Day 01 : Lima / Huaraz
Early morning departure by first-class coach to the city of Huaraz, located about 400 Kms. north of Lima. Following the Panamerican Highway north across Lima we will pass several lush green valleys that cut through the coastal desert until we reach the town of Pativilca. Turning inland the main road winds its way up along the Fortaleza River for a good two hours. Finally we reach the Pass of Conococha (4,000 m.a.s.l. / 13,120 ft.) where we will get our first glimpse of the Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world. From here the road descends slowly along the Santa River as we pass a vast area of highland pastures. As we approach Huaraz, the vegetation changes into that of an interandean valley, surrounded by clusters of red-tiled houses. Arrival at a hotel and overnight at 3,000 m.a.s.l. / 10,000 ft. Dinner on your own.
Day 02 : Huaraz / Vaqueria
Leaving early in the morning we drive down along the Santa Valley passing several villages until we reach present-day Yungay. The road winds slowly up into the gully between the Huascarán massif and the Huandoy three-pronged peak. As we reach the overhanging valley we arrive at the boundary of the National Park of Huascarán. The area is known as Llanganuco and has two turquoise colored lakes. Just past these lakes we will arrive at Quebrada Demanda, a small valley where we will undertake a short hike. In the early afternoon we continue on this narrow road as it twists and turns to the Pass at Portachuelo of Llanganuco at 4,750 m.a.s.l. (15,580 ft.) From this point, if the evening is clear, we will get a spectacular view of Mt. Huascarán, Huandoy, Pisco and Chacraraju, the latter being one of the most difficult mountains to climb in Peru. As the evening falls, we drive down to our first campsite at Vaqueria. Time: 2 hours. Distance: 3 kms.
Day 03 : Vaqueria / Tuctu
The day starts with a leisurely walk down towards Colcapampa. Before we reach the village, a trail will make its way to the left over a small ridge into the Huaripampa valley. As we slowly head up this valley past small settlements of farmers, surrounded by agricultural activity and andean vegetation, the snow-capped peaks of Paria and Taulliraju will come into view, passing meadows and fields along the way. Camp in the vicinity of Paria or Tuctu, in the heart of Huascarán National Park. (Time: 5-6 hours. Distance: 7 Kms.)
Day 04 : Tuctu / Taullipampa
The trail starts ascending towards Punta Union, a pass at 4,700 m.a.s.l. (15,711 ft.) This old trail was heavily used in pre-columbian and Colonial times as a route for transporting goods from the eastern side of the Andes to the main valley. As we approach the pass, Mt. Taulliraju will loom above us and on the other side its glacial lake and glacier will add color and contrast to the amazing view down the Santa Cruz Valley. The peaks of Santa Cruz, Quitaraju, Artesonaju, will come into view as well as the two lakes of Ichicocha and Jarhuacocha. The trail descends into Taullipampa or Quiswarpampa, where we will camp at 4000 masl (13200 ft.). (Time: 7 hours. Distance : 8.5 Kms.)
Day 05 : Taullipampa / Llamacorral
Past the side-valley of Arhuaycocha with a possibility to view Mt. Alpamayo, we continue down the Santa Cruz Valley. The landscape changes, and scree slopes appear on each side of the now marshy meadow as well as rock boulders fallen from the eroded walls above us. Finally towards the end of the day we walk out of the ever-narrowing gully into Llamacorral, where we will camp. (Time: 6 hours. Distance: 6 Kms.)
Day 06 : Llamacorral / Cashapampa / Huaraz
A steep descent brings us to Cashapampa in the early morning. We meet a vehicle that will take us back to Huaraz saying good-bye to our the herders as the road winds slowly down to the main valley, arriving in the afternoon. Dinner on your own, overnight stay at hotel. (Time: 2 hours. Distance: 3 Kms.)
Day 07 : Huaraz / Lima
Morning bus ride to Lima, box lunch included on the way. Late afternoon arrival in Lima (end of program). Transfer provided for your connecting flight.