Santa Cruz Trek and Punta Union Pass 5-day hike

The Santa Cruz Trek is a short and very popular hike of the Cordillera Blanca with spectacular views of lakes and mountains. Let Juventino, a local IFMGA mountain guide, show you around in this 5-day hike!




Trip Duration

5 days

Mountain Range

Cordillera Blanca

People per Guide

15 people

Trip Level


Offer Period

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

Type of Trip

Not specified



    Come with me along the Santa Cruz Trek, one of the most famous trails in the Cordillera Blanca.

    This 5-day hike will take place around a subtropical environment, passing through stunning landscapes. On the way you will enjoy uncommonly beautiful peaks as well as deep blue lakes and huge glaciers.

    As for the campsites where we’ll spend the night, let me tell you that they are some of the most spectacular in the world thanks to their background scenery.

    In order to get well acclimatized we will start walking to the Laguna Churup, a lake at 4450 meters of height. The highest point of this trek will be in the Punta Union Pass, a demanding mountain pass 4750 meters high.

    I will lead a group between 2 and 15 people. You can join an already open group if you are on your own. On the contrary, if you are a group of friends I can open a new one for you!

    Finally, remember that all participants must have a basic hiking knowledge and of course, an excellent fitness level. The best season to do the Santa Cruz Trek through the Punta Union Pass is between April and December, during the dry season.

    An if you have some extra days in the region, I strongly recommend you to live at least once an ascension to some of the most important peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. Therefore, I invite you to check out these two programs in the Diablo Mudo and the Nevado Pisco.

    So, if you want to make your reservations please fill out the form and get in touch with me. It will be my pleasure to be your guide during this 5-day trip! 


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    Price per person

    Group of 1
    1160 USD

    Group of 2
    580 USD

    Group of 3
    580 USD

    Group of 4
    450 USD

    Group of 5
    450 USD

    Group of 6
    400 USD

    Group of 7
    400 USD

    Group of 8
    380 USD


    Price includes

    • Guiding fee
    • Transport during the trip
    • Group porters (transport of tents, cooking equipment, etc. for the group)
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


    • Day 1Hike to Laguna Churup (4450 m)

      The trail to Laguna Churup is one of the classic hikes of the Cordillera Blanca and works perfectly as an acclimatization route. We will drive to the village of Llupa, our trailhead. We’ll walk on an ancient Inca trail to Laguna Churup. The Churup Peak rises above the lake. Here we can continue ascending and do a loop to the Churup summit trail before returning to the trailhead and back to Huaraz for the night. Overnight Hotel (-/-/-)

    • Day 2Huaraz - Transfer to the village of Cashapampa (2900 m) - Trekking to Llamacorral (3800 m)

      Today we will move to the starting point of the Santa Cruz trek. A private transfer will take us across the Santa River and then, along a narrow route towards the Santa Cruz Valley. We’ll arrive at Cashapampa (2900 m) where our trek begins and our local team is waiting: the donkey drivers will carry our baggage from now on. Starting in the lush vegetation of the valley, we’ll continue walking deeper into this unique mountain landscape. After around 4:30 hours, we will finally arrive at our campsite in Llamacorral. Overnight Camp (-/L/D).

    • Day 3Llamacorral – Trekking to Taullipampa (4250 m)

      Today we’ll climb via the Santa Cruz Gorge and pass alongside the lakes of Ichiccocha y Jatuncocha. At the edge of the trees, the lupines enchant us with all colors of blue. Then we will go to the Arhueycocha Lake (4450m), which is also the departure point for climbing the Alpamayo. We will enjoy a fantastic view of the peaks of Alpamayo, Quitaraju, Artesonraju. Finally, camping night at Taullipampa (B/L/D).

    • Day 4Taullipampa – Punta Union Pass (4750 m) – Paria – Refugio Huaripampa (3600 m)

      It will be an easy climb at first but the trail soon becomes dry, rocky and steep. This trail was used from pre-Inca times to get to Punta Unión, an imposing mountain. It will take us about 2 hours.

      The descent is also steep and passes through the beautiful high mountain landscape of the Morococha Lake. We will finally get to the Huaripampa Valley, where we camp for the night (B/L/D).

    • Day 5Huaripampa - Vaquería. Transfer to Huaraz (3100 m)

      After descending through the forests of the Huaripampa Valley, we will pass through a typical village of the high Andes, called Vaquería. From here we’ll climb to Portachuelo de Llanganuco Pass. A transfer will be waiting us to cross the pass and take us to the hotel, where we’ll spend the night (B/L/-).


    Other details

    Meeting point



    In tents

    More info

    Not included in the price:

    - International flights to Lima / Peru round trip

    - Transfer from the airport for bookings of individual flights with different times of arrival / departure

    - Exit tax at the airport in Lima

    - Travel accident and health insurance

    - Luggage insurance and trip cancellation

    - Meals in restaurants in Lima and Huaraz

    - Pick up at the airport in Lima to the Hotel

    - Transfer from the Hotel to the airport and bus station

    - Transport public bus or Domestic flight Airline LC-Peru

    - Hotel Casa Andina 2 nights in Lima or other hotel

    - Hotel San Sebastián 4 nights in Huaraz or other hotel

    - Entrance fees to the Huascaran National Park

    - Personal expenses

    - Personal equipment (such as boots, ice ax, crampons, harness, sleeping bag, mat, Goretex, etc.)

    - Tips


    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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