IMG Cordillera Huayhuash Peru Trek Itinerary
Overnight flight from USA to Lima; arrive early morning the next day in Lima. Depending on your flight plans, you may want or need to overnight in Lima.
We'll pick most trekkers and climbers up at the airport after their early-morning arrival, and then travel from Lima to Huaraz. There's a modest place for breakfast just out of town if you're hungry for breakfast. After a drive through the pacific desert, we'll stop for lunch or snack along the way. During our 7-8 hour drive, other stops will include a visit to a fresh fruit stand where it's possible to purchase some exotic treats for the day. Our travels will take us over a 13,000'+ pass, and back down again to Huaraz (10,000'), our base of operations for the trip. After a short rest, we'll have dinner and a quick orientation for our next day. Overnight in Huaraz.
An acclimatization and sightseeing day. After breakfast in our hotel, we'll travel by van into the Cordillera Negra, the 'black' mountain range that sits opposite of the Cordillera Blanca, the 'white' mountain range.
From the Negra, there is an awesome overview of the Blanca and all its grandeur. There are a couple of hiking options in the Negra, so we'll decide while in Huaraz what fits best for our group. One option is to hike through the traditional village of Santa Cruz up to Lake Wilcacocha, which sits at 11,811' and provides incredible views of the Blanca range. Another option begins from the trailhead at Punta Callan (13,100'), where we'll walk down to Huaraz for 3 to 4 hours on an ancient Incan trail. Prior to dinner, we'll organize our gear for the trek, and prepare for our following day's hike. Overnight in Huaraz.
After breakfast, we'll have a little bit of time to do some more organization for the trek, before preparing for another day hike. Like the day before, there are many options, and we'll decide the night before what's best for our group. One option is a hike to Lago (Lake) Churup, which starts with transport in cars/van to Pitec, at 12,467', and then hike for 3-4 hours to the lake, an incredibly beautiful area located at 15,091'. After taking in the views and eating lunch, our group will descend about 2 hours back to the trailhead and return to Huaraz. We'll relax at the hotel, have dinner, and then finish any remaining preparations for our Huayhuash trek, which will start the next day.
Day 5: Trek day 1
An early breakfast will get us fueled up for our 6-7 hour private bus drive to Llamac, and then finally onward to Cuartelwayin, our first camp at 13,600'. We'll meet our mule drivers at Cuartelwayin and organize loads for the start of our walking the next day. Camp is placed near the cars, where we are left off for the trek, and after camp is set up, we'll likely take a short acclimatization hike up a local hill towards 15,000'... yes, the views start here! IMG's traditional base camp service will begin with dinner, a hearty whole-food based meal, complete with good company and excitement about our trek.
Day 6: Trek day 2
After breakfast at camp, we'll start our walk into the Huayhuash. From Cuartelwayin, we'll slowly climb the trail for 2-3 hours to the spectacular Paso CCaccananpunta (yes, spelled correctly!), at 15,400'. After a brief rest there to enjoy the views, snap some pics, our group will descend for another 3 hours towards Lagoon Mitucocha; camp will be placed an hour or so from the lake, at 13,940'. Tents will be set up prior to arrival, allowing us to move into the tents with little effort. We'll migrate to the dining tent for our usual afternoon tea and snacks. Often times there's time in the afternoon for a short nap, reading, or some easy walks around our beautiful alpine camps. Dinner will follow as we swing in to the daily routine, with a recap of our day and the laying of plans for the following day.
Note: Many of the land features, mountains, lakes, and areas, are named in the local Quechan language. Our local guides will help translate and pronounce them for our group throughout our experience.
Day 7: Trek day 3
Our trek routine will continue with fresh, warm water for washing that's presented at trekkers' tents with our wake-up call, along with tea or coffee. After breakfast, our trek will continue from Mitucocha, over Carhuac Pass, 15,252'. A descent to Lagoon Carhuacocha (13,700') will provide a lower camp for the night. While the Quechan names in the area present some challenges for English speakers, the names will easily flow as we learn them from our local fluent speaking Quechan guide and mule drivers. Time today on the trail will be 6-7 hours.
Day 8: Trek day 4
Today, we will be rewarded with one of the most spectacular views of the trip. From Lagoon Carhuacocha, we will trek through the impressive Siula Pass, 15,740', where the Cordillera Huayhuash will stretch out in its grandeur, with spectacular peaks surrounding the views. From the pass, we will descend to an area known as Huayhuash (14,100'). After 7-8 hours of effort this day, we'll be rewarded with a hearty meal and some good rest.
Day 9: Trek day 5
From Huayhuash, yes, we head towards another pass! Paso Portachuelo Huayhuash will be our goal on this day, with a height of 15,670', our highest pass to date. While the passes are at high altitude, our acclimatization is improving daily, allowing us to trek with less effort and with the crossing of each high pass, things become easier. Again, the views continue to stretch out as we move along our trek. The trail is easier walking today to our next camp near Lagoon Viconga (14,470'), and we'll pull into camp after 5-6 hours of trekking.
Day 10: Trek day 6
A trek of 5-6 hours will take us from Viconga through another, pass, Cuyoc, at 16,550'; this is our highest pass of the trek and will require some celebration! These highpoints throughout the trek are not summits, but they are spectacular viewpoints and achievements in amazing terrain. Camp at Hatun Cuyoc will await our group at 14,770'.
Day 11: Trek day 7
A day we will remember for its views, as we trek from Hatun Cuyoc over San Antonio Pass, another high point for our group at 16,400'. From the pass, we will see many impressive peaks, including Siula Grande, Jurao, Rasac, Jerupaja, all icy-clad steep Cordilleran peaks. Our descent from the pass will take us into the Callinca Valley, and we'll arrive at our camp near the village of Huayllapa, at 11,500'. The lower camp will be a nice reward after our 8-9 hours of trekking today.
Day 12: Trek day 8
"Just" another day in a spectacular area! From Huayllapa, we'll climb up the river valley, through Punta Tapush, at 15,645', and then descend to camp at Gashpapampa (14,840'). The trekking routine will have set in, and it'll allow trekkers to take in the incredible terrain we'll pass through. Time on the trail today will be 6-7 hours.
Day 13: Trek day 9
The morning's breakfast will start the day, as we trek from our camp at Gashpapampa around the nearby peak, Diablo Mudo. Continuing the journey around this lofty peak, we'll climb up to the top of Punta Yauche, at 15,825 ft and take in the views, and then begin our descent towards Jahuacocha. After about 5 hours of trekking, we'll arrive later in the day at Jahuacocha (13,300') with incredible lakeside views of the Cordillera Huayhuash. It'll be a lovely day, and we'll be ready for a solid night of sleep!
Day 14: Trek day 10
We'll wake early, our last day, and trek to the village of Pampa Llamac, at 10,660'. Our last day of trekking will take us along the side of the river valley and up and over Pampa Llamac Pass, at 14,048', giving us our last views of the incredible mountains behind us. We'll be met by our transportation in the village of Pampa Llamac, and we'll start the long drive back to Huaraz. Memories of our incredible trekking experience will lull us to sleep by the time we arrive in Huaraz. Upon arrival there, we'll have a group dinner in town and celebrate our trek over 8 high passes passing an endless display of impressive summits! Overnight in hotel in a comfy bed.
Day 15: Drive from Huaraz to Lima, and flights home
There may be some time in the early morning before our departure for Lima for some last minute shopping, then our 8 hour drive to the coast for flights home. There is lots of time to sit back and remember our time trekking through the Cordillera Blanca during the drive, listen to music, read, and sleep. We may stop again for lunch, and then make our way to the airport for late flights home.
Day 16: Team returns home!
Our trekkers will arrive home and celebrate their reunion with friends and family.