Trekking in the Cordillera Huayhuash

A Truly Spectacular Alpine Circuit in the Andes


The tremendous ice range of the Cordillera Huayhuash is topped with knife-edged 20,000-foot peaks that attract climbers from around the world. Our classic trek makes a complete circle of this magnificent range, crossing eight high passes with near-constant panoramas of towering Andean giants, including Yerupajá (21,709'), the second-highest mountain in Peru, and the icy fang of Jirishanca (20,099'). Along the way, we’ll camp by the stunning turquoise lakes that bejewel this region. The hiking is challenging but rewarding, and the vast blue skies, soaring condors, and profusion of edelweiss and purple lupine add to the allure of this alpine paradise.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Huaráz / Wilkahuain / Lake Churup

From Lima, we head north to the mountain town of Huaráz (10,200'), where Huascarán (22,205'), Peru’s highest peak, dominates the skyline. Our warm-up hikes bring us to the archaeological site of Wilkahuain and to Lake Churup, set below the Churup Glacier at 14,700 feet.

Hotel Club Andino
Huaraz, Peru
Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Day 16 (1 night)
Days 4-8
Cacanampunta / Carhuacocha

From our first high pass, Cacanampunta (15,400'), panoramas include the summits of Ninashanca and Jirishanca, and we may start to see soaring condors. We cross our second pass, Carhuac (15,150'), to reach our beautiful lakeside camp at Laguna Carhuacocha, where the vertical rock faces and ice flutings of Yerupajá are right in front of us—sunsets are sublime here.

Cordillera Huayhuash Trek Camps
Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru
Days 4 to 15 (12 nights)
Days 9-13
Portachuelo Huayhuash / Laguna Jurau

From the farming community of Huayhuash, we climb to the top of Portachuelo Huayhuash (15,700'), then ascend two more mountain passes, including Punta Cuyoc (16,600'), the highest point on our trek. We’ll have an Exploration Day at our Laguna Jurau camp, with a choice to hike to a high vantage point of the dramatic peak of Siulá and part of the route of the near-fatal climb depicted in the gripping adventure film Touching the Void.

Cordillera Huayhuash Trek Camps
Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru
Days 4 to 15 (12 nights)
Days 14-17
Laguna Jahuacocha / Huaráz

After crossing two more passes, Tapush (15,400') and Yaucha (15,900'), and enjoying spectacular final views from our lake camp at Jahuacocha, we head back in Huaraz on Day 16 for a festive Farewell Dinner. Depart via Lima on Day 17.



Challenging trek circling the ice-draped peaks of the Huayhuash massif
Spectacular campsites at remote turquoise lakes, incredible views of glacier-clad peaks
Hike across seven breathtaking mountain passes
Exploration Day at Laguna Carhuacocha with hiking options


Length: 17 days
Cost From: $4895  
Arrive: Lima, Peru
Depart: Lima, Peru
Lodging: 4 nights hotels, 12 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, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Physically demanding 12-day trek, moderate to steep trails, 4-7 hours a day, altitudes of 11,000-16,600 feet

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The Call of Cordillera Huayhuash

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