Trek a Pilgrim Route to the Heart of Andean Civilization

Overview

Experience the majesty of the high Andes as you hike a traditional pilgrimage route to the monumental pre-Inca ruins of Chavín de Huantar! Our spectacular seven-day trek in the Cordillera Blanca with archaeologist Trip Leader Kevin Floerke crosses the Continental Divide to bring us to Chavín de Huantar, once one of the world's largest religious centers and the epicenter of Chavín civilization, considered the “mother culture” of the Andes. With colorful llamas as our pack animals (a great feature of the trek), we ’ll hike past long-forgotten shrines built to honor mountain spirits and camp among pristine alpine lakes and the fairytale polylepis forests of the high Andes. The fluted ice peaks, surreal turquoise tarns, and flower-filled meadows of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca are a world-class destination for trekking. More than 70 summits here top 18,000 feet, including Huascarán (22,204'), Peru’s highest peak. Our trek is a dramatic one (our highest pass is 15,721 feet), and we are well rewarded with exhilarating days on the trail, spectacular lakeside campsites, and views of ice-draped summits and glaciers at every turn. Our grand finale is exploring the World Heritage site of Chavín de Huantar with one of the world’s leading experts on Chavín, Stanford professor John Rick, PhD. He will be our personal guide, giving us unparalleled access to some of the subterranean galleries of Chavín. We’ll be the first outside group to have access to the water channels that wind underneath the monument, a glimpse into a millennia-old feat of engineering. Join us for a unique experience of the Andes, WT style!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4, Jul 12-15, 2020
Lima / Huaraz / Churup Mountain Lodge

In Lima, we’ll visit the Larco Herrera Museum and dine in one of Lima’s celebrated restaurants. We drive to Huaraz on Day 3 and head out from Churup Mountain Lodge on the edge of Huascarán National Park for acclimatization hikes and sweeping views of the Cordillera Blanca.

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Days 5-11, Jul 16-22, 2020
Trek to Chavín de Huantar

With tasseled llamas carrying our gear, we hike the spectacular pilgrim trail to Chavín on a route used since pre-Inca times. Our paths leads us past scattered archaeological sites, shrines, and ceremonial platforms, some still unexplored. We’ll cross magnificent Yanashallah Pass, which marks the Continental Divide, amid snow-capped summits of the Cordillera Blanca.

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Days 12-14, Jul 23-25, 2020
Chavín de Huantar / Huaraz

We explore Chavín’s monumental ruins with archaeologist John Rick, PhD, of Stanford, an expert on Chavín culture. Dr. Rick will lead us on a special insider’s exploration of the labyrinth of waterways under the spectacular temples. Return to Huaraz and depart on Day 14.

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Highlights

Highlights

Trek an ancient pilgrim route to Chavín, with full-service camping and llamas carrying your gear
Visit Quechua communities and Andean ceremonial sites along the trail
Enjoy the expertise of archaeologist Trip Leader Kevin Floerke and Chavín expert John Rick, PhD
Just a short trek (7 days) to reach a phenomenal “lost city,” enjoy exclusive access to special sites at Chavín

Details

Length: 14 days
Cost From: $4595  
Arrive: Lima, Peru
Depart: Lima, Peru
Lodging: 5 nights hotels and lodges, 8 nights full-service camping
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

7-day trek on steep trails, 4-8 hours a day, altitudes between 12,000-15,700 feet