trek expedition there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from ‘Available’ to ‘Guaranteed to run’. You can check the trip status for each departure in. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.
The checklist bellow should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of your kit bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs.
YOU MUST BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
- Hiking boots
- Trekking trousers
- Waterproof over-trousers
- Baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)
- Casual shirts and/or T-shirts
- Fleece jacket or warm jumper
- Waterproof jacket
- Warm jacket (down)
- Warm hat
- Lightweight thermal gloves
- Warmer gloves or mittens
- Sleeping bag (comfort rated -20°C) (Sleeping mattresses are provided locally)
- Daypack 30 – 40 litres
- Headtorch and spare batteries
- Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), Diamox, painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).
- Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
- Water bottles 1 Litre (x2)
- Washbag and toiletries
- Antibacterial handwash
- Travel towel
- Selection of dry bags (to keep kit bag contents dry)
- Small padlock
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE OPTIONAL:
- Trainers or similar for travelling and camp use
- Spare laces
- Thermal baselayer – leggings
- Sleeping bag liner
- Travel clothes
- Trekking poles
- Insect repellant (DEET)
- Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
- Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
*Available for hire/rental through our office at Inkaland Treks
Passport & Visas
A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.
UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays. When passing through immigration you will need to request a copy of your TAM Migration form. You will need to retain this document and keep it safe, as you will be asked to produce it before you depart Peru.
TRANSIT VIA USA
You will require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is USD$14 and you should apply for it at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. With the ESTA complete, the majority of British Citizen passport holders can enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, VWP. As of 1st April 2016 you will be required to have a passport with an intergrated chip. Note that if you have travelled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the last 5yrs you will have to apply for a visa rather than the Visa Waiver Programme.
NOTE: This is required if you are transiting through the USA
TRANSIT VIA CANADA
As of 2016, all citizens (except for USA citizens) will require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any Canada-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is CAD$7 and you should apply for it at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp
Health & Vaccinations
You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.
Zika virus has been confirmed as active in this country. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes, like dengue and malaria. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that transmit ZIKV are unlikely to be found above 2,000m altitude. For more information, visit the website of the National Travel Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) at https://travelhealthpro.org.uk
Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes, like malaria. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Electricity Supply & Plug
We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at: http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/
Preparing for your Holiday
It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Our treks can be physically demanding, but more because of altitude and terrain than distances walked. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Jogging, squash and swimming are good for developing aerobic fitness and better stamina. You should gradually increase your exercise leading up to departure, and in the month before setting off, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in your city.
At Inkaland Treks we treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organize. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.
Our trekking adventure trips in the Cordillera Blanca, Cordillera Huayhuash and Cuzco areas take place in Peru’s dry season (May – September). While our weather is generally dry and very stable, this does not mean that it won’t rain. The most common daily weather pattern is a clear bright morning sky followed in the afternoon with some puffy cumulus clouds and then it is usually clear again by evening. Daily temperatures vary greatly so pack appropriately. During the hottest part of the day and in the sun, temperatures between 12 and 23°C above c. 3500 meters. During this season, the nighttime temperatures will fall below freezing. At our highest camps, we might experience nighttime temperatures as low as -5°C. Even though this is winter, Lima is only 12 degrees south of the equator, and the daytime temperatures in the capital will be 20 to 25°C, with quite cool nights.
This Adventure trip involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip, you will be spending at least one night above 4000 meters and/or trekking to 5000 meters or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatize successfully. Before coming on this trip, you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website. For all our expeditions, we carry a portable bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.
- Trekking and Climbing in the Andes. Kate Harper and Val Pitkethly.
- Flight of the Condor. Michael Andrews.
- The Conquest of the Incas. John Hemming (MacMillan)
- Peru – the Rough Guide. Dilwyn Jenkins.
- The Andes – Time Life Books.
- The Andes are Prickly. Martin Slessor.
- The Trekkers Handbook. Tom Gilchrist.
- Latin America Spanish Phrasebook. Lonely Planet.
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.
MAKING AN INQUIRY ABOUT THIS TRIP
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