Trekking on one of the most beautiful trails in the world: Santa Cruz in Cordillera Blanca (Peru) along with climbing two peaks: Yanapaccha (5460 m) and Chopicalqui (6354 m). This is an expedition combined with basic training in winter high-altitude tourism.
Lima– Huaraz– Cordillera Blanca Andes – Santa Cruz – view of Almpamayo – Punta Union – High-altitude training – Yanapcha peak (5460 m / 17900 ft) – view of Huascaran – view of Alpamayo
- Chopicalqui peak (6354 m / 20846 ft) – extended departure by 4 days for an additional fee ($1590)
Flight to Lima
Our adventure in Cordillera Blanca will begin with passport and baggage check-in, followed by a flight to Lima.
After arriving in Lima, we will explore the capital of Peru. We’ll take a stroll through the affluent district of Miraflores, abundant with greenery and colorful flowers.
Then, it will be time to rest after the journey and prepare for the upcoming adventure.
Today, we will take a bus to Huaraz (approximately 6 hours drive), the main starting point for the famous Cordillera Blanca, known as the ‘Andean Himalayas.’ Huaraz is located about 420 kilometers north of Lima, at an altitude of approximately 3050 meters above sea level.
Its extraordinary location between two mountain ranges means that we are surrounded by beautiful mountain landscapes with stunning views from every side. Soon, we will see them up close.
Rest and overnight stay in Huaraz.
Trek Santa Cruz Day 1
Huaraz – Cashapampa – Llamacorral Camp (3,750 m / 12,303 ft)
Today, we will begin our 4-day adventure on the Santa Cruz trail. Early in the morning, we will head towards the town of Cashapampa. After preparing all our equipment, we will start our journey. After passing through the Huascarán National Park checkpoint, we have about 5 hours of trekking ahead of us. After covering approximately 9 km, we will reach our first campsite located in Llamacorral (3750 m above sea level).
After dinner prepared by our team of chefs and assistants, we will rest and spend the night in tents.
Trek Santa Cruz Day 2
Llamacorral Camp – Alpamayo Viewpoint (4,350 m / 14,271 ft) – Taullipampa Camp (4250m / 13,943 ft)
After breakfast, we will continue our journey! Today, we have about 7-8 hours of trekking ahead of us. The first stretch leads to a viewpoint overlooking Nevado Alpamayo and Nevado Artesonraju, famous for being featured in the Paramount Pictures logo. We will then continue our march to Laguna Arhuaycocha through the Santa Cruz Valley.
After lunch, we will head towards Taullipampa camp (4250m). Rest, dinner, and overnight stay in tents.
Trek Santa Cruz Day 3
Taullipampa Camp – Punta Unión Pass (4,750 m / 15,583 ft) – Paria Camp (3870 m / 12,696 ft)
We will start the third day of trekking early in the morning. After breakfast, we will begin a full-day hike. The most challenging part of the entire Santa Cruz trail awaits us today, along with the highest altitude we will reach, the Punta Unión Pass (4,750 m / 15,580 ft).
The trail partly leads through rocky terrain. After about 4 hours of ascent, we will finally reach the summit of the pass, from where we can admire beautiful panoramic views of the Santa Cruz Valley from the west, the Huarimpampa Valley from the east, and the mountains Artesonraju, Taulliraju, Rinrijirca, Paria, as well as turquoise-colored lagoons such as Taullicocha and Hatuncocha.
After a light lunch and rest, we will begin a 2-hour descent to our camp in Paria (3870 m above sea level). There, a hot drink and meal await us. Rest and overnight stay in tents.
Trek Santa Cruz Day 4
Paria Camp – Vaquería – Yanapaccha Moraine Camp (4,900 m / 16,00 ft)
Today marks the final day of the Santa Cruz trail, after which we will have perfect acclimatization for ascending one of the peaks of Cordillera Blanca – Nevado Yanapaccha. Our route today begins with a descent to the town of Huaripampa. From here, you can see the peak of Chacraraju with its impressive appearance of a needle-like north face.
After about 4 hours of hiking, we will reach Vaquería, a place where there is a mountain refuge and where our transportation will be waiting for us. We will drive to Km 42, the starting point for hikes to the summit of Yanapaccha. We will start a short stretch of the trail (about 2 hours) to reach the Yanapaccha moraine field. Time for lunch, rest, and sleep in tents
Mountaineering training in winter conditions 1
Today marks the first day of basic high-altitude mountaineering training in winter conditions. This two-day course primarily focuses on mountain safety issues and aims to provide fundamental preparation for high-altitude tourism.
We will practice using mountain equipment and hiking gear (crampons, ice axe, climbing harness, ropes). We will learn basic climbing knots and basic rope techniques. We’ll practice moving in crampons and learn techniques for stopping in case of slips.
All elements will be practiced in the field, in mountain conditions, on the moraine field of Yanapaccha mountain at an altitude of 4900 m above sea level. There will be a break for lunch during the day, and the entire training session will last approximately 6-8 hours. Overnight stay in the camp.
Mountaineering training in winter conditions 2
The next day of the course. Part of the training will continue on the moraine field of Yanapaccha mountain, while the other part will take place on the glacier. We will further practice mountain safety exercises using mountaineering equipment.
We will learn how to move in roped teams and how to arrest a fall with an ice axe. We will also have the opportunity to practice glacier climbing and rappelling with appropriate gear.
After this short but intense training, we will acquire basic skills for navigating high-altitude terrain in winter conditions and will be adequately prepared for a safe ascent to the summit of Yanapaccha the following day (5460 m above sea level). Dinner and overnight stay in the camp.
Yanapaccha (5,460 m / 17,900 ft), Huaraz
It’s time to conquer the summit of Yanapaccha (5460 m above sea level). After breakfast, we’ll make our way to the glacier (approximately 30 minutes hike). There, we’ll don our mountain gear, and our guide will ensure we’re properly secured.
We’ll slowly approach the main face of the summit, passing crevasses on the glacier and short climbing sections (with an inclination angle of approximately 55°). The use of ice axes will be necessary. After about 5 hours of climbing up the main face, we’ll reach the summit.
From there, we’ll be able to see the majesty of the Cordillera Blanca, admiring its most characteristic peaks: Huandoy, Chacraraju, Huascarán Sur and Norte, Chopicalqui, Alpamayo, Hualcán, Pisco, Taulliraju, and more. We’ll stay at the summit to rest, hydrate, and take plenty of photos to capture this extraordinary moment of our hard work!
We’ll descend back to the camp using the same climbing route. After a short break and meal, we’ll return to the starting point at Yanapaccha, km 42.
For those interested, there’s an option to extend the trip by 4 days and climb Mount Chopicalqui (6354 m above sea level). With proper acclimatization and newly acquired skills, the ascent will surely be facilitated. ADDITIONAL COST OF $1590 USD.
Return to Huaraz for those concluding their adventure in Peru.
Huaraz / departure
For those concluding their adventure in Peru, there will be a bus transfer to Lima and an international return flight.
For those who have decided to extend their trip for the Chopicalqui expedition, this day will be dedicated to rest, recuperation, preparing equipment, and all necessary items for the summit ascent.
There will also be time for a meeting with the local guide to thoroughly explain the route and address any potential issues that may arise during the journey.
Accommodation will be provided in tents or mountain shelters.
Campo Morena - Chopicaalqui (4,700 m / 15,419 ft)
Time for another summit! This time, our goal is the peak of Nevado Chopicalqui (6354 m). It’s the highest peak in Cordillera Blanca that doesn’t require highly technical climbing and is suitable for beginner mountaineers.
After an early breakfast at our camp, we’ll start our trek to the moraine field. During the climb, we’ll be accompanied by the impressive peak of Huascaran (6768 m), the highest peak in Peru. After about 4 hours of hiking, mainly through rocky terrain, we’ll reach our first camp. Visible peaks include Chacraju, Huandoys, Pisco, and Yanapaccha.
After dinner, rest and overnight stay in tents at an altitude of 4700 m.
Moraine Camp – High Camp (5500 m / 18,044 ft)
ROUTE: Moraine Camp – High Camp (5500 m / 18,044 ft)
We will begin the second day of the expedition in the early morning hours, with our goal being the camp from which we will directly launch our summit attempt the following day. We continue our route through the moraine section until we reach the glacier.
We’ll equip ourselves with the necessary gear, including harnesses, mountaineering boots, helmets, crampons, and ice axes. Guides will be responsible for safety and will help us safely reach our camp. After traversing part of the glacier, we will arrive at our camp.
In the evening, we’ll have the opportunity to admire the magnificent views of the sunset. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp at 5500m.
Chopicalqui summit (6,354 m / 20,846 ft) - Moraine Camp
The most awaited day has arrived, our ascent to the summit over 6,000 m! We will begin the summit push at midnight. After a light meal, we will prepare for the climb and check all our gear. We will reach the base of the ridge and start the slow ascent from there.
After approximately 8 hours, we will reach the summit, where, weather permitting, we will be greeted with a panoramic view of the entire Cordillera Blanca mountain range and its most characteristic peaks: Huandoys, Chacraraju, Huascarán South and North, Alpamayo, Hualcán, Yanapaccha, Pisco, Taulliraju, Huantsán, Ranrapalca, Tocllaraju, and more. Time for commemorative photos, hydration, and recharging our energy.
After indulging our eyes with these beautiful sights, filled with pride and joy, we will begin the descent back to the moraine camp.
OBÓZ – Km 36 – Huaraz (3,100 m / 10,170 ft)
The time has come to conclude our expedition.
After breakfast, we pack up everything from the camp and head downhill until we reach the KM 36 road, where our return transportation to Huaraz awaits. We will also bid farewell to the team who made this extraordinary journey possible.
At the hotel, a warm shower and a well-deserved farewell dinner await us.
Departure from Lima
In the morning, we will return to Lima and catch our international flight back home. We invite you to join us on other trekking expeditions, such as Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest. Safe travels!
Cordillera Blanca 2024/2025: trekking in Peru
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The company is not responsible for any loss of customer's property due to burglary, theft, loss, etc. We also do not assume responsibility for any losses incurred by the customer in motels. Rek Travel reserves the right to change the itinerary due to circumstances beyond its control. The customer is obliged to comply with the tour regulations. Tour participants are insured according to the requirements of the US Department of Transportation for a total amount of $500,000 (insurance policy available upon request). Participants may opt for additional insurance coverage for hospital and outpatient treatment of illnesses acquired during the tour, as well as accidents in visited facilities (further information available at the office) for an additional fee.