16-day Santa Cruz Trek with Alpamayo Circuit in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Join certified mountain guide Juventino on the Santa Cruz Trek and Alpamayo Circuit in Peru and spend 16 days on a guided hike in some of the most compelling terrain in the Andes with evocative views of the surrounding Cordillera Blanca.

 
 

Details

 

Trip Duration

16 days

Mountain Range

Andes, Cordillera Blanca

People per Guide

Trip Level

Sustained

Offer Period

May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

Type of Trip

Private

Highlights

 
  • Combine the iconic Santa Cruz Trek and Alpamaya Circuit.

  • Spend over two weeks in the gorgeous Cordillera Blanca of the Andes.

  • Explore flora, fauna, and culture that can only be found in Peru.

  • Experience a safe and satisfying trip alongside a certified guide.

 

Discover the vast beauty of Peru on a 16-day hike on the Santa Cruz Trek and Alpamayo Circuit in the Cordillera Blanca! This guided program gives you an exhilarating trek through the jaw-dropping wilderness of a South American wonder and a front row seat to some of the most impressive mountains in the Andes!

The Cordillera Blanca is an incredibly important part of the Andes Mountains, running the length of Peru from north to south. More than 50 mountains reach over 4,500 meters in height, replete with stunning glaciers – over 700, crystal clear lakes – over 300, captivating meadows, and lush endemic plant life. For trekkers and travelers, this is one of the most majestic outdoor areas in all of South America.

This is where you come in! This program is designed to give you an exhilarating tour through the entire region. Over the course of 16 days, you will have the chance to see mountains up close and personal, including “the most beautiful mountain in the world,” Alpamayo (5,947m). Other peaks include Huascaran (6,768m), Santa Cruz (6,259m), Jancarurish (5,578m), Quitarahu (6,036m), and so many more.

After meeting at the airport, we will head right out to Huaraz to start acclimating for the journey. A couple of days getting accustomed to our surroundings and the mountain culture will prepare us for the next five days of the Santa Cruz Trek and the ensuing connection to the Alpamayo Circuit. The entire journey will take place in the Cordillera Blanca, with mountains passes and stunning lakes at every turn.

You can expect glaciers views along the way, as well as a heavy dose of wildlife. The wilderness of Peru is home to an intriguing array of animals to go along with its remarkable plant species, so you will remain in awe each day of the program. Camping along the trail gives you a chance to dig right into this enriching landscape and really see how it has shaped societies and communities throughout history.

The hike is a substantial undertaking and will require roughly two weeks immersed in the Peruvian countryside. A fitness level on par with this amount of activity is required, and any previous hiking experience is a serious asset. The mental fortitude to trek for multiple days and camp in the backcountry is also necessary for a successful expedition.

Book this unforgettable amalgamation of two incredible hikes in the Cordillera Blanca NOW and spend 16 days hiking the Santa Cruz Trek and Alpamayo Circuit for a once in a lifetime experience in Peru!

For those on a tighter schedule, we can also enjoy a three day historical trek from Olleros to Chavin in the Cordillera Blanca!

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Price includes

 
  • Guiding fee
  • Group porters (transport of tents, cooking equipment, etc. for the group)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 The price includes the guiding fee, the cooks and helpers, meals during tour, donkeys and a mule driver, camping tents, and kitchen equipment. The price does NOT include flights, transfers, departure taxes in Lima, insurance and trip cancellation, meals in Lima and Huaraz, airport pick up, public transportation, hotel accommodation and pick up in both Lima and Huaraz, Huascaran National Park entrance fee(s), personal equipment and expenses, tips, personal food and drink(s), and anything not explicitly mentioned as “included.”
 

Itinerary

 
  • Day 1Arrival

    After getting picked up at the airport, you will take a 400 kilometer bus ride to Huaraz, which will include passing through the coastal desert and the Andean Highlands before descending down to our destination.

  • Day 2Acclimatization

    We will spend this day acclimatizing to the altitude. A trip to Puya Raimandi National Park is a great way to get used to the atmosphere. This day hike along the Pumapampa River allows us a compelling experience with the flora and fauna while reaching heights of 4,780 meters above sea level before returning to Huaraz.

    You will also get to see first-hand glaciation from the Pastoruri Glacier.

  • Day 3Cashapampa

    We tour the Santa Cruz Valley and Cashapampa and its amazing scenery. Ultimately, we will finish the day at our campsite in Llamacorral.

  • Day 4Llamacorral

    Visiting glacial lakes is a big part of this day, including Ichiccocha and Hatuncocha. Quenua trees and wild lupins in bloom accompany this portion of the journey, keeping our eyes peeled for the vibrant fowl of the region.

    Once we reach Arhuaycocha Lake, we reach the trail head for Alpamayo. In the shadow of surrounding peaks like Quitarahu, Artesonrahu, and Paria, we will make our way to camp at Taullipampa.

  • Day 5Alpamayo Base Camp

    Alpamayo Base Camp – We will spend two days at Taullipampa to get accustomed to the altitude and prepare for our Alpamayo Circuit. We will hike to the Alpamayo Base Camp and possibly watch some falling ice from Arhuay Glacier and another trip to Arhuaycocha Lake.

    Pukahirca Sur and Rinrihirca are both outstanding sights from our vantage point.

  • Day 6Punta Union Pass

    This is a demanding day to Punta Union Pass at 4,780 meters, looking at at Huaripampa Valley. Our camp will be set up at Tuctupampa.

  • Day 7Pukarahu Pass

    We hit the trail and head to the switchbacks at Pukarahu Pass. This is where the Cedros – Alpamayo Circuit connects with our trail, including wonderful mountain views of Contrayerba and Paria. We will descend down past Huecrucocha and set up camp.

  • Day 8Lake Huecrucocha

    Immersing ourselves in local villages, we will come to understand traditional culture in the Andean Highlands. Stunning views from Tupa Tupa Pass will take us to camp at the village of Jancapampa for the night.

  • Day 9Tayapampa Camp

    Yanacon Pass and Sactaycocha are our goals for the day while admiring immense peaks and the wildlife. Condors are common here. The trail will take us to Tayapampa Camp.

  • Day 10Caracara Pass

    Two passes, Mesapata and Caracara, will make this a challenging day. It also includes a river crossing before the steep ascent, so once we complete the passes and head into the Jancarurish Valley and the Alpamayo Crossing.

  • Day 11Ruinapampa

    We can use this day to rest, or enjoy an optional hike to Jancarurish Lake to take in the wondrous mountains around us. We will hit 5,000 meters before making camp at Ruinapampa.

  • Day 12Osoruri

    Another two pass day, but this time we cross Vientunan and Osoruri Passes. The glacial lake of Cullicocha is a pleasant reward, as is the view of Lake Milluacocha from our descent to camp at Wishcash.

  • Day 13Hualcayan

    Our final day includes a visit to an old community that was destroyed by an avalanche from an earthquake. The immersion in Yungay is another opportunity to delve into Peruvian culture.

    We will transport back to Huaraz for a big dinner to culminate our trek.

  • Day 14Huaraz

    This is a transport day for a flight or bus trip back to Lima.

  • Day 15Extra Day

    This day is reserved for extra time spend at Taullipampa, Huaraz, Lima, or another camp along the trail. Placement is at the discretion of the guide.

  • Day 16Leaving Lima

    On the last day, you will leave Peru with a wealth of new, incredible memories.

 
 

Other details

 
Skill level required

Intermediate

Fitness level required

Fit

Meeting point

A bus will pick you up from the airport to transport you to Huaraz. Contact us upon booking for more information regarding our meeting location.

Accommodation

We will be staying in tents during the hike. We will also have nights in hotels in Lima and Huaraz (not included in the price).

 

About the Guide

 
 

IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guide from Peru.

He was born in 1960 in Huaraz / Peru. With his 15th Age he learned the world of trekking and mountaineering know by he accompanied his father on trips with his clients.

To this day he is still working as a mountain guide and tour operator. For many years he was able to acquire a lot of knowledge about the mountains, making it one of the most experienced certified mountain guides.

He runs a family travel agency based in Huaraz, which was founded by his father, and is now managed by Juventino and his son, Eric.

 
 

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