Best time: May to September
Timing: 7 days
Grade: moderate / difficult

Experience your first mountain climbing on Vallunaraju which is suitable for beginners. The Santa Cruz trek is a good walk for acclimatization and is one of the most popular circuits in the Huaraz area.

Located in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range, which begins approximately in the middle of Peru and runs southwards towards Bolivia and Chile, the majority of this National Park region sits over 4000 meters above sea level.


Day A: Arrive Huaraz
Day B: Acclimatization walk
Day 1: Drive from Huaraz to Cashapampa – 3 hours. Walk up the Santa Cruz Valley, following the river to camp at Llamacorral (3750m)
Day 2: A steady walk up the valley to our camp at Taullipampa (4250m). During the walk up the valley you see Santa Cruz (6259m) and also Alpamayo (5947m) comes into view. We walk past two lakes, first the small Ichiccocha then the larger Jatuncocha. From our camp we have views of more high peaks – Taulliraju, Paria, Artseonraju, Rinrijirca.
Day 3: Optional extra night at Taullipampa. Visit Alpamayo Base Camp, the lake Arhuaycocha, climb Centillo Peak or rest day
Day 4: Climb to the Punta Union pass (4750m) from where there are very close views of the surrounding mountains. We can also look back down the Santa Cruz Valley from where we have walked. From the pass we’ll descend past two small lakes to camp in the Huaripampa ravine.
Day 5: Walk down the Huaripampa ravine, then climb up to the settlement of Vaqueria 4 – 5 hours walk. We then take a car over the high Portachuelo pass and down a steep zig zag path to our campsite Yuraccoral near the beautiful lake Llanganuco (2½ hours by car), then after having lunch we’ll continue straight to Huaraz 2 hours down the road.
Day 6: In the morning we’ll leave Huaraz on a private minivan to a hut at the mouth of Llaca valley, here we’ll pack our climbing gear before hiking for three hours up a steep path to Moraine Camp (4800m). accompanied by our porters who will help us to transport our mountain equipment.
Day 7: We’ll start very early in the morning, walking for 20 minutes to the glacier.  Then we’ll put our climbing gear on and continue on a fairly steep climb (30º – 45º) all the way up to the Vallunaraju summit (5686m). Having reached the summit we’ll descend to the moraine and pack our gear to go down to the road where a car will be waiting to drive us back to Huaraz.
Day 8: Return to Lima

Contact: for more information and prices for these Peru treks and climbing