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DAY 1

Arrive Lima

You will be met at the airport by our local partner and taken to our group hotel in Mira Flores. This plush and trendy suburb will seem a world away from some of the suburbs we pass through on the way. Chances are your flight will arrive in Lima in the late afternoon or evening, so relaxing at the hotel is the only thing planned for today.

DAY 2

Lima

Alternative arrival day

This is a free day to explore central Lima a bit further or rest up for the rigours of the days ahead. A stroll around the outdoor shopping mall of “Larcomar”, situated on the sea cliffs, is a surprisingly pleasant way to get a taste of life in this part of the city. The views of the ocean are stunning.

For something a little more cultural a visit to the Presidential Palace and Plaza de Armas – old colonial center, is well worth the effort. The official ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony is performed every day at mid-day.

In the evening meet with your fellow hikers and Dan Murphy (AEA representative). Head out to local restaurant where you get to know each other over a delicious Peruvian dinner.

Includes breakfast

DAY 3

Lima to Huaraz

Experience an incredible bus journey today, as we leave the capital of Lima behind, climbing high into the Andes before arriving in vibrant Huaraz. This city has a great atmosphere, friendly people and fantastic local markets. At 3052 metres above sea level, Huaraz is surrounded by giant ice sculpted peaks- you are living in the Andes! At this altitude you may feel a bit light headed and short of breath so we take our time over the next two days to get acclimatized on some amazing local hikes. This will help you get used to the thinner air.

Stay in Huaraz hotel tonight before moving to the Lazy Dog Inn Eco Lodge in the heart of Cordillera Blanca tomorrow.

Includes breakfast.

DAY 4

acclimatisation day hike to laguna llaca

Hike 3-4 hours

Now we have reached the Andes you will be ready to start hiking! We leave Huaraz today and drive out to The Lazy Dog Inn Eco Lodge, our home for the next two nights. There you will enjoy fabulous food and hospitality and have the opportunity to relax whilst acclimatizing. Although a rough road at times, it’s a pleasant drive and on the way we will see the classic terraced farmland which supports a wide variety of crops including quinoa, wheat, corn and of course potatoes (Peru has over 100 different varieties of potatoes).

After leaving our luggage at the Inn, we continue by vehicle up the Llaca Valley and enter the the Huascaran National Park. It’s a short hike to the beautiful lake of Llaca which sits at 4,474 meters, hiking on a little further, we get close up views of the glacier. There are also incredible views of the peak of Ranrapalca (6162m).

Choose to head back to the Lazy Dog by car, or take a more direct line through rocky fields and enjoy the expansive mountain views.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 5

Acclimatisation hike to Lake Churup

hike 3-4 hours

A final day of acclimatisation before starting the trek. From Pitec we start hiking and enter Huascaran National Park. The path climbs steadily up a ridge, before a shorter steeper stretch on the final climb to the lake. The lake sits at an altitude of 4450 metres. Sit back and admire the view of the mighty peak of Nevado Churup (5493 metres). Take some time to explore the lakeshore before descending the same way.

We return to our fine lodgings at the Lazy Dog Inn, enjoy another great meal and rest. Tomorrow we depart for the Huayhuash.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 6

Huarez - Chiquian - Llamac - Cuartelhuain

Hike 2 hours (optional)

Today we are Huayhuash-bound and pass through to the villages of Chiquian, Llamac and finally Cuartelhuain, our first camp at 4,100m. This is around a 6 hour drive with the option to trek (2 hours) the final section to camp. At Cuartelhuain we meet the hard working crew of donkeys and the drovers (arrieros) who will trek with us and carry the gear!

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 7

Cuartelhuain - Cacanan Pass 4,700m - Mitucocha 4,100m

Hike 6 hours

Let’s get started! Today, our first official day on the circuit, is a ‘climb high and sleep low’ day and will help us acclimatisation further. Trek up to the first pass of Punta Cacanan (4700m) then descend to the campsite at the beautiful Lake Laguna Mitucocha (4150m). There will be plenty of time to relax at camp after the first day on the Huayhuash circuit. The views of the of the huge peaks of Ronday, Jirishanca, and Ninashanca are absolutely jaw dropping!

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 8

Mitucocha - Carhuac Pass 4,600m - Carhuacocha

Hike 6 hours

Trek up to the pass of Paso de Carhuac (4650m) then descend to camp at Laguna Carhuacocha (4250m) where we’re spoilt once again with incredible views from the campsite. Gaze across the lake to the peaks and ice fields of Siula and the peak of Yerupajá – the highest peak in the Huayhuash Range at 6,635 meters.

We may take an alternative route via an unnamed 4800m pass which has stunning views of Jirishanca Chica and passes by Lake Aguascocha, a beautiful and very deep lake. This is an unmarked route with a short section of scrambling – the guide will decide on the day if this route is appropriate.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 9

Carhuachocha - Siula Pass 4,800m - Huayhuash 4,250

Hike 6-8 hours

Once again there will be the choice of two routes today. The first and a slightly easier climb is up to the Carnicero Pass (4600m), followed by an easy descent to camp either at isolated Laguna Carnicero 4300m (also called Juraucocha) or to another camp in the open valley of Huayhuash (4250m).

Alternatively, take a more demanding route, climbing to a 4800m pass, before crossing above the glacier fed lakes of Siula and Quesillococha. The route puts you right in the heart of the surrounding peaks and glaciers with some of the best views in Peru. The lake often has ice floating on its surface – debris from the glaciers high above.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 10

Huayhuash - Portachuelo Pass 4,600m - Viconga (Hot spring)

Hike 6-7 hours

Pass through the now deserted Indian community of Huayhuash, before the long gradual climb up to Portachuelo Pass (4,650m). Enjoy the views of the remote Cordillera Raura and the snow topped peak Leon Huacanan. The trail follows the shore of the large lake of Viconga before heading up the valley a short distance to the campsite. Enjoy a sunset soak in the nearby hot spring at Viconga.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 11

Viconga - Cuyoc pass 5,000m - san antonio

Hike 5 hours

Today you will cross the highest pass of the trek, Cuyoc (5000 m). Being this high is an incredible experience, the views of the nearby hanging Puscanturpa glacier are awe inspiring. The climb to the pass takes around 3 hours. After enjoying the views of these huge Himalayan-like mountains you will begin the easing descent, eventually arriving at the San Antonio camp.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 12

San antonio - San antonio pass 4,990m - cutatambo

Hike 4 hours

Another day and another pass to cross! We make our way up to the San Antonio Pass and at just below 5000 meters this is the second highest pass of the trek. From the pass we take in the mighty views of Jurao, Sarapo, Siula Grande, Huacris, Santa Rosa, and Lake Jurao. We descend into the Sarapo Valley and make camp at Cutatambo.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 13

Rest day or touch the void...

Hike 5 hours (optional)

Choose either a well-earned rest day or trek to Lake Sarapococha. This was the base camp for Joe Simpson and Simon Yeates on their epic 1985 expedition to climb the Siula Grande. “Touching the Void” is the book that Joe Simpson later wrote about their successful but disastrous, and nearly fatal, climb of the 6,344-metre Siula Grande. Great views of the glacier and moraines that Joe dragged himself down with a broken leg!

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 14

Cutatambo - Huayllapa - Huatiac

Hike 6 hours

We pass by an impressive waterfall this morning before hiking down the Calinca Valley, passing through stone walled fields to the village of Huayllapa (3700m). From the village we climb to Huatiac (4300m).

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 15

HUATIAC – TAPUSH PASS 4,750M – YAUCHA PASS 4,800M – JAHUACOCHA

Hike 8 hours

Perhaps the most challenging day as we cross two passes, Punta Tapush (4750m) and Punta Yaucha (4800m), before descending to the spectacular Laguna Jahuacocha (4000m). On the way there is dramatic rock scenery and magnificent views of the surrounding peaks of Rondoy, Jirishanca and Yerupaja, the highest peak in the Huayhuash.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 16

JAHUACOCHA – SAMBUNYA PASS 4,750M – JAHUACOCHA

Hike 6 hours (optional

One last challenge! After breakfast we set off for a day hike and climb to the Sanbumya Pass o Cerro Amarrillo. A perfect vantage point to see almost all the mountains of the Huayhuash Range, before we return to camp at Jahuacocha.

As tomorrow will be our final “trek” day, this day is a special way to finish and will give lasting memories of this incredible region. Alternatively, if your legs and lungs just need a rest, you can relax at camp.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 17

JAHUACOCHA – PAMPA LLAMAC PASS 4,300M – LLAMAC – HUARAZ – HOTEL

Hike 5-6 hours

We make an early start today and climb gradually to our final pass – Pampa Llamac (4300m). This will be our final view point of the Huayhuash Range before we start our long descent to Llamac and the completion of the Huayhuash circuit!

Our bus will meet us here for the journey back to Huaraz – where hot showers, beds and other simple pleasures (beers!) will be waiting!

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 18

Huaraz

Free day

A day to relax, shop for souvenirs and gifts from local markets, and generally enjoy some indulgence after the rigours of the trek. Later in the afternoon we meet for a celebration dinner – Pachamanca (typical Peruvian cuisine).

Includes breakfast and dinner.

DAY 19

Morning bus from Huaraz to Lima

Homeward bound. We head for the bus station this morning and start our journey down the slopes of the Andes and on to Lima. Enjoy the sense of achievement and the feeling of oxygen-rich air as we descend!

Includes breakfast.

DAY 20

Depart Lima

If you are heading home today, you will be transferred to the airport after breakfast in time for your departure.

Includes breakfast.