Trekking the Cordillera Blanca

Explore the Highest Tropical Mountain Range in the World

Overview

With fluted ice peaks and serene turquoise lakes, Peru’s Cordillera Blanca has long been a world-class destination for trekking. More than 70 summits here top 18,000 feet, including Huascarán (22,204'), Peru’s highest peak, and Alpamayo (19,506'), an extraordinary pyramid with one of the most beautiful ice faces in the Andes. We’ll have an Exploration Day from our camp at emerald-green Laguna Jancarurish (14,380'), right below Alpamayo Base Camp, with optional hikes to stunning overviews of the whole region. Our 10-day trek is a dramatic one—and a challenge due to the altitude—but well rewarded with exhilarating days on the trail and spectacular lakeside campsites.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
To Huaraz / Acclimatization Hikes

From Lima, we head north along the Pan American Highway to the mountain town of Huaraz (10,200'), the trekking hub of the Cordillera Blanca. We acclimatize to the altitude with day hikes, including a fascinating one to the archaeological site of Wilkahuain, with its burial chambers dating from the time of the pre-Inca Wari people. Another hike brings us up to deep blue Lake Churup, set at 14,700 feet at the base of the Churup Glacier.

Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport Hotel
Lima, Peru
Day 1 (1 night), Day 15 (1 night), Lima, Peru
Hotel Club Andino
Huaraz, Peru
Days 2 to 4 (3 nights), Day 14 (1 night)
Days 5-7
Hualcayán to Quebrada de los Cedros

Heading out to the farming community of Hualcayán, we join our trekking crew and pack animals. On trek, our camps are at 13,000 feet or higher, usually with views of beautiful glacial lakes, and we cross a total of seven passes over 15,000 feet! On our first two passes, we’ll have sensational views of the main summits of Nevado Santa Cruz, with a hike to Cullicocha (15,184') for views of Santa Cruz Glacier. Descending into the wide, green Quebrada de los Cedros, we’ll see Inca terraces on the far side of the valley.

Cordillera Blanca Trek Camps
Cordillera Blanca, Peru
Days 5 to 13 (9 nights)
Days 8-11
Alpamayo / Option to Alpamayo Base Camp / Huillca

We savor our first panoramas of the perfect pyramid of Alpamayo, with an Exploration Day to visit the base camp below emerald-green Laguna Jancarurish (14,380'). Crossing two passes brings us breathtaking views of the jagged summits of Pucajirca as we make our way to the village of Huillca.

Cordillera Blanca Trek Camps
Cordillera Blanca, Peru
Days 5 to 13 (9 nights)
Days 12-15
Jancapampa / Huaripampa / Huaraz / Lima

There are stunning glacier views en route as we ascend Pucajirca Pass, with a descent into a valley dotted with waterfalls and lakes. Our last two passes are Tupatupa Pass, with panoramas down the eastern cordillera, and Pucaraju Pass, where the knife-edged peak of Taulliraju towers above. Return to Lima and depart on Day 15 (or Day 16 if your flight departs the following day).

Cordillera Blanca Trek Camps
Cordillera Blanca, Peru
Days 5 to 13 (9 nights)
Hotel Club Andino
Huaraz, Peru
Day 14 (1 night)

Highlights

Highlights

Experience our perfectly designed trek in the world’s highest tropical mountain range
Acclimatize with a hike to the pre-Inca archaeological site of Wilkahuain
Enjoy spectacular campsites at turquoise lakes, incredible views of glacier-clad peaks
Hike across a total of seven stunning mountain passes over 15,000 feet!
Take optional day hikes from our camp beneath the stunning pyramid of Alpamayo

Details

Length: 15 days
Cost From: $4995  
Arrive: Lima, Peru
Depart: Lima, Peru
Lodging: 6 nights hotels, 9 nights full-service camping
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Physically demanding 10-day trek, moderate to steep trails, 6-8 hours a day, altitudes of 13,000-15,929 feet

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