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8-Day Santa Cruz Trek in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru

Follow a certified mountain guide on an extraordinary in-depth discovery of the Cordillera Blanca on a Santa Cruz trek in Peru.

Mountain RangeAndes, Cordillera Blanca
Duration8 days
Offer periodMay, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Skill LevelBeginner
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripNot specified

Highlights

  • Full immersion in a uniquely stunning landscape with incomparable mountain views

  • Remarkable flora and fauna native to the Cordillera Blanca.

  • Safe and satisfying tour through culturally significant locations in the Andes.

Description

See the Andes like a local and take an eight-day Santa Cruz trek! Immerse yourself in the Cordillera Blanca and enjoy more than a week familiarizing yourself with the snowy summits of Peru!

The Cordillera Blanca, a Peruvian portion of the Andes Mountains, is one of the most notoriously beautiful and intriguing regions in South America. The Huascaran National Park, a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO, comprises almost all of the mountain range.

The park and its mountains are home to an array of incredible flora and fauna, with many unique and endangered species. Among the plantlife is the queen of the Andes, the largest species of bromeliads and a symbol of the High Andes. The elevation and solar exposure provide a playground of sorts for botanists and plant enthusiasts looking to investigate the native vegetation.

The wildlife is just as varied, with more than 120 bird species flying high above its peaks, including the giant hummingbird. A selection of mammals found within the park are the spectacled bear, Andes fox, and the colocolo – which is a species of wild cat.

Our Santa Cruz trekking adventure places you front and center in the Andes. Over the course of eight days, you will have ample opportunity to cherish every aspect and delight of this unbelievable region, including the history and culture that accompanies its beauty.

The Cordillera Blanca and its summits are the main event, but the life that exists around its lagoons and rivers is just as remarkable. From the high ridges and lush valleys, your curiosity will remain piqued for the entirety of the trip.

Your trip highlights will include Punta Union and its unforgettable panoramas, Paso Punta Yanayacu and Shumaq Punta – both standing 4,850 meters tall, and the thermal baths of Hualcan. You are bound to see some of the fabulous wildlife, and I will recommend you take your time endulging in the rare majesty of the unique mountainside.

The mountain range is my home, and what better way to share my passion than to show you its magic on a personal level. It is my pleasure to give you a local experience on a safe journey, while still enjoying the thrill of a magnificent trek that you will never forget.

This program lasts just over a week, so you should be prepared for such a sustained adventure. The trip requires a moderate level of fitness, and participants should expect an estimated six to seven hours of hiking a day, including elevation gains of over 1,000 meters on certain days.

Book this immersive eight-day Andes trek NOW and live the Santa Cruz Circuit of the Cordillera Blanca!

If you were interested in a less ambitious program, we can take a four-day or six-day Santa Cruz trek. Or we can take the Quilcayhuanca Trek over three days!

Accommodation

We will be camping in tents during our trek.

Meeting point

Contact me upon booking to coordinate a meeting point.

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Photos


Itinerary

Day 1: Huaraz

Our first day takes us between the Cordillera Blanca and Negra in the Santa River Valley. You will see historic cultures along your way to Cashapampa, including Tarica and Marcara.

This day includes 4 – 5 hours of hiking and an elevation gain of 700 meters.

Day 2: Alpamayo

We will pass the Ichiccocha Lagoon on our way past amazing plantlife. Birds will fly above us, making the mountain vistas that much more enthralling.

This day includes 6 – 7 hours of hiking, an elevation gain of 600 meteres, and a elevation loss of 150 meters.

Day 3: Punta Union

The splendid panoramas of Punta Union at 4,760 meters set the mark for this part of the trek. Tree-lined walks follow us up and down as we take in the incredible mountain air.

This day includes 6 – 7 hours of hiking, an elevation gain of 510 meters, and an elevation loss of 1,010 meters.

Day 4: Cachinapampa

We will visit the villages of Huaripampa, Cocabamba, and Chalhua on our way to camp, passing through the remote but wonderful eastern section of the Cordillera Blanca.

This day includes 5 – 6 hours of hiking and an elevation loss of 200 meters.

Day 5: Paso Punta Yanayacu

This day leads us to the highest trans-Andean tunnel in the world. All hours of the day provide unparalelled views of the surround high peaks.

This day includes 6 – 7 hours of hiking, an elevation gain of 1,350 meters, and an elevation loss of 600 meters.

Day 6: Oqshapampa

We will explore the trees of the Andes, including a vast pine forest where mushrooms endemic to the region will be procured for dinner.

This day includes 6 – 7 hours of hiking, an elevation gain of 50 meters, and an elevation loss of 600 meters.

Day 7: Auquiscocha

The Auquiscocha Lagoon sends us to our final high vantage point of the snowy mountain tops – Shumaq Punta. From their, we descend to our camp.

This day includes 6 – 7 hours of hiking, an elevation gain of 1,200 meters, and an elevation loss of 450 meters.

Day 8: Hualcan

Our final stop will be to the thermal baths of Hualcan. After a satisfying dip and a delectable lunch, we will wrap up our trip and return home.

This day includes 4 – 5 hours of hiking and an elevation loss of 800 meters.


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