The Best High-Altitude Trek in the World
Eight-day Huayhuash trek for £1295pp
We're honestly not exaggerating when we say that the Cordillera Huayhuash has probably the best trekking experience not just in Peru, but anywhere in the world. It is still comparatively unexplored which is great if you like your stunning mountain views to yourself, and the beauty of the high Andes scenery really does have to be experienced to be believed.
Although we offer a selection of treks in the Huayhuash, we really recommend that you think about this complete 8-day Huayhuash circuit. It has absolutely everything you could wish for and was recently voted the second most-beautiful trek in the world by National Geographic. From green valleys and glacial lakes to snow-capped peaks, from condors to vicuñas, from strolling along grassy paths to scrambling up to rocky passes it really has everything you could wish for.
You are above 4000m almost the whole time and this brings you into contact with a range of ecosystems, views and wildlife which is difficult to find anywhere else in the world. This trek is certainly serious hiking and you'll want a proper acclimatisation schedule but Huaraz makes a great base for this and we can take you on a series of day treks (and perhaps some ice-climbing if you're feeling adventurous?) to make sure you're ready! You can be certain it's worth the effort and you can be sure our expert guides will make sure you get the very best out of your Huayhuash trek.
- Day One: Entering the Huayhuash
- Day Two: Start the Huayhuash Trek
- Day Three: Punta Carhuac
- Day Four: The Three Lagoons
- Day Five: Mirador de San Antonio
- Day Six: Incahuain
- Day Seven: Last Day in the Huayhuash
- Day Eight: Return to Huaraz
Day One – Into the Huayhuash
Today we will have a briefing for you to make sure everything is ready and that you're happy with your equipment before we drive off to Llamac, the gateway to the Cordillera Huayhuash. You will spend the night here as it's an early start tomorrow. (Lunch and Dinner included)
Day Two – Start of the Huayhuash Trek
First thing this morning we'll take a local bus along the valley to Quartelhuain from where we begin our trek. From here we will climb up to the first pass, Catananpunta at 4690m. From here the rest of the first day is pretty straightforward as we descend to tpnight's campsite at the stunning Laguna Mitacocha. (B/L/D)
Day Three – Carhuac Pass
We will have a fairly relaxing day today as we have a gentle climb up to the Carhuac pass (4640m) before heading back down to Carhuacocha where we will spend the night. From our campsite we will have great views of some of the famous peaks in the Huayhuash such as Jirishanca (6094m), Yerupaja Chico (6089m) and Yerupaja (6617m). (B/L/D)
Day Four - Three Lagoons
It will be a tougher day today as you head along unmarked trails to see one of the wonders of Peru in the three lagoons of the Gangrajanca valley. Each is a glacial lake and each has a unique colour ranging from ice-blue to a milky turquoise, caused by the different minerals brought down from the slopes below. You'll stop for lunch with a jaw-dropping view overlooking the lagoons before you begin one of the tougher segments of the trek as you climb up to the Siula Punta at 4864m and then down and up again to Punta Carnicero at 4600m. You'll then have a well-earned night's rest near the hamlet of Huayhuash. (B/L/D)
Day Five - Mirador de Santo Antonio
Today is definitely a tough one, with two high passes in one and then an optional detour up to the Mirador de San Antonio - a spectacular viewpoint which is one of the high spots of hiking in Peru. With some good hiking, the two passes (4785m and 4950m) should be over before lunch so you then have an easy afternoon heading down the Huanacpatay valley before you decide whether to add on the steep 2-hr climb up to the mirador itself. (B/L/D)
Day Six - Incahuain
You will have a long but easy morning walking along the valley to Huayllapa where you and your cook can purchase new supplies (including beer!) before you begin a steady climb up to your campsite at Incahuain. You should arrive in the early afternoon so you'll be able to relax before a fairly tough day tomorrow. (B/L/D)
Day Seven - Jahuacocha
There will be some serious trekking to do today, with two high passes (4750m and 4847m) before we come back down to about 4100m by Lake Jahuacocha where we'll have a last night's view of the high peaks of the Huayhuash. (B/L/D)
Day Eight - Back to Huaraz
We will have a very early start this morning as we need to be in the town of Pocpa in time to get the bus out of the Huayhuash. It will mean an hour's hiking in the dark and then there's a steep climb up to Punta Mancan (4575m) before you begin the descent to Pocpa where you can relax knowing all your exertions are over! From here we will take you by bus back to Huaraz for you to enjoy a well-earned meal out in one of the town's great restaurants. (B)
Our standard price for this Huayhuash trek is £1295 per person, and we can fit it into just about any of our holidays in Peru.
That price includes top-class trekking equipment including tents, cooking equipment, sleeping bags and sleeping mats; all transport between Huaraz and the start/end of the trek, the services of guides, mule-drivers and mules, all meals and entrance fees.
Because of the difficulty level of this trek and the remote nature of the Huayhuash, we also include a horse so that if anyone is injured, they can ride down to the nearest road so we can get a vehicle out to them. You are expected to carry your personal items and to provide a suitable rucksack, but we can arrange sufficient extra mules to carry all your personal equipment as well if needed.