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Santa Cruz Trek and Punta Union Pass 5-day hike

Santa Cruz Trek
Santa Cruz trek
Santa Cruz trek
Santa Cruz Trek

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

Cordillera Blanca

5 Days

Apr - Dec


Description

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! 

 

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Lunch

- Dinner

- Snacks

- Transport during the trip

- Group porters

- Mules and horses

- Mountain guide expenses

- Camping equipment tents

- Camping equipment cooking utensils

Price details

Not included:

• 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


Itinerary

Day 1: Hike 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 2: Huaraz - 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 3: Llamacorral – 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 4: Taullipampa – 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 5: Huaripampa - 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/-).

 

Details

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

Meeting point

Huaraz

FAQs

What is the average distance and altitude gain that we will hike each day?

Every day, you walk approximately 5 to 9 hours, the maximum height is 4750 meters. If you want more information, contact us.

What experience do I need to have? How fit do I need to be? Is this program suitable for children or older people?

To do this tour, you need previous acclimatization of walks to lagoons or have experience in long-distance walks. Now, if you have any other more specific questions, we can schedule a call to clarify all your questions.

How can I get to the trailhead/meeting point?

All our groups start from the city of Huaraz. We have a very central office. For more information, contact us.

How will accommodation and meals be handled during the trek?

During the trek, we will sleep in high-altitude tents, and within our budget, the tour includes breakfast, picnic lunch, and dinner. If you have any more questions, we can schedule a call to explain all the details of the trip.

Are there any other special requirements such as permits/insurance/vaccines that I need to consider before the tour?

To enter the Cordillera Blanca Huascaran National Park, a right of 150 soles per person is paid. We recommend having the mandatory vaccines that are required by world health on the COVID-19 vaccine, and we also recommend having accident insurance. We always recommend Partners –Global Rescue. If you have any more questions about the trip, we can schedule a call via WhatsApp.

What is the best time of the year for this hike?

The best season is from May to September, but we also offer this trip all year round. If you have any other questions, let me know or we can schedule a call to clarify all your questions.

Can I join a group?

For this trip, you can join some groups that have daily departures. For more information, contact us or we can schedule a call to clarify all your questions.

What happens in the event of bad weather?

In general, if we have bad weather, this trip is always carried out. When the weather is bad, we always recommend starting the trekking earlier than normal because it is clear in the morning and there is more rain in the afternoon. If you have any more questions or doubts, we can schedule a call via WhatsApp.

What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?

We understand that finding the perfect place to stay is an essential part of your adventure experience. To help you with this, we’ve curated a list of three highly recommended hotels that offer comfort, convenience, and a touch of local charm. These accommodations are well-suited for adventurers looking to relax and rejuvenate after an exciting day of exploration
Hotel La Ensenada Barranca Peru
See rooms
Casa Andina Standard Barranca Barranca Peru
See rooms
El Huacachinero Huacachina Peru
See rooms

About the guide

Guide profile image

Peru

4.80

(24)

Guide Agency

Peru Expeditions is a Guide Agency and Tour Operator based in Huaraz, Peru.

It's a family-owned travel agency, which was founded more than 35 years ago, and is now managed by IFMGA-guide Juventino and his son, Eric.

We organize trekkings and mountain expeditions in Cordillera Blanca, and all around Peru.

Languages

| English

Certificates

AGMP | IFMGA

Request more information

What people are saying about Peru

5.00

He was very kind, patient and helped me to reach my goal the citadel of Machupicchu. One day I wanted to quit but he encouraged me to continue and waited for my step.

5.00

We did the MTB-Huarascan-Circuit (Crossing Punta Olimpica Pass and Portachuelo de Llanganuco Pass) with Eric Albinos „Peru Expedition“. All, the transfers, the hotel stays, the acclimatization tours and the circuit itself, was well organized. Eric and his staff were flexible to our wishes and very helpful. Our Guide Joni is an excellent mountain bike-guide and good tailor too if something is torn. The cook prepared delicious meals during the circuit. The camping equipment was in very good condition. We (Karin, Franz. Wolfgang) can fully recommend „Eric´s Peru Expeditions“.

Marcela

4.00

The agency gave me a guide Darwin, not Juventino. Climb was good, easy just walking. There is one dangerous section near the moraine area with very loose gravel. So make sure you don't slip there or you are dead. I stayed in refugio at the base camp which was much more comfy than camping. Darwin was good but give clients some breaks once in a while, not rush too much. It's a high altitude climbing after all.

5.00

5 star guide. Nothing but the best.

5.00

A very, very sympathic guide, who knows all the secrets of the places and itinerarys the most beautiful ; organization top ; food excellent too ; marvellous souvenirs.


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