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Santa Cruz – Classic


Duration 4 Days
Difficulty Moderate to Hard
Range of Altitude 2,900m to 4,750m / 9,514ft to 15,584ft
Distance Covered Approximately 40km

The Santa Cruz trek has been touted as one of the “holy grails of trails across the world” by the National Geographic as it serves up a bit of everything the Cordillera Blanca has to offer in a short amount of time. Views along the trek include dramatic sights of deep blue lagoons, glaciers and Andean flora and fauna, with many of the imposing snow-capped peaks that line the Cordillera Blanca serving as the perfect backdrop. It is no wonder that this trek is one of the busiest trekking routes in the range.

Each day requires about 12 to 15 kilometres of hiking (approximately five to eight hours, depending on the hiker’s pace). During the hike, you will pass by the remains of Ichiccocha lake (which dried up due to an avalanche a few years ago) and the beautiful Jatuncocha, camp at Taullipampa, which is situated at the foot of the almighty Mount Taulliraju (5,830m/19,127ft) and ascend to the famous Punta Union pass, the highest point of the trek at 4,750m/15,584ft.


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  • Our day begins with an approximately three hour drive from Huaraz, passing by the towns of Carhuaz, Yungay and Caraz to Cashapampa, the starting point of the trek

  • We hike for approximately four to five hours, through the Santa Cruz valley to Llamacorral, our first campsite
  • During the trek, we will pass by the remains of Ichiccocha lake as well as the beautiful Jatuncocha lake 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 the famous Mount Alpamayo (5,947m/19,511ft), known to be the “most beautiful” mountain in the world

  • We also have the option of visiting Mount Alpamayo base camp (4,300m/14,108ft) and Lake Arhuaycocha, if time permits

  • Camp at Taullipampa, which is the perfect vantage point for breathtaking views of Mount Taulliraju (5,830m/19,127ft) and Mount Artesonraju (6,025m/19,767ft)

  • Total hiking time is approximately six to seven hours
  • We start the day with a gradual ascent to Punta Union pass (4,750m/15,584ft), the highest point of the trek. At the summit, we can observe incredible, uninterrupted views of the majestic Mount Taulliraju (5,830m/19,127ft), Mount Rinrihirka (5,810m/19,062ft) and Mount Paria (5,600m/18,373ft)

  • We then descend along a rocky path through Huaripampa valley to Paria, our final campsite

  • Total hiking time is approximately six to seven hours
  • We continue our descent for about three to four hours past Huaripampa village to Vaqueria, where our private transport awaits for our transfer back to Huaraz

  • The drive takes you by Portachuelo pass (4,768m/15,643ft), presenting you with spectacular views of Mount Chacraraju (6,108m/20,039ft), Mount Chopicalqui (6,354m/20,846ft), Mount Pisco (5,752m/18,871ft) and the twin peaks of Mount Huascaran (6,768m/22,205ft). You will also pass by the lakes of Orconcocha and Chinancocha along the valley of Llanganuco


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