Quilcayhuanca to Cojup Valley Trek
This trek takes in some of the most scenically dramatic and little-walked valleys of the Cordillera Blanca Mountain range. The trek route takes us past two jewel-like glacial lakes and also provides excellent opportunities for watching Condors. There are superb mountain views throughout. The walk includes a hike to the beautiful Laguna Churup Lake at 4450m.
The valleys are great places to observe native Andean alpine flora, especially the many wildflowers that bloom during the trekking season, including buttercups, ranunculus, lupines and several species of orchids. Many encrustations of deep-red bromeliads can be seen along the track, sprouting from boulders and on rock faces. Fauna includes mountain caracaras, falcons, Andean geese and ducks, hawks, hummingbirds, American kestrels, puna ibis, Andean swifts, Andean foxes and mountain vizcachas. Sightings of the mighty condor are possible.
Length: 4 Days Walk
Maximum Altitude: 4900m
Season: All year round
Day By Day Itinerary
Day 1: Huaraz – Churup Lake – Pitec
You are picked up at your accommodation and begin the journey with a spectacular scenic drive, passing small villages of Unchus and Llupa to Pitec 3880m (1 hour drive). There are opportunities for photo stops along the way. While our staff sets up camp at Pitec, we start our hike up to Laguna Churup 4450m Lake. Today’s walk is on a well formed trail up to Laguna Churup. 5 hours walk.
Day 2: Pitec – Cruce de Cayesh
An easy walk up the Quebrada Quilcayhuanca Valley to camp at the head of the valley at Cruce de Cayesh 4100m at the foot of Andavite mountain (4 hours hike). In the afternoon, we can hike into the Quebrada Cayesh valley, which offers very close views of the snow-capped mountains of San Juan, Cayesh and Chopiraju.
Day 3: Cruce de Cayesh – Huapi
We ascend gradually to our high campsite on a plateau at 4750m just at the foot of Nevado Huapi. 5 to 6 hours walk.
Day 4: Huapi – Chocu Pass – Cojup Valley – Portada – Huaraz
We ascend to Chocu Pass at 5100m with great views of some of the big mountains of the Cordillera Blanca such as Chinchey, Pucaranra, Huantsan, Ranrapalca, Palcaraju and many other mountains. From the pass, we have a long descent down into the Cojup Valley and then an easy flat walk down the valley to the road. 8 hours walk and 1 hour drive.
We highly recommend that you arrive in Huaraz at least one day before the trek departs and spend time doing day hikes to higher altitude, this will help with acclimatization to the new altitude. We can help organise day hikes for you.
Grading & Fitness
In order to get the most out of this trek you should be in good physical condition. It is not easy to grade the fitness level required for the treks, since it is a subjective matter. However, we have classified this trek as moderate. We trek approximately five to eight hours per day with a long ascent and one long descent.
We encourage everyone to walk at their own pace, it is not a race and we want you to enjoy it. There is no pressure to keep up with the fastest walkers and there is always a guide at the rear of the group. On the trek all personal belongings other than a day-pack are carried for you.
Thanks for a wonderful trip. I would certainly recommend you to others. Jim Rubingh, USA.
For more information and prices contact us.