Huayhuash Circuit

Huayhuash Circuit

18 Views
19 Days
From

$4020

$3819

Huayhuash Circuit

19 Days Starting in Lima and ending in

Visiting: Peru

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:

HYC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

6 - 16

Physical rating:

Moderate to Challenging

From:
$4020
$3819 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$201

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

The Cordillera Huayhuash is one of the most spectacular ranges in the Peruvian Andes. It was a region that attracted worldwide attention following Joe Simpson's graphic account of his ascent of Siula Grande in his book 'Touching the Void'. This full circuit trek is the best way to fully appreciate the sheer scale of these snowcapped summits including Yerupaja, the second highest mountain in Peru. Our trip includes ample time for acclimatisation in the Cordillera Blanca and Huaraz before spending 12 days crossing high passes - all in the vicinity of 5000m. A highlight for all will be a side trip to Siula Grande Base Camp and an ascent of Cerro Bella Vista for incredible views. Each day provides an ever changing backdrop of soaring peaks including the distinctive needle like peak of Jirishanca and the impressive summit of Yerupaja at 6640m. At night we camp in tranquil locations alongside glacial lakes and alpine meadows in this unrivalled corner of the Andes. Anyone wishing to add a trip to Machu Picchu can easily do so, please ask for more details.

Highlights

  • Undertake the challenging 127 km circuit around the Cordillera Huayhuash in Northern Peru - some of the best trekking in South America

  • Explore Huaraz and the stunning Cordillera Blanca

  • Trek among towering peaks over 6000m, cascading glaciers, alpine meadows and azure glacial lakes

  • Behold views of incredible landscapes providing endless photo opportunities

  • Experience indigenous communities and fragile ecosystems

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Arrive Lima

If you’re flying into Lima today you will be met at the airport and transferred to the group hotel, where the remainder of the day is free at leisure for you to rest or start exploring. We plan to have a group briefing before dinner, however this will be subject to all group members arriving during the day – otherwise we will have the briefing tomorrow. Our hotel is in the Miraflores area, home to some of Lima’s best galleries, restaurants and shops. Steeped in fascinating history, Lima is South America’s oldest capital. It was in 1535 that the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro overthrew the Inca Empire and moved the capital from Cusco, establishing the new city of Lima. Peru’s busy capital is now a sprawling metropolis that’s blessed with world-class restaurants, brilliant museums and galleries, and a superb combination of Spanish colonial and 19th century European architecture. If you have time to visit a museum we would recommend the Museo de La Nacion or the Larco Herrera Museum.
Overnight in Lima.

Day 2 : Drive To Huaraz
Meals Included: B

Today we travel to Huaraz, our gateway to the stunning Cordillera Blanca. It’s a long day’s journey but we’ll be treated to some incredible scenery along the way. Groups operating with 10 or more people will have private transport. For smaller groups, we will travel with our guide on a comfortable tourist class air-conditioned coach which provides restrooms, reclining seats and touch screens.

Day 3 : In Huaraz, Day Hikes
Meals Included: B, L

We now have two days in Huaraz to explore this stunning region with some day walks—and at an elevation of 3,052 m (10,013 ft), our time spent in Huaraz is crucial to our safe acclimatisation. Huaraz is a scenic town set at the foot of the Cordillera Blanca with views directly up to the highest peak in Peru, Huascaran (6,768 m / 22,205 ft). There is a range of different walking excursions we can make from our base here for a couple of days, and these hikes will be invaluable acclimatisation for our trekking program ahead. As the gateway to the Cordillera Blanca, Huaraz is a bustling tourism hub and also serves as a pick up point for our crew and all supplies and equipment for the trek. On Day 3, we enjoy a 4hr loop walk on the Cordillera Negra to Laguna Wilcacocha (3,714m / 12,185ft). It is one of the simplest hikes to do, given its closeness to Huaraz, with some fantastic views over the impressive peaks of the Cordillera Blanca range. On Day 4, we make a day trip to Laguna Churup (4,485 m / 14,715 ft), a beautiful glacial lake set at the base of Nevado Churup (5,493 m / 18,022 ft). This is one of the most popular day treks in the Cordillera Blanca and takes around 4–5 hours to complete. Today’s trek is an excellent training and acclimatisation hike for our upcoming Huayhuash Circuit, and our efforts will be justly rewarded when we arrive at this stunning turquoise glacial lake.
Overnight in Huaraz.

Day 5 : Drive To Matachancha
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today we head south of Huaraz to our first campsite Matacancha (4,198 m / 13,730 ft). Today we get our first glimpses of the range, and we’ll pass Conococha Lake, the village of Chiquián and our trek finishing point at Llamac. After around 6 hours of driving, we’ll arrive at our first night’s camp at Matacancha, where our “arrieros” (muleteers) and “burros” (donkeys) will be waiting.
Overnight at campsite.

Day 6 : Trek To Mitucocha Via Cacananpunta Pass
Meals Included: B, L, D

Trekking to our first pass and crossing the divide to the east, we gain our first serious views of the mountains. Zigzagging steadily upwards over rocky and loose terrain above our previous night’s camp, the trail then becomes steep in a final hill across to the Cacanampunta Pass (4,684 m / 15,420 ft). From here we descend briefly before contouring the hillside to find the mountains at the north end of the Huayhuash opening out before us: Ninashanca (5607 m / 18,396 ft), Rondoy (5879 m / 19,288 ft), Jirishanca (6,094 m / 19,993 ft) and Jirishanca Chico (5445 m / 17,864 ft) among them. Our path descends to the village of Janca (4,244 m / 13,923 ft), where we'll find our camp by the river, surrounded by mountain vistas. In the afternoon there is an optional hike to Mitucocha Lake.
Overnight at campsite.

Day 7 : Trek To Lake Carhuacocha Via Carhuac Pass
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today we trek for around 6 hours, making our way to Lake Carhuacocha (4,180 m / 13,914 ft). After trekking south for 3-4 hours, steadily gaining altitude, we reach the Carhuac Pass (4,633 m / 15,256 ft). The trail then drops steeply for the next hour, passing a couple of dwellings at Yanayana and then a small lake, before the one-kilometre-long emerald green Laguna Carhuacocha comes into view. If we’re lucky we may see the Andean geese that are often spotted on the lake. Tonight’s camp is set above the lake, beneath the eastern flanks of Yerupaja Chico and Yerupaja, the latter being the centrepiece of the massif and the second highest mountain in Peru, after Huascaran (6,768 m / 22,205 ft). Yerupaja is the highest point of the vast Amazon basin watershed that feeds into the Rio Marañón, a principal tributary of the Amazon.
Overnight at campsite.

Day 8 : Trek To Huayhuash Village Via Siula Pass
Meals Included: B, L, D

Photographers are advised to wake up before dawn this morning to watch the sunrise over the Lake and Peaks from our campsite. The sun’s first rays catching the peak of Mt Yerupaja (6,634 m / 21,765 ft) certainly make the effort more than worthwhile. Today is a long gradual climb up a beautiful valley surrounded by the splendor of Yerupaja, Yerupaja Chico, Siula Grande, Jirishanca, Santa Rosa and Carnicero and past the lakes Gangrajanca, Siula and Quesillacocha. Then we climb steeply to the top of the rocky Siula Pass (4836m / 15,866 ft). Descend to Huayhuash Campsite (4,353 m / 14,281 ft) surrounded by other mountains such as Trapecio and the three Jurau’s peaks.
Overnight at campsite.

Day 9 : Trek To Viconga Lake Via Portachuelo De Huayhuash
Meals Included: B, L, D

We begin our day ascending towards the Portachuelo de Huayhuash Pass sitting at 4,750 (15,583 ft). We will be surrounded by remarkable views of the Cordillera Huayhuash's snowcapped Trapecio and Puscanturpa glacial peaks as well as the snow-capped peak, León Huacanan sitting at 5,427m (17,805 ft) in the Cordillera Raura.
We will begin our descent down the massive Viconga lagoon which is towered over by the glacial peaks of the Cordillera Raura. We will make our way to the Coñuc thermal springs 4,367m (14,327 ft) where we’ll spend the rest of our day relaxing in either of the two hot springs much needed after several days of trekking.
Overnight at campsite.

Day 10 : Trek To Huanacpatay Valley Via Cuyoc Pass
Meals Included: B, L, D

We commence the day with a 3 hour steady uphill walk to our second highest pass of the trek, Cuyoc, 5047m(16558 ft). Here we are welcomed with stunning southwest panoramic view of the Cordillera Huayhuash. The views are breathtaking; to the southeast we’ll see the Cordillera Raura’s 5,000 meter jagged peaks, and to our north we’ll see the giants of the Huayhuash mountain range.
After the pass, our trek gets easier with a steep 50 meter descent into the wide valley of the Quebrada Huanacpatay. Upon reaching the valley, we will continue on to our camp at Pampa Cuyoc, 4,530m (14,862ft).
Overnight at campsite.

Day 11 : Trek To Cutatambo Via Santa Rosa Pass
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today we cross the highest pass of our trek, the Santa Rosa Pass (5,078 m / 16,660 ft). We begin with a 3 hour ascent to the pass, where we’ll have views of three glacial lakes: Siula, Sarapo and Jurau. From the pass we begin our descent into the Jurau Valley, making our way to our camp at Cutatambo (4288 m / 14,068 ft), passing the beautiful lakes we saw this morning from afar.
Overnight at campsite.

Day Trek To Ascend Cerro Bella Vista
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today we’ll be using our camp at Cutatambo as a base while we pack a picnic lunch and head out on a day trek to the summit of Cerro Bella Vista (5,150 m / 16,896 ft). Today’s excursion offers what are arguably some of the best views in all of Peru! After a fulfilling day in the mountains we descend back to our camp at Cutatambo for the night.
Overnight at campsite.

Day 13 : Trek To Huayllapa Village Via Jurau Valley
Meals Included: B, L, D

This morning we take a half-day to descend the Jurau Valley at a leisurely pace, following the river to the pretty farmlands of Huayllapa (3,596 m / 11,79 ft). We have lunch just outside the village, then start climbing up the valley for another three hours to our beautiful camp at Huatiac (4293 m / 14,084 ft). From tonight’s scenic campsite we’ll have excellent views of the peaks of Diablo Mudo (5,223 m / 17,136 ft).
Overnight at campsite.

Day 14 : Trek To Gashpapampa Via Tapush Pass
Meals Included: B, L, D

Leaving camp, we trek northwards and wind our way up and over a lesser-defined trail to the plateau. After around three hours we cross the Tapush Punta Pass (4,790 m / 15,715 ft), continuing on past a small glacial lake and several alpine meadows as we make our way to our next campsite, a couple of hours away. Camp in Gashpapampa (4,556 m / 14,947 ft).
Overnight at campsite.

Day 15 : Trek To Jahuacocha Via Yaucha Pass
Meals Included: B, L, D

We start today with a 2,5 hour ascent to our last mountain pass of the trek, Yaucha pass (4,848 m / 15,905 ft), followed by an easy descent to Jahuacocha Lake (4,076 m / 13,372 ft), our camp for the next two days. If this circuit trek had a highlight it would most likely be the views from this camp, truly encapsulating the wild beauty of the Huayhuash range. There is a small community living nearby that can often be seen fishing for trout in the pristine lake in their spare time.
Overnight at campsite.

Day 16 : Rest Day At Jahuacocha
Meals Included: B, L, D

Today we have a rest day in our stunning camp at Jahuacocha. In the morning we’ll take a hike up to Solteracocha Lake where we’ll have really close views of the main glaciers of the Huayhuash range. In the afternoon we will try the famous ‘Pachamanca’—a traditional Peruvian BBQ feast of meat and vegetables cooked in the ground using hot stones.
Overnight at campsite.

Day 17 : Trek To Llamac And Drive To Chiquian
Meals Included: B, L, D

On the last day of our trek we see distinct changes in climate and flora as we descend through farmland to the warm, desert environment that we originally set out from. We follow a canal for 4 hours to our lunch stop, and then descend steeply for two hours to the small village of Llamac (3,320 m / 10,892 ft). We will met here and driven to Chiquian town.
Overnight at local hotel in Chiquian.

Day 18 : Drive To Lima
Meals Included: B

Today we make our way by private vehicle south to Lima. A full day’s driving of around 8 hours.
Overnight in Lima.

Day 19 : In Lima, Trip Concludes
Meals Included: B

After breakfast, our trip concludes. If you are flying home today, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your departure.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    5 nights hotel

  • 18 breakfasts, 15 lunches and 13 dinners

  • expert bilingual guide

  • airport transfers if arriving on Day 1 and departing on Day 19

  • group medical kit

  • comfortable and central hotels, primarily Casa Andina Classic hotels

  • all internal transportation

  • group camping equipment

  • the use of a gear pack including sleeping bag, fibre filled jacket and thermarest sleeping mat

  • Pack animals or porters on trek to carry personal gear

  • portable altitude chamber carried on trek

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What's Not Included

  • Cost of laundry and alcoholic beverages (except wine on last trek day)

  • Medical treatment

  • Airport taxes

  • International flights

  • Excess baggage costs

  • Visas

  • Travel Insurance

Accommodation

5 nights hotel
Most of the hotels and lodges we use can be described as 3 star accommodation, some of them are categorised as 4 stars. In smaller towns and villages hotel options are often limited and we might have to use more basic accommodation with a lower or without star rating. Please note that the star rating in South America is very fluid and can’t be compared to a western standard star rating, however you can be assured of clean, comfortable and well located lodgings. During the trekking section, enjoy our fully supported camping experience in quality two person tents with plenty of personal space and storage for your luggage. Our team are on hand to ensure your comfort and safety with a dining tent, separate cooking tent and where appropriate, toilet tent erected.

What You Carry

In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc. Porters or mules carry all group gear and your trek pack. As of December 2018, single-use plastic bottles and any other single-use plastics (bags, cups, straws, etc) are prohibited in the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, on the Inca Trail and all other protected natural areas in Peru. This regulation was established by the Ministry of Environment, following the Sustainable Tourism Regulation which aims to conserve these protected natural areas. Please ensure to bring your reusable water bottle on all our Peru trips. Water refill stations have been installed in areas near Machu Picchu and other national parks. Your guide will brief you where you can refill your water bottles with drinking water.

Grading

This trip is graded moderate to challenging and is suitable for fit and healthy people. Prior trekking is not necessary, although you would be expected to be comfortable in the outdoors and enjoy camping for successive days. These adventures involve trekking for up to 6 - 8 hours a day at a steady pace and may include longer days up to 10 hours. These trips may spend successive days at altitudes not generally exceeding 5,500m and the actual treks are usually between 10 and 15 days in duration. You will need a good level of fitness and be in good health. * Suggested preparation: 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to five times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended. To prepare for a walking holiday we recommend you take every opportunity to walk up and down stairs and/or hills, for leg strengthening and aerobic fitness. Please remember the fitter you are the more you will enjoy your holiday.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have offices on three continents which means your travelling companions will be just that – international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.

  • What about environmental impact?

    We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.

  • What should I pack?

    Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes. World Expeditions does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we do offer single supplements for private occupancy.

  • Are tips included in my trip price?

    Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.

  • Am I suited to small-group travel?

    We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers.

  • Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?

    While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Wayne Elliott Butt(New Plymouth, UK)  

Huayhuash Circuit

4 Oct 2022

This is a great expedition - one of the best. World Expeditions stands above the rest with excellent guides, horsemen, and cooks. However the terrain is rugged and the weather can be a challenge. We had days of sub zero temperatures requiring all the warm clothes in our possession. Our team of 9 worked well,together, led inspirationally by Javier and Roger. If there was any shortcoming it was the single salt shaker with small holes that blocked - and if that was the only issue you can tell it is a great trip. Wayne

M. Hefetz(Israel)  

Huayhuash Circuit

23 Oct 2019

I’ve done many treks in different locations including Nepal, India, Bhutan just to name few… and would say the Huayhuash is up there with the best. If you can afford it, please go & trek the Huayhuash Circuit Trek in Peru. It is one of the most beautiful, spectacular, breathtaking places I have ever seen. The trek is challenging but absolutely worth every step. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This trek would rank as one of my favourite all-time experiences. Every day on the trail offered something new and inspiring. The entire crew were superb and our guides Javier & Virgilio and local crew looked after us so well and made the experience even more special. I cannot recommend this trip with World Expeditions more highly. And finally thanks to the weather's god, it is important and we were lucky.

Luc Lapierre(Montreal, Quebec)  

Huayhuash Circuit

12 Oct 2022

Beautiful trek all along. Sight after sight. Javier great guide, great support team. Proud Peruvians, only prouder to lead us discovering their country. Marco great chef for lunches on the way and on campsites. Great variety un the menus.

N. Salsbury(Christchurch, New Zealand)  

Huayhuash Circuit

23 Oct 2019

Another excellent experience/trek provided by World Expeditions. Knowledgeable staff in the area certainly assisted with the whole experience. For those thinking should I shouldn't I - do it you will not regret it!! :)

Robin John Grant(New Plymouth)  

Huayhuash Circuit

13 Oct 2022

Javier and Roger guided us to a fabulous Huayyuash trip. It lived up to my high expectations. The equipment was top notch. The food was excellent and the staff looked after us superbly well. i would highly recommend

Michael Williams(Atlanta, Georgia)  

Huayhuash Circuit

5 Oct 2022

The trek was first rate. The support prior to departure could have been better [failed to follow-up with room reservations]. Distributing duffle-bags was not done in a manner that helped trekkers

Read all 6 reviews

Dates & Availability

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Wednesday - Sunday

Sep 04, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
$4020 $3819 (USD)

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Saturday - Wednesday

May 10, 2025 - May 28, 2025
$4230 $4019 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$212 (USD)

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Wednesday - Sunday

Sep 03, 2025 - Sep 21, 2025
$4230 $4019 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$212 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    World Expeditions allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform world expeditions, 70 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    World Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of world expeditions charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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