snow peaks in the cordillera huayhuash mountains of peru

Snowy summits of the Huayhuash

Jagged 6,000-meter snow peaks dominate the Cordillera Huayhuash, one of the most remote and spectacular mountain ranges in the world. Our trek makes a complete circle around the range, with campsites at jewel-blue alpine lakes.

Photo by Andrea Heckman

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Cordillera Huayhuash Trek

High Peaks and Sapphire Lakes of Peru’s Mountain Realm
Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set

Cordillera Huayhuash Trek route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 21 days
Arrive: Lima, Peru
Depart: Lima, Peru
Lodging: 5 nights in hotels, 15 nights full-service camping
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: 15-day trek on moderate to strenuous trails, 6-8 hours a day, altitudes of 11,000-16,400 feet
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Highlights

  • Challenging trek circling the towering, ice-draped Huayhuash—one of Peru’s most dramatic mountain ranges
  • Exploration Days to remote alpine lakes (great for acclimatization)
  • The temples of Chavín de Huantar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site


I would expect nothing less than excellent from WT, and I was not disappointed.Bill F.—Sherwood, AZ

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  Future dates have not been set for this trip, but you can see the “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” below (there may be small changes to the itinerary for the future departures, and prices will be finalized closer to departure). Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!

The spectacular ice range of the Cordillera Huayhuash is renowned for its knife-edged 20,000-foot peaks that attract mountaineers and trekkers from around the world. Seven of Peru’s highest mountains rise from this dramatic massif, whose landscape of glaciated spires and iridescent lakes is simply surreal. On this magnificent trek we circle the whole range, crossing six high passes as we savor near-constant panoramas of towering Andean giants, including Yerupaja (21,759'), second highest mountain in Peru, and the icy fang of Jirishanca (20,099'). We also enjoy Exploration Days at two of the many mountain-ringed turquoise lakes that bejewel the Huayhuash. Vast blue skies and a profusion of edelweiss and purple lupine create the ultimate alpine paradise.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Huaráz / Chavín de Huántar / Churup Lake

Meeting in Lima, we head north to Huaráz at 10,200 feet, where Huascarán (22,205'), Peru’s highest peak, dominates the skyline. A visit to the splendid stone temples of Chavín de Huántar grants us insights into the fascinating pre-Inca culture, while a hike across glacial moraine to Churup, a lake at 14,700 feet at the base of the Churup Glacier, helps us acclimatize for the days ahead.

Days 5-9
Cordillera Huayhuash / To Carhuacocha

From our trailhead at the pretty village of Llamac, we ascend through a subtropical habitat, then cross two mountain passes over 15,000 feet to enter the remote eastern flanks of the Huayhuash massif. Following an ancient Inca trail, we reach radiantly blue Carhuacocha, a glacial lake teeming with trout at 13,600 feet below the impressive ice walls of Jirishanca, Sarpo, and mighty Yerupaja. We enjoy an Exploration Day at this beautiful spot.

Days 10-16
Cordillera Huayhuash / To Laguna Jurau

Passing through the traditional village of Huayhuash, we circle west, crossing four more high mountain passes between glaciated pinnacles. On Day 13, we reach our spectacular camp at Laguna Jurau, nestled in a cirque of massive snow peaks. After an Exploration Day here, we hike two more days on trails lush with flowers and waterfalls.

Days 17-19
Laguna Huacrish / Jahuacocha / Pacllón

We hike to Laguna Huacrish by way of Yaucha Pass (15,900'), and on to our beautiful lakeside camp at Laguna Jahuacocha. Our final hike brings us out of the Huayhuash to the village of Pacllón.

Days 20-21
Huaráz / Lima

After an overnight in Huaráz, we head to Lima and depart on Day 21.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

What the Trip is Like

This trek is Level 6, Very Strenuous. Most hiking is between 10,000 and 15,000 feet, but there are several passes over 15,000 feet to cross and one pass of 16,400 feet. For the most part, you can hike at your own speed. The group will spread out along the trail during our 6-8 hours of hiking. Trail conditions can be primitive, and there is much up-and-down hiking (often 2,000- to 3,000-foot gain or loss in elevation per day). We are in the high Andes, and mountain weather is always fickle, so there will be days when it may be cold. The days can also be brilliantly sunny but nights are always cold at these altitudes. It is expected that each participant be in excellent health and physical condition. We recommend you make a special effort to get in top physical condition for the trip. The most important factor in deriving the maximum enjoyment from your trip is a spirit of adventure.

Explanation of Trip Levels

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

Peru

Cusco and Machu Picchu Extension

Exploring the Realm of the Incas

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, Walking
6 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

I would expect nothing less than excellent from WT, and I was not disappointed. Bill F., Sherwood, AZ Well thought out and well executed. Keep it up! Don J., Montara, CA This is the best trip I have done so far. I really loved the scenery, the rigors of the hikes, and the peace of being away from crowds. Maeve O., Walnut Creek, CA
A spectacular and fun trip! Trish K., Berkeley, CA Can't say enough about this trip. It was wonderful and challenging. Kris H., Eagle River, AK