Timing: Options from 8 to 10 days
Grade: From Moderate (10 days) to Hard (8 days)
This trek offers the most spectacular mountain scenery and lakes on the Alpamayo Base Camp Circuit, but is a condensed version of our classic 12 to 13 day complete Alpamayo Circuit trek. The trek features views of the stunning pyramid shaped Alpamayo, once voted to be the most beautiful mountain in the world and then the crystal blue lake Cullicocha nestled at the base of Santa Cruz Mountain.
The description here is for the gentler 10 day option, but the trek can be condensed down to 9 or even 8 days for fit people who are very well acclimatized. Please contact us to discuss which option may be best for you. We can advise after considering your level of fitness & previous trekking experience.
Day 1: Drive from Huaraz past Llanganuco Lakes and over the Pass Portachuelo 4750m to Vaqueria (3600m) 3 ½ hours drive. From Vaqueria we have a relaxing trek about 4 hours on a gradually rising path to a secluded campsite in the Paria Valley 3800m.
Day 2: Two hours hike further up the valley to camp at Tuctubamba 3950m. We can make a side trip on the way and climb up to the top of the pass Punta Union 4750m to have fantastic views down into the Santa Cruz Valley. 3 to 4 hours extra.
Day 3: We climb steeply on a rocky trail to the top of the pass Alto de Pacaraju 4650m from where there are magnificent views of many snow covered peaks. We then have a long descent down through lupine covered hillside to camp at a small lake Laguna Huecrococha. 3950m. 7 hours
Day 4: We climb to another pass Tupatupa 4400m & descend to camp at the top of a wide valley at Jancapampa (3600m). Directly behind camp we have views of a huge hanging glacier. 7 to 8 hours.
Day 5: A long gradual climb up a forested valley and past the lake Laguna Sactaycocha, then we climb steeply to the top of the rocky Pass Paso Pucajirca 4600m. Descend to camp at Safuna in the Quebrada Tayapmapa. 4200m. A long day 7 to 8 hours
Day 6: We cross two passes today. The first pass is a gradual ascent to the low pass of Mesapata 4500m, then we cross the sometimes windy pass Cara Cara (4830m) from where we have our first great views of the pyramid shaped Alpamayo. We camp below the majestic Alpamayo at the camp named Cruze Alpamayo 4150m. 7 hours
Day 7: We stay another night at Cruze Alpamayo Camp. Climb up the moraine to the lake Laguna Jancarurish for close up views of Alpamayo or continue upwards towards Alpamayo Base Camp (4500m). 5 to 6 hours return. Or REST DAY.
Day 8: Tomorrow is a hard day. We make it easier on ourselves in the 10 day trek option by today hiking down the valley to a secluded campsite away from the main trail named Plataforma de Valle Dos Cedros (4200m) 3 hours hiking. In the afternoon relax & enjoy the mountain views in preparation for tomorrows hike.
Day 9: A hard day with two high passes to ascend. We have a long climb to the pass Paso Osoruri 4750m. We then descend and climb again to a second pass Paso Cullicocha 4850m from where there are fabulous views of the magnificent mountain Santa Cruz. Descend to camp at the crystal blue high lake Laguna Cullicocha (4650m). 6 to 7 hours
Day 10: Downhill all the way today. We descend on a long zig zag track to the village of Hualcayan 2900m. About 5 or 6 hours. Our van will be waiting for us at Hualcayan to drive us about 4 hours back to Huaraz