The enormous ice-fluted peaks, surreal turquoise tarns, and flower-dotted meadows of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca make it a phenomenal arena for trekking. In this stunning glacial wilderness, more than 70 summits top 18,000 feet, including mighty Huascarán (22,204'), Peru’s highest peak, and the classic pyramid of Alpamayo (19,506'). Our 11-day trek is challenging, but well rewarded with exhilarating days on the trail, spectacular campsites beside impossibly blue lakes, and views of ice-draped summits at every turn. An optional climb of Nevado Pisco (18,871'), set right in the heart of the Cordillera Blanca, grants us dazzling 360-degree views of countless snow-capped peaks.
An amazing trip! I felt the true vastness of the Cordillera Blanca through the well planned itinerary and the thoughtful and professional leadership.
— Marc R., Belmont, MA
Lima / Huaraz
After meeting in Lima, head along the Pan American Highway to Huaraz (10,000'), the center for trekking and mountaineering expeditions into the Cordillera Blanca. A day hike and visit to the pre-Inca temple of Chavin de Huantar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, help us acclimatize to the heady altitude.
Trek With our trekking crew and pack animals, we hike to Laguna Cullicocha (15,100'), a gleaming glacial lake with outstanding views of the peaks of the Santa Cruz massif. Crossing two more passes, we reach our camp near Laguna Jancarurish, where an optional hike brings us to the base camp of Alpamayo (19,506'), a pyramid-shaped peak of astonishing beauty. Crossing the Caracara Pass (15,846'), we descend into a lush valley leading to a high pass with great views of the multiple peaks of Pucahirca. Continuing into Quebrada Jancapampa, we pass villages and cultivated areas where rural life hasn’t changed much in hundreds of years. Panoramas of awesome peaks abound, including knife-edged Taulliraju (19,127') and Chacraraju (20,052'). At the end of our trek, trip members taking the optional extension head to the Demanda Valley to climb Nevado Pisco.
Huaraz / Lima
Return to Huaraz, enjoying views of the twin summits of Huascarán along the way. The next day we return to Lima and depart.