When it comes to travelling to Peru, people tend to make a beeline for Macchu Pichu, often overlooking the fabulous treks in Santa Cruz. Macchu Pichu is without a doubt stunning, but the views of the Andean mountains as afforded by a trek through the Cordillera Blanca range remains an equally or even more serene and breathtaking experience.
This trek explores three of most spectacular valley of Huascarán National Park in the Cordillera Blanca range: Santa Cruz gorges, Huaripampa and Llanganuco. We will be immersed in the best Andean landscapes, walking on old Inca trails surrounded by leafy forests of quenuales and exotic altoandina flora, crystalline water rivers, beautiful lagoons, immense farellones of rock and the impressive landscape that is crowned by the snow-covered view of more than a dozen main peaks of the Cordillera Blanca Mountain range: Alpamayo, Artesonraju, Taulliraju, Chacraraju, Chopicalqui, Huandoy and Huascaran. The National Park is a reserve for nature, history and wildlife - the leafy forests, the ultramarine lagoons; old Inca trails and archaeological remains of the Chavin and the wildlife - the mountain cats, pumas, bears, and condors soaring over the jagged edges of the high mountains, making it a truly unforgettable trek.
On the first day, the plan is to visit Churup Lake at 4,450 meters and roughly a 20 Kilometer trek from Huaraz. It makes for an excellent hike to acclimatize you to the Andean mountains. The crystal clear lake has the snow-capped Churup summit as its background, a view worth the climb - which gets a little difficult at times and might leave you a little tired, a tiredness that will be completely alleviated by the lake!
A full day of trekking through the mountains taking us from Llamacoral to the Alpamayo base camp and then from there finally to our next camping site - the Taullipampa base camp at 4200 meters. The trek will take us through some very scenic stretches of the Cordillera Blanca - Ichiccocha Lake and Jatuncocha Lake are on our way to Alpamayo. At Alpamayo, the vistas will give us a clear view of the Alpamayo, Aguja, Artesonraju, Quitaraju,and Paron mountains.
The fourth day of the trek will have us hiking to higher reaches of the mountains to the Punta Union Pass at 4750 meters, at this height the splendid contrast of a clear blue skies and the white-brown glaciated mountain-tops will seem unreal. Amidst which we will have our picnic lunch. From the pass, we will go down towards Cachinapampa (3600m) in Paria to setup camp for the night.
The final day of the trek, we will hike up to the highest point of this journey - the Portachuelo pass (4800m). On a clear day, absolutely stunning views of the highest peak Huascaran among the other tall peaks of the Cordillera like Huandoy, Hualcan, Copa will greet us. The quebrada or canyon of the Llanganuco Lake is also visible from the pass. We will trek to the lake and from there head back to Huaraz and thus finish our 6-day adventure in the Ancash region.