• Trip duration
    6 days
  • Trip level
    Sustained
  • Max people per guide
    5 people
  • Mountain range
    Cordillera Blanca
  • Best period
    May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

Description

Join me on a 6-day Santa Cruz-Ulta trek through one of the most beautiful areas of the Cordillera Blanca.

This Santa Cruz-Ulta trek is a perfect combination of challenge and beauty. The route takes us through the lush green valleys of Llanganuco, Huaripampa, Santa Cruz, and Ulta, where we will see sparkling waterfalls, turquoise lakes, and iconic Andean forest. We will also follow part of a pre-Inca route.

When we reach heights of over 4500 meters, we will have gorgeous panoramic mountain views. Peru’s highest peak Huascaran and world-famous Alpamayo are just a two of the snowcapped mountains we will see on this beautiful trek.

We will start by hiking into the Santa Cruz valley and will gradually ascend to reach incredible mountainous viewpoints. Each night we will camp in different locations along the route, taking advantage of serene meadows and valleys. While we hike we will be able to see crystal-clear glacial lakes and orange bark quinual trees. On the last day we will reach a unique spot with snow covered mountains to the north, south, and west. We will finish the trek by descending into Ulta valley.

The Santa Cruz-Ulta trek is a high altitude trek, reaching a maximum altitude of 4850 meters. For this reason, a day of acclimation is necessary prior to starting the trip.

Are you ready to experience the beautiful mountains and valleys of the Cordillera Blanca? Don’t hesitate- contact me about booking an adventure. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Itinerary

Day 1

Huarez- Cashapampa (2290m)- Llamacorral (3760m)

I will pick you up at your hotel with my private vehicle, then we’ll drive along the Callejón de Huaylas valley, passing through small agricultural towns with preserved colonial architecture. On the way, we will stop several times to enjoy spectacular views of the Andes, including the western face of Peru’s highest peak, Mount Huascaran. After that, we will continue driving until we reach the Cashapampa village, where we will encounter our donkeys and donkey handlers. While they load our gear onto the donkeys backs, we will begin our trek. We will walk along the right bank of the Santa Cruz river into a narrow valley with sparkling waterfalls, groves, and highland bushes and trees, until we reach a wide grass meadow. We will camp there, with a spectacular view of snowcapped peaks at the valley’s head. Camp overnight at Llamacorral. 

Day 2

Llamacorral- Alpamayo viewpoint (4200m)- Taullipampa (4250m)

After breakfast we will start walking, passing the beautiful mountain lakes of Ichiccocha (a small lake) and Jatuncocha (a bigger lake). We will continue hiking in the Santa Cruz valley until we arrive at Quisuar, after which we will wind up a steep, zigzagging trail to the Alpamayo viewpoint above the Arhueycocha gorge. We will relax and enjoy the splendid summit views of the majestic mountains of Alpamayo, its flouted ice wall on the southwest face, and its peak, which is considered the most beautiful mountain in the world. After a break for lunch, the route brings us to the isolated Taullipampa campsite located at the foot of Mount Taulliraju. Camp overnight at Taullipampa. 

Day 3

Taullipampa- Punta Union Pass (4750m)- Paria Valley (3800m)

After breakfast we will start gradually ascending a pre-Inca route until we reach the Punta Union Pass at 4750 meters (15,600 ft), where we will enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of huge mountains and turquoise lakes. After lunch and a little rest, we will cross the pass to descend on a rocky trail towards the Huaripampa valley. We’ll observe small glacial lakes, waterfalls, and Andean trees on the way to our campsite at Paria valley. Camp overnight at Paria valley.

Day 4

Paria- Colcabamba (3400m)- Molinopampa (3600m)

After breakfast we will start walking down wide meadow and flat valley through sections of quinual and quisuar forest, whose trees display lovely twisted trunks and orange bark. The trail is almost easy as we reach the Huaripampa village and continue down to the bottom of the valley. We’ll cross a bridge and start hiking up on a dirt road to the Colcabamba settlement. We will continue ascending until we reach the Molinopampa campsite. Camp overnight at Molinopampa. 

Day 5

Molinopampa- Avalancha camp (4500m)

After a hearty breakfast we will start a gradual ascent with a few steep sections. We will be accompanied by a gorgeous view of the huge mountains of Contrahierba, hiking until we reach our high plateau camping spot. Last overnight camp at Avalancha. 

Day 6

Avalancha- Yanayacu pass (4850m)- Ulta valley- Huarez

On our last day we will walk up a rocky trail until we reach the Yanayacu pass, where we will be able to take amazing pictures of giant snowcapped peaks to the north, south, and west as we observe the Huascaran, Chopicalqui, Hualcan, and Contrahiervas summits. After that we will descend on a sloped trail to the Ulta valley. There we finish our trek and meet our private transportation waiting to drive us to Huaraz.

Price per person

Group of 21121USD
Group of 3917USD
Group of 4797USD
Group of 5686USD
Group of 6650USD
Group of 7600USD
Group of 8600USD

Price includes

  • Guiding fee
  • Accommodation
  • All meals during trip
  • Transport to the start of the trip
  • Transport during the trip
  • Luggage transfer during the trip
  • Group equipment
  • Permit and entrance fees
  • Porters

Other details

Meeting point

Huarez, Ancash, Peru

Accommodation

Trekkers will arrange their own accommodation in Huarez. During the trek, tents will be provided.

More info

This is a moderate-hard trek at high altitude, which necessitates a day of acclimatization not included in the 6-day trek.

If there are 6 participants or more, an assistant guide will join us.

Meals are included during the trip, but not in Huaraz and Lima.