Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Epic Treks

Trek the Remote Peruvian Andes

Circumnavigate Peru’s famous Cordillera Huayhuash mountain range on one of the finest treks in South America

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Trip Ref #9901

Adventures / Epic Treks

Trek the Remote Peruvian Andes

Circumnavigate Peru’s famous Cordillera Huayhuash mountain range on one of the finest treks in South America

DURATION
17 nights
LOCATION
Peru
ANNUAL LEAVE
2 weeks off work
GROUP SIZE
Up to 12 people
MEETING POINT
Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima
ACCOMMODATION
Hotel · Guesthouse · Campsite
DIFFICULTY
Challenging

Be prepared to trek 6-7 hours a day at high altitude for views that make it all worthwhile.

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trek across one of Peru's wildest mountain ranges, the Cordillera Huayhuash

Travel to pristine glacial lakes, see traditional Andean culture and cross high passes to an ever-changing backdrop of soaring peaks

Visit Siula Grande Basecamp, made famous by Joe Simpson and his book Touching the Void

Included

Guides

Local, certified trekking guide

Accommodation

10 nights camping, 6 nights in a hotel and 1 night in a guesthouse

Meals

All meals while in the mountains

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Porterage

Local horseman and pack animals

Equipment

All your camping equipment

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Travel insurance

The Area

Logistics

Starts

Lima Airport

Anytime before 19:00

Ends

Lima Airport

Anytime

Transfers

Your adventure begins at Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) where your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area. If you're already in Lima, you can meet your guide and fellow adventurers at your hotel in the city for the trip-briefing at 20:00. At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Jorge Chávez International Airport in time for your flight home. You're free to book any flight you like as there is no activity scheduled on the final day.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Lima from major airports across the UK and Europe.

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Guesthouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6 – Day 11

Campsite · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 12

Campsite · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 13 – Day 15

Campsite · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 16 – Day 17

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 18

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 1

Welcome to Lima

Meet your host at Lima airport and head to your hotel in the city to meet the rest of your team and get to know each other before the start of the trek.

Day 2

Huaraz

After a quick briefing, board a comfortable first-class bus for the journey to Huaraz (approx. 8 hours). After crossing some classic Peruvian terrain, check into your boutique hotel, grab some dinner and get a good night’s rest ready for the kick-off tomorrow.

Day 3

Acclimatise

Sleep in and then relax over a lazy breakfast after the long journey yesterday. Having moved up from sea level to 3050 metres, you'll take it easy today and explore Huaraz at your own pace without any guided programme.

Day 4

Churup Lake

After an early breakfast, head into the Huascaran National Park and hike around the turquoise waters of the Churup Lagoon (4450m). This short day hike will help prepare you for both the higher altitudes and the incomparable scenery you're going to witness over the coming days.

Day 5

Pastoruri Glacier and Llamac village

Get up early and rise above the 5000m line as you visit the southern part of the Callejón de Huaylas and see the tiled roofs of the Andean towns of Recuay, Ticapampa and Catac come into view as well as a sea of decorative crosses. Continue to Pachacoto, entering the natural splendour of the Huascarán National Park, where you’ll experience Patococha (the lake of ducks), the gasified waters of Pumapashimin and natural springs that can reach a meter in height. Visit one of the few glaciers left in this tropical area, Pastoruri and walk close to the ice mass, observing the undeniable effects of climate change, before driving to Llámac village where you’ll be welcomed at a local guesthouse with dinner and a comfortable bed.

Day 6

Mitucocha lake

Leave the guesthouse early and drive to Cuartelwain (4150m) and make your way up to the Qaqanan Pass (4700m). Traverse down the East side of the Cordillera Huayhuash to reach tonight’s camp, close to the shore of Mitucocha lake (4250m). Set up your tent and enjoy your first night beneath Mounts Hirishanca and Rondoy.

Day 7

Carhuacocha

Enjoy a campfire breakfast and then hike to the Carhuac Pass (4650m). Take some time to admire the view of Yerupaja Chico, Yerupaja and Siula and then ascend to Carhuacocha Lake (4150m) where you'll set up camp for the night. Enjoy dinner at the water’s edge and get a good nights sleep in this most tranquil of locations.

Day 8

Siula Pass

Break camp and walk along the shores of three lakes - Qanrajancacocha, Siulacocha and Quesillococha - on your way to the Siula Pass (4800m). Rest up at the pass and then descend to your campsite at Huayhuash (4300m) where you'll get settled and enjoy a star-filled night beneath a high-altitude sky.

Day 9

Viconga

Begin the day with a trek to the Portachuelo Pass (4750m), the boundary between the Cordillera Huayhuash and Raura ranges. This route is covered with a grassy plant known as Ichus and home to both llamas and alpacas. Pass Viconga lake on the way to tonight’s campsite at 4400m, in a spectacular spot with nearby hot springs.

Day 10

Cuyoc Pass and Guanacpatay

Trek to the highest pass on the trip, Cuyoc (5000m) and some of the most astonishing views of the Cordillera Raura and part of the Cordillera Huayhuash. Descend to your campsite in the Guanacpatay Valley (4400m) where the cook and horseman will already have the fire burning ready for dinner.

Day 11

Mirador of San Antonio

Climb to the spectacular San Antonio Mirador Pass (4850m) with views of Carnicero, Jurao, Siula Grande and Yerupaja mountains and down to Jurao and Siulacocha lakes. Take a moment to recharge and then descend through the Cutatambo Valley (4250m) to your next campsite. You’ll be ready for dinner by this point, so set up camp and get settled around the fire.

Day 12

The glacier of Siula Grande

Break camp and hike to Siula Grande, made famous by Joe Simpson in his book Touching the Void. Take some time to appreciate Sarapococha Lake (4550m) and get close to the glacier for some great photos before returning to camp, having seen some of the Peruvian Andes most iconic sights.

Day 13

Huayllapa Village

Follow the path along the river and through a gorgeous valley to the village of Huayllapa (3600m) where you'll say hello to the locals and stock up on beers for camp tonight.

Day 14

Qashpapampa

Leave Huayllapa village behind and trek to the Tapush Pass (4850m) and its epic view of Mount Tuco. Descend to Qashpapampa (4500m) beneath the mighty Diablo Mudo and often used as a base camp for summit attempts, before continuing along the track to tonight’s camp, dinner and some more of those beers you picked up yesterday.

Day 15

Jahuacocha lake

Climb up to the Yahucha Pass (4750m) and look across the snow-covered peaks, including the West side of the Cordillera Huayhuash, Ninashanca, Hirishanca, Yerupaja Chico, and Yerupaja - the second highest mountain in Peru at 6634m. Descend through the Huacrish Valley and down to Jahuacocha Lake (4070m) where you'll make camp for the night.

Day 16

Pampa Llamac Pass and Huaraz

Start your last day of trekking by making your way to the Pampa Llamac Pass (4300m) and the final mirador of the circuit. Soak up the views, capture some final shots and then descend back to Llamac village (3300m) where a car will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Huaraz.

Day 17

Back to Lima

After breakfast, board the bus for the journey back to Lima and your final night in Peru.

Day 18

Travel home

All adventures must come to an end and after an incredible journey through the Andes its time to head back to the airport in time for your flight home.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

What's included?

  • All your camping and cooking equipment

What do I need to bring?

  • Backpack with a carrying capacity of 60 to 70l (a similar sized duffle bag or travel bag can be used as a substitute)
  • A small backpack for day trips
  • Sleeping bag
  • Thermarest sleeping pad
  • Warm jacket or parka
  • 3 pairs of outdoor pants (jeans are not recommended as they are difficult to dry when wet)
  • Warm sweaters
  • 2-4 pairs of woollen socks
  • T-shirts, shirts, hats or caps
  • A set of warm underwear, such as long underpants and long undershirts
  • A pair of good hiking boots (make sure they are broken-in)
  • A pair of light shoes (runners or sneakers)
  • A set of light rain gear, such as a pant and jacket combination or a poncho.
  • A water bottle with a 1-litre capacity
  • A pocket-knife or hunting knife
  • A flashlight
  • A pair of sunglasses (VERY IMPORTANT!)
  • Sunscreen and lip suncream (VERY IMPORTANT!)
  • Underwear, personal items, and toiletries
  • 1 pair of fleece pants
  • 1 wool or fleece hat
  • Headlamp and batteries (bring at least 2 spare sets)
  • 1 pair of Gore-Tex gaiters (heavy-duty, large enough to fit over plastic boots)
  • 1 pair of Gore-Tex shell gloves
  • Trekking poles (recommended)

You should be prepared to comfortably trek 6-7 hours per day. To make the trip as enjoyable as possible, your host recommends going on a few practice runs or long hikes close to the departure date in order to get in shape. You won't need to carry a heavy backpack, however, due to the high altitude (sometimes over 5000m), some days may feel slightly exhausting but are well worth it. Your host will adapt the hike to the pace of the group and make sure that everyone has an enjoyable time.

Previous trekking experience is not essential, however, you should have been on a few long day hikes in mountainous terrain in order to know what you are getting into!

The trekking season in the Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash runs from May to September. Despite being the middle of winter, the mountain ranges are dry due to being close to the equator. During the dry season, the weather is generally very stable with one or two bad weather days per week. The freezing level is about 4500m-5000m during the day, but the strong sun can make it feel much warmer than in the valleys. Wind is rarely a problem in the mountains during the dry season and precipitation and temperatures vary in accordance to altitude, with the average temperature between 9ºC – 0ºC.

There are two important factors to maximise your enjoyment during this trek. One is a good physical condition and the other is acclimatisation. Usually, travellers are advised to spend at least 2 days in a region above 3000m before starting the circuit trek and for this reason, you'll spend 2.5 days around Huaraz (3100m) and join shorter day hikes to prepare for the upcoming days at higher altitude. Although there is no guarantee that you won't get altitude sickness, the extra days of acclimatisation will lower the risk significantly and make the journey much more enjoyable.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

You won't need to carry much as pack-animals will transport food, equipment and of course your luggage between destinations. Your host suggests a small day backpack for water, your camera and a jacket just in case.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

For current advice about travelling in Peru, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

All of our group adventures are especially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded.

"I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I've ever been on!" Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

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Transferrable Deposits

Cancel up to 31 days before departure and we'll transfer your deposit into credit for a future booking.

Free Date Changes

Free date changes up to 31 days before departure.

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