Alpamayo Trek (Huaraz)


Alpamayo Trek (Cordillera Blanca, Huaraz)

Alpamayo Trek (7-12 days depending on the route)

Distance: Dependent on route
Duration: 7 - 12 days
When to go: Best from May to mid-September (during the dry season).
Altitude: 2900m to 4860m
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Fees: S/.65 entrance fee to Huascaran National Park (valid for 1 month)

The Alpamayo Trek is a more difficult trek than the Santa Cruz trek both because it is much longer as well as including several passes above 4700m and some long ascents. However the northern side of Alpamayo is much less travelled and offers some spectacular views of the Cordillera Blanca. The route is fairly straightforward although there are no signposts so it is highly recommended that you take a guide or, at the very least, take an arriero (horse wrangler) to show you the way. It is also important that you are well acclimatized by spending at least 3 nights in Huaraz (or above 3500m) before starting the trek.

Map of Alpamayo Trek

Map of the Alpamayo Circuit trek in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru


Route 1 Cashapampa to Pomabamba
Day 1: Transport from Huaraz or Caraz to Cashapampa. Cashapampa to Hualcayan Pampa
Day 2: Hualcayan Pampa to Laguna Cullicocha
Day 3: Laguna Cullicocha to Laguna Jancarurish
Day 4: Day exploring Alpamayo Base Camp
Day 5: Laguna Jancarurish to Huillca*
Day 6: Huillca to Janca Pampa
Day 7: Janca Pampa to Pomabamba. Transport back to Huaraz or Caraz

Route 2 Cashapampa to Vaqueria
Day 1-6 as Route 1 above
Day 7: Janca Pampa to Laguna Huecrucocha
Day 8: Laguna Huecrucocha to Vaqueria. Transport back to Huaraz or Caraz

Route 3 Alpamayo Full Loop incorporates the Santa Cruz Trek (Cashapampa to Cashapampa)
Day 1-6 as Route 1 above
Day 7: Janca Pampa to Laguna Huecrucocha
Day 8: Laguna Huecrucocha to Tuctu Pampa
Day 9: Tuctu Pampa to Tuallipampa
Day 10: Tuallipampa to Llamacorral
Day 11: Llamacorral to Cashapampa. Transport back to Huaraz or Caraz

*many trekking companies spread Day 5 (Laguna Jancarurish to Huillca) over 2 days allowing time to visit Laguna Safuna.

Maps of the Region
Cordilleras Blanca & Huayhuash 1:100,000 published by Felipe Diaz and Alcides Ames gives a good overview of the basic trek routes
Alpenvereinskarte Cordillera Blanca Nord (Peru) 0/3a (Austrian Alpine Club) 1:100,000 most detailed and accurate map of the region
Both maps can be bought in Huaraz
South American Explorers have produced a good map of the route which can be bought at their office in Lima or Cusco.

Recommended Reading:

Trekking in the Central Andes (Lonely Planet) contains detailed day-by-day trail descriptions and maps
1st Edition published June 2003. ISBN 1-74059-431-2

Backpacking and Trekking in Peru and Bolivia. Hilary Bradt 7th Edition, also has a good description of the route as well as many others in the Cordillera Blanca.

Next >> Olleros to Chavin Trek (Cordillera Blanca, Huaraz)