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10-12 DAYS

Los Cedros – Alpamayo – Santa Cruz




TREK OVERVIEW


Duration 10-12 days
Difficulty Hard
Range of Altitude 2,900m to 4,860m / 9,514ft to 15,945ft
Distance Covered Approximately 100km

The ultimate, complete Los Cedros – Alpamayo – Santa Cruz trek in Cordillera Blanca starts in the Los Cedros valley, takes you through to the Alpamayo base camp and concludes with the classic Santa Cruz Trek (see here for the 4D3N Santa Cruz Trek option).

Hikers are presented with a thorough, unabridged experience of traversing through the Cordillera Blanca, whilst soaking in the beauty that abounds in its vast landscape, with exceptional views of snow-capped peaks, azure lagoons and waterfalls, whilst also interacting with local Quechua communities.

The focal point of the journey is undoubtedly the legendary Mount Alpamayo (5,947m/19,511ft), famous for its almost perfectly-shaped pyramidal structure (and known to be the “most beautiful” mountain in the world). Hikers will get the chance to view the mountain from two different angles – first, from the Jancarurish campsite in the Alpamayo valley (for sight of its north face) and second, from the Taullipampa campsite in the Santa Cruz valley (for sight of its south face).

The 12D11N program has been structured to include two rest days (recommended) so that it is a less hectic schedule and hikers are given some time to unwind and soak in the sights for a more enjoyable experience. We are happy to accommodate clients with limited time and/or clients who would prefer to do without the rest days (i.e. 10D9N). In any case, it is essential that all trekkers are well acclimatised and physically fit and healthy for this trek.

Alternatively, the hike can be done in the opposite direction, i.e. beginning in Santa Cruz valley at Cashapampa and concluding in the village of Hualcayan. Feel free to talk to us on your preference and we will try our best to work out a bespoke trek itinerary of your choosing.


MAP


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PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS



  • We start early by driving for approximately four hours north from Huaraz to the village of Hualcayan, the starting point of the trek

  • We hike for approximately four to five hours by way of a well-marked switchback to our first campsite at Huishcash
  • We make a gradual ascent to the first pass of our journey, the Osoruri pass, which is also the highest point of the trek at 4,860m/15,945ft. We will come across the beautiful iridescent Lake Cullicocha on our way up

  • Descend to the next campsite at Osoruri camp

  • Total hiking time is approximately six to seven hours
  • It is a long but rewarding day as we hike to the Vientunan pass (4,770m/15,650ft), the second pass of the trek, from which we are rewarded with panoramic and spectacular views of Mount Champara (5,750m/18,865ft) and Mount Pilanco (5,286m/17,343ft)

  • After a break, we head downhill by way of a well-marked road to Alpamayo valley, passing by pre-Inca terraces along the way

  • Upon arriving at Jancarurish camp, we are treated with views of the north face of the famous Mount Alpamayo (5,947m/19,511ft)

  • Total hiking time is approximately six to seven hours
  • Optional day: Spend the day unwinding and soaking in the surrounding sights of the spectacular Cordillera Blanca. You may also opt to do a short hike to Lake Jancarurish, located at the base of Mount Alpamayo (5,947m/19,511ft)
  • It is a long and challenging day as there are two passes to be cleared

  • We start by embarking on a steep climb which skirts along green meadows and emerald-coloured lakes towards the Gara Gara pass(4,830m/15,846ft), from which we are rewarded with dramatic and uninterrupted views of Mount Santa Cruz (6,214m/20,387ft) and Mount Quitaraju (6,040m/19,816ft)

  • We make our descent through Moyobamba valley towards the Mesa Pata pass (4,470m/14,665ft), where we are presented with incredible views of the snow-capped summit Mount Pucajirca (6,046m/19,836ft) and Lake Safuna

  • We descend to the next campsite at Safuna

  • Total hiking time is approximately seven to eight hours
  • We start with a gradual descent to Huilca, from which we begin our steep and steady ascent towards the rocky Yanacon pass (4,610m/15,125ft). Enjoy rewarding sights of Mount Pucajirca Norte (6,046m/19,836ft) from this pass

  • We head downhill to a beautiful wide valley at Jancapampa, where we set up camp and also have the opportunity to interact with the local Quechua people

  • Total hiking time is approximately seven hours
  • We start by navigating through several Quechua farming settlements in Jancapampa village as we make our way to the Tupa Tupa pass (4,360m/14,304ft)

  • From the pass, we can revel in panoramic views of the collection of towering, majestic peaks that line the Cordillera Blanca: Mount Chopicalqui (6,354m/20,846ft), Mount Huascaran (6,768m/22,205ft) and Mount Chakrarahu (6,108m/20,039ft)

  • We descend gradually through Tuctubamba valley for approximately two hours, followed by an ascent of approximately one hour to reach our next campsite near Lake Huecrococha

  • Total hiking time is approximately six to seven hours
  • We start the day with a relaxing trek around Lake Huecrococha, soaking in sights of Mount Taulliraju (5,830m/19,127ft), observing its increasingly large disposition as we make our way closer and ascend up to Alto De Pucaraju pass (4,640m/15,223ft) via a small switchback

  • From the pass, enjoy panoramic views of Mount Pucajirca (6,046m/19,836ft) and Mount Chacraraju (6,108m/20,039ft), with condors soaring overhead

  • We descend towards Tuctubamba, our next campsite located by a small rocky road

  • Total hiking time is approximately five to six hours
  • Today we transition to the Santa Cruz trail. We start by hiking uphill to the famous Punta Union pass (4,750m/15,584ft), from which we can observe incredible, uninterrupted views of the majestic Mount Taulliraju (5,830m/19,127ft) and Mount Rinrijirca (5,810m/19,062ft), including beautiful lagoons

  • We gradually descend for approximately two to three hours to the next campsite at the beautiful Taullipampa, which is the perfect vantage point for breathtaking views of Mount Taulliraju (5,830m/19,127ft)

  • Total hiking time is approximately six hours
  • Optional day: Take the opportunity to relax, recharge and soak in the sights, especially of the magnificent Mount Alpamayo (5,947m/19,511ft) and Mount Taulliraju (5,830m/19,127ft)

  • You may opt to make a side trip to Lake Arhuaycocha, located at the base of Mount Alpamayo
  • It is an easy day hiking on near-flat terrain today. During the trek, we will pass by the Jatuncocha and Ichiccocha lakes and observe the towering peaks of Mount Quitaraju (6,040m/19,816ft), Mount Rinrihirka (5,810m/19,062ft), Mount Taullirahu (5,830m/19,127ft) and Mount Alpamayo (5,947m), as we make our way to our final campsite at Llamacorral

  • Total hiking time is approximately five to six hours
  • After breakfast, we trek downhill for approximately three hours through Santa Cruz valley to the village of Cashapampa, where our private transport awaits for our return back to Huaraz, thus concluding your unforgettable journey through the Cordillera Blanca range


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