Mysteries of Chavin

Trek a Pilgrim Route to the Heart of Andean Civilization

Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set


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 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 one of the only outside groups 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 1-3
Lima / Huaraz / Churup Mountain Lodge

We meet in Lima and drive north to the city of Huaraz. At the Churup Mountain Lodge on the edge of Huascarán National Park, we enjoy acclimatization hikes, farm-fresh cuisine, and sweeping views of the Cordillera Blanca. Our hike to the Churup Lagoon is a good warmup for the high elevation days to come, taking us to 14,600 feet where we enjoy lovely lake and glacier views.

Churup Mountain Lodge
Huascarán National Park, Peru
Days 1 to 3 (3 nights)
Days 4-10
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 lead us past scattered archaeological sites, shrines, and ceremonial platforms, some still unexplored. We’ll see how traditional communities continue to thrive, and cross magnificent Yanashallah Pass high in the Andes, which marks the Continental Divide, amid snow-capped summits of the Cordillera Blanca. In the evenings, we camp in unforgettable locations with incredible views, accompanied by our experienced team of trail guides.

Cordillera Blanca Trek Camps
Cordillera Blanca, Peru
Days 4 to 9 (6 nights)
Hotel Inca
Chavín de Huantar, Peru
Days 10 to 11 (2 nights)
Days 11-14
Chavín de Huantar / Huaraz

We explore the magnificent pre-Inca complex at Chavín de Huantar 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. This UNESCO World Heritage site was once one of the world's largest religious centers and is 2,000 years older than Machu Picchu. We enjoy unparalleled access to this stunning site and its important role in the rise of Andean civilization. We celebrate our journey with a traditional Andean ceremony and feast. Depart from Lima on Day 14.

Hotel Inca
Chavín de Huantar, Peru
Days 10 to 11 (2 nights)
Hotel Club Andino
Huaraz, Peru
Day 12 (1 night)



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 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


Length: 14 days
Cost From: TBA  
Arrive: Lima, Peru
Depart: Lima, Peru
Lodging: 7 nights hotels and lodges, 6 nights full-service camping
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (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

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