Santa Cruz Trek (4days)
This is one of the most popular treks in the Cordillera Blanca. You will see spectacular mountains and lakes with beautiful views and colors. From the trailhead, there are amazing views of the mountains Artesonraju, Rinrijirca and Alpamayo. On your way to Vaqueria in The Gap of Llanganuco, you will pass the famous sister lakes of Llanganuco. And when crossing Portachuelo Pass, you will see Huascaran (the highest mountain in Peru), the four peaks of Huandoy, Pisco, Chacraraju and Chopicalqui. As you reach the highest poitn of the trek, Punta Union (4,750m), you will have a spectacular view of the mountain Taulliraju.
Itinerary in brief
- Day 1: Huaraz-Yungay-Llanganuco Lakes-Portachuelo (4768), Vaqueria-Paria
You arrive at Galaxia and private bus leaves from Huaraz around 6:30. The road follows the river Rio Santa and passes several villages before arriving in the village of Vaqueria. The drive includes crossing Portachuelo Pass, the highest point of the trip (4,767m). From here, we have one of the best views to observe the highest mountains of Cordillera Blanca. On the way to Vaqueria, we stop at the beautiful lake sister lakes called Llanganuco. After our arrival, we load the donkeys with everything except what you wish to carry in your small day pack. Once on the trail, we pass through the small village of Huaripampa. We will hike an easy 3 hours to our first camp Paria.
- Day 2: Paria-Punta Union-Taullipampa
We wake you up with hot tea in your tent and we will have breakfast ready around 6:30. We pack the tents while you eat and after breakfast and the group will walk about five hours before reaching the highest point in this trek. The trail starts ascending towards Punta Union, a pass at 4,750 m. This old trail was heavily used in pre-Columbian and colonial times as a route for transporting goods from the eastern side of the Andes to the main valley. As we approach the pass, you will enjoy amazing panoramic views down the Santa Cruz Valley to the west, and views of the Huaripampa Valley to the east. The peaks of Santa Cruz surrounded by Andean vegetation of Quenual, the snow-capped peaks of Paria and Taulliraju, Artesonraju and Huaripampa will all come into view. We will see Mt. Taulliraju looming above us and on the other side its glacial lake. From this high point,it is possible to see the all of Santa Cruz Canon, Alpamayo, Artesonraju, Taulliraju, Rinrihircas, Chacraraju, Chopicalqui and Pucahircas. After take a break for half hour we go down until our next camp Taullipampa.
- Day 3: Taullipampa-Arhuaycocha Caņon-Jatuncocha, Ichicchocha ,Llamacorral
After your morning tea (or coffee) and breakfast at 6:30. we pack the tents while you eat and after breakfast, the group will walk about five hours before reaching out last camp in Santa Cruz Canyon where camp will already be set up. During the trek, you can appreciate the following mountains: Santa Cruz, Quitaraju, Artesonraju, Alpamayo, Taulliraju and Rinrijircas. We will also pass the lakes Ischicocha, Hatuncocha and Arhuaycocha. The lake Arhuaycocha boasts one of the most spectacular views within the entire Cordillera Blanca!
- Day 4: Llamacorral-Cashapampa-Huaraz
This is our last day inside to the Huascaran National Park. After our breakfast, we will trek downhill to the town Cashapampa which takes approximately 3 hours. As we descend, you will be able to notice a steady change in vegetation as we follow the river to Cashapampa. From there, we load the bus and have a 2-3 hour drive back to Huaraz.
What to bring:
Get prepared for heat, sun, rain and cold. Good hiking shoes. Sleeping bag, light daypack, toilet paper, headlamp, personal things, camera, sunscreen, snacks. Water for the first day. Missing something? Ask Galaxia.
Mattress, tent, bag for mules, transfers, local guide services, mules and mule drivers, cook, breakfasts (except for the first day), lunches and dinners (except for the last day), separated kitchen and dinner tents with tables and chairs, toilet tent.
Excluded: park entrance fee (65 soles in 2012, valid for one month - bring your passport number). Tips for the staff.
- Altitude: If you are coming from sea level or anything less than 2,500 meters, we suggest spending 1-2 days in Huaraz to acclimate before you set out on this trip.
- If you have any food restrictions like allergies, vegetarian or religious restrictions, please inform us before the trek.
- You can also purchase this trek as an individual tour, or buy only some parts of the service package - just contact us and we'll make you a good offer!
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