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Quilcayhuanca – Cojup – Ishinca


Duration 5 Days
Difficulty Hard
Range of Altitude 3,800m to 5,350m / 12,467ft to 17,552ft
Distance Covered Approximately 50km

For hikers who would like to spend more time exploring the more remote, eastern flanks of the Cordillera Blanca, the Quilcayhuanca – Cojup – Ishinca trek is ideal as it combines the 3D2N Ishinca – Cojup trek (see here) and the 4D3N Quilcayhuanca – Cojup trek (see here).

This is a challenging trek as the trails are often narrow, unmarked and steep and you will ascend to two passes (i.e. Huapi pass (5,050m/16,568ft) and Ishinca pass (5,350m/17,552ft)) at high altitudes in a short amount of time. Accordingly, trekkers must be well acclimatised and bear a good degree of fitness. From these passes, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of some of the best peaks the Cordillera Blanca has to offer: Mount Ishinca (5,550m/18,209ft), Mount Ranrapalca (6,612m/20,217ft) and many others.

This less commonly visited trek enables you to gain a deeper, more intimate appreciation for the beauty of the Cordillera Blanca through observation of the spectacular collection of glacial summits along the way and camping by the beautiful lakes of Cuchillacocha and Cojup. You will also get the chance to observe local culture and livelihood as you pass by the villages of Unchus and Llupa during the trek.


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  • We drive for approximately one hour eastwards from Huaraz to Pitec, the starting point of the trek. We will pass by the local villages of Unchus and Llupa along the way

  • We hike for approximately five hours to our first campsite at Yupanapampa
  • It is a relatively easy day with a steady ascent to the next campsite by the iridescent Lake Cuchillacocha

  • Total hiking time is approximately four hours
  • Today is challenging – we kick off the day with a sustained climb to Huapi pass (5,050m/16,568ft), the first of two passes we will encounter on the trek

  • At the summit, soak in breathtaking views of some of the most majestic peaks in all of Cordillera Blanca, such as Mount Ishinca (5,550m/18,209ft), Mount Ranrapalca (6,612m/20,217ft) and Mount Andavite (5,518m/18,104ft)

  • We then commence our descent through Cojup valley to our next campsite

  • Total hiking time is approximately eight hours
  • It is another challenging but rewarding day as we make our way to the Ishinca pass (5,350m/17,552ft), the highest point of the trek

  • From the pass, take in breathtaking views of surrounding peaks like Mount Ranrapalca (6,162m/20,217ft), Mount Ishinca (5,550m/18,209ft), Mount Vallunarahu (5,686m/18,655ft), Mount Palcaraju (6,110m/20,046ft) and Mount Tocllaraju (6,032m/19,790ft)

  • Descend to the Ishinca valley and set up camp at Ishinca base camp, the final stop of our journey

  • Total hiking time is approximately six to seven hours
  • We start the day hiking westwards for approximately 11 kilometres (approximately four to five hours of hiking), through the Ishinca valley to the village of Pashpa-Cochapampa, where our private transport awaits for our one hour drive back to Huaraz


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