hiking, nature, travel, trekking

Alpamayo circuit


Timing: 12 or 13 days

Grade: Medium / Hard

The Cordillera Blanca must provide one of the most varied landscapes for trekking and climbing in the world. There are more than 50 peaks of 5700m of higher, including the highest mountain in Perú Huascarán at 6768m and also the beautiful pyramid of Alpamayo which has been voted the most beautiful mountain the world. There are blue lakes, high passes, glaciers, awesome vertical walls and spectacular campsites. Our trek passes by all these features.


Day 1: Drive 5 hours to Hualcayan 2900m. On the way we have visits to Yungay where there is a memorial to the thousands of people killed in the 1970 earthquake, and then the colorful local market at Caraz.

Day 2: Climb steadily in a zig zag path from Hualcayan to Wishcash 4300m.4 to 5 hours hiking

Day 3: Continue upwards to the spectacular lake Laguna Cullicocha 4850m, then cross the first pass Paso Osoruri 4750m. A long descent to camp at Ruinapampa 3800m. 8 hours.

Day 4: An easy day, walking gently up valley to Cruze Alpmamayo camp 4150m. 3 to 4 hours

Day 5: Extra night at Cruze Alpamayo Camp to appreciate the stunning views of Alpamayo. Visit Laguna Jancarurish or Alpamayo Base Camp (4500m).

Day 6: Climb to the often windy pass Cara Cara 4830m from where we have more fantastic views of Alpamayo and the lakes, then traverse to another pass Mesapata 4500m and before descending to camp at Lake Safuna 4200m 7 hours.

Day 7: From Safuna to another pass Paso Pucajirca 4600m and camp in the open grassy valley of Jancapampa 3600m 7 hours. There are a lot of farming families living in the valley and we meet many curious local children

Day 8: We pass by many adobe farm houses, sheep, cattle and horses while climbing up to the pass Pass Tupatupa 4400m and descend to camp beside the small lake Laguna Huecrococha (3950m). 7 hours

Day 9: Pass Alto de Pucaraju 4650m from where we have breathtaking views of the mountain Taulliraju, then a steep descent to camp in a lovely quiet valley at Tuctubamba (4250m). 7 hours

Day 10: We enjoy our spectacular mountain surroundings by spending an extra night at Tuctubamba camp. We can take a day hike joining onto the famous Santa Cruz trail and climbing to the pass Punta Union 4750m from where we have grand views of the Santa Cruz Valley, or take a rest day and enjoy the sun at camp.

Day 11: At first we walk easily down the Huaripampa Valley passing through farming settlements and villages to Colcabamba. We then climb gently to camp by a stream at Molino Pampa in the Quebrada Keshu 3600m. 6 to 7 hours.

Day 12: A short day where we climb steadily upwards to a high campsite on a plateau perched on the mountainside called Avalanche Campsite at 4650m. 4 hours. Spend the afternoon watching avalanches crash down from the glacier on the opposite side of the valley

Day 13: A climb of around 2 hours to the high and narrow pass of Punta Yanayacu (4850m) where we have close views of the glaciers on Nevado Contrahierbas and the massive peaks of Chopicalqui and Huascarán. Then descend to Quebrada Ulta where our van will be waiting to return us to Huaraz