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Mountain Climbing in Peru

Home > Adventure Activities in Peru > Mountain Climbing in Peru

Page Contents

Introduction

Cordillera Blanca

Arequipa

Cusco

Introduction

Without a doubt the best place for mountaineering in Peru is the spectacular Cordillera Blanca which is accessed from the town of Huaraz. There are plenty of peaks over 5,000m and an incredible 33 peaks over 6,000m including Huascaran which at 6,768m is Peru's highest peak.

The more remote Cordillera Huayhuash is 4 hours by bus from Huaraz and has 7 summits over 6,000m, the highest of which is Yerupaja at 6,634m.

In Arequipa, the most popular climb is El Misti, a snow-capped volcano that dominates the city. This 5,825m high climb can be undertaken in 2 days and does not require any previous mountaineering experience so long as you are accompanied by an experienced guide.

In the Cusco district, ascents on the mountains of Salkantay (6,271m) and Ausangate (6,384m), in the Cordilleras Vilcabamba and Vilcanota respectively, are made by a few groups each year. Both of these climbs should be planned well in advance and are suitable only for relatively experienced climbers.

If you are planning an expedition to climb a mountain in Peru, becoming a  member of the South America Explorers is an excellent idea. You can use the services of their club houses in Lima and Cusco which include an extensive library of books, maps and trip reports. (www.samexplo.org)


Cordillera Blanca

The Cordillera Blanca is truly a climbers paradise. Many people come to Peru just to visit this region and can sometimes reach several summits over 6,000m in a two week stay. Climbing is best done during the dry season (June to September) with optimum conditions usually in July. Acclimatization is essential so allow between 4 days and 1 week before starting the ascent depending on the height and difficultly of the mountain.

The peaks of Ishinca (5,534m) and Pisco (5,752m) are suitable for inexperienced climbers. Alpamayo (5,957m), generally regarded as Peru's most beautiful mountain, is suitable for intermediate climbers, while Huascaran (6,768m) can prove quite a challenge.

Huaraz is the largest town in the area and the most popular place to use as a base for exploring the surrounding mountains. There are many trekking and climbing companies in Huaraz that can help you plan your trip, provide suitably experienced guides and rent out equipment. However more serious expeditions should bring their own equipment. A great source of information can be found in the Casa de Guias (House of Guides) which is located in the Plaza Ginebra in Huaraz Tel (51 44) 72-1811. They keep a list of registered guides.

Recommended tour companies include:-

Pyramid Adventures, Luzuriaga 530, Huaraz. Tel (51 44) 72-1864 Fax (51 44) 72-2525

Monttrek, Luzuriaga 646, 2nd floor, Huaraz. Tel (51 44) 72-1124.

Another good company is Pony Expeditions in Caraz, run by Alberto Cafferata. Caraz is a small, quiet town 68km north of Huaraz and makes an excellent base for trekking and climbing.

Cordillera Blanca: Peaks which can easily be climbed by trekking
Peaks Duration (Days) Altitude Months for Climbing
Hatun Montepuncu 4 5,415 mts. all year
Huarapasca 2 5,530 mts. all year
Ishinka 3 5,534 mts. all year
Maparaju 4 5,326 mts. all year
Pastoruri 1 5,220 mts. all year
Pisco 3 5,752 mts.

all year

Rima Rima 2 5,203 mts.

all year

Tuco 2 5,454 mts. all year
Urus 3 5,420 mts. all year
Vallunaraju 3 5,686 mts. all year
Wamashraju 3 5,434 mts. all year

Cordillera Blanca: Peaks which can be climbed with moderate difficulty
Peaks Duration (Days) Altitude Months for Climbing
Aquilpo 4 5,050 mts. May to Sept
Caullaraju 3 5,597 mts. May to Sept
Copa 4 6,137 mts. May to Sept
Champara 7 5,878 mts. May to Sept
Chequiaraju 4 5,512 mts. May to Sept
Hualcan 4 6,122 mts. May to Sept
Paria 4 5,500 mts. May to Sept
Raria 3 5,576 mts. May to Sept
San Juan 4 5,884 mts. May to Sept
Tocllraju 4 6,052 mts. May to Sept
Urhuashraju 5 5,544 mts. May to Sept
Yanapaccha  5 5,393 mts. May to Sept

Cordillera Blanca: Peaks which can be climbed with a degree of difficulty
Peaks Duration (Days) Altitude Months for Climbing
Alpamayo 8 5,957 mts. June to Sept
Artesonraju 5 6,025 mts. May to Sept
Caraz 6 6,020 mts. May to Sept
Cayesh 8 5,424 mts. June to Sept
Contrahierbas 6 6,050 mts. June to Sept
Chacraraju 8 6,108 mts. June to Sept
Chinchey 7 6,309 mts. June to Sept
Chopicalqui 5 6,354 mts. May to Sept
Huandoy Norte 6 6,393 mts. June to Sept
Huascaran 6 6,768 mts. May to Sept
Huastsan 6 6,395 mts. June to Sept
Oxshapalca 6 5,881 mts. June to Sept
Palcaraju 5 6,272 mts. June to Sept
Piramide  Garcilazo 6 5,865 mts. May to Sept
Pucaranra 7 6,156 mts. June to Sept
Pacahirca 7 6,088 mts. June to Sept
Quitaraju 7 6,036 mts. June to Sept
Ranrapalca 6 6,162 mts. June to Sept
Rataquenua 5 5,338 mts. June to Sept
Santa Cruz 8 6,241 mts. June to Sept
Taulliraju 8 5,830 mts. June to Sept
Ulta 7 5,782 mts. May to Sept


Arequipa

When arriving in Arequipa you cannot help but be impressed by the beautiful conical snow-capped volcano which dominates the skyline. This volcano, known as El Misti, is 5,825m high and is suitable even for inexperienced climbers provided you are accompanied by a professional, experienced guide. The best months to make an assent are July to September, although it can be climbed year round. Provided that you are suitably acclimatized you can make the ascent and return to Arequipa in 2 days.

Another fairly easy mountain to climb which is close to Arequipa is Chachani (6,075m). If you are a fairly inexperienced climber but want to be able to say that you've reached a summit in excess of 6,000m then this is probably the best place in the world to start.

There are many other spectacular peaks to climb particularly in the direction of the Colca Canyon. These include Hualca Hualca (6,025m) and Ampato (6,380m).

When it comes to recommending a tour agency in Arequipa, Zarate Expediciones comes up top of the list. This company was founded in 1954 so they've had plenty of experience. Zarate Expediciones can arrange a variety of climbs of all the local peaks, equipment rental and has a 24 hour mountain rescue service.

Arequipa: Principal Mountains

Peaks

Duration (Days)

Altitude Months for Climbing
Coropuna 5 6,425 all year
Solimana 5 6,320 all year
Ampato 3 6,318 all year
Chachani 1 or 2 6,075 all year
Hualca-Hualca 3 6,025 all year
Misti (Volcano) 1 or 2 5,825 all year
Sabancaya (Volcano)  3 5,976 all year
Ubinas (Volcano) 1 or 2 5,672 all year
Pichu-Pichu 1 or 2 5,664 all year
Mismi 3 or 4 5,597 all year

Cusco

The Cordilleras Vilcabamba and Vilcanota provide some exciting climbing in the province of Cusco. However, most of the climbs are technically difficult and there are very few opportunities for inexperienced climbers.

All serious expeditions should be planned well in advance with June to September being the best months to make an attempt on a summit.

There are very few tour agencies in Cusco with suitable experience of mountaineering. Of those that come recommended Peruvian Andean Treks is perhaps the best, and a useful source of information. They also hire out equipment for climbing.

Cusco: Principal Snowcapped Peaks
Peaks Duration (Days) Altitude Months for Climbing
Salkantay 10 6,271 June-Sept
Ausangate 10 6,385 June-Sept

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Home *About Us * Peru Highlights * Volunteer Work & Community Projects * Travel Info * Photo Gallery * Ecotourism Guide * Travel Stories * Language Schools * Books * Handicrafts * Links * Search * Contact Us

Tour Operators in Peru * Overseas Tour Operators * Mountain Biking * Rafting * Climbing * Birdwatching

TREKKING IN PERU: Classic Inca Trail / Short Inca Trail / Salkantay / Ausangate / Lares / Choquequirao / Vilcabamba / Huaraz 

DESTINATION GUIDE: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley  / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Manu / Tambopata

RECOMMENDED HOTELS: Lima / Cusco / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley / Arequipa / Puno / Huaraz / Nazca / Iquitos / Jungle Lodges

  

 

 

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