Santa Cruz Classic Trek, Cordillera Blanca
Enjoy a Santa Cruz guided trek. This very popular trek ascends the Santa Cruz Valley and crosses the Punta Union Pass at 4750m, below spectacular peaks of the Cordillera Blanca and skirting turquoise glacial lakes. Beautiful Andean wildflowers are prolific during the trekking season.
Length: 4 Days Walk
Distance: 50 Km
Maximum Altitude: 4750m
Season: April – October
Day 1: You are picked up at your accommodation and begin the journey with a spectacular scenic drive along the Callejon de Huaylas Valley to the village of Cashapampa 2900m which is the starting point of the trek (3 hours drive). There are opportunities for photo stops along the way. From Cashapampa we start to ascend steeply for about 2 hours and then the track levels out, we climb steadily along the Quebrada Santa Cruz to camp at Llamacorral 3750m. 5 hours walk.
Day 2: An easier hike up the Santa Cruz valley to our camp at Taullipampa 4250m. 5 hours walk. It is generally flat and we ascend just the last hour towards the camp. We walk past the beautiful Jatuncocha Lake. Our camp is situated near at the base of the beautiful nevado Taulliraju Mountain and we are also surrounded by other peaks such as Paria, Artseonraju, Rinrijirca, Quitaraju and Alpamayo.
Day 3: We ascend steadily for about 3 hours on a good trail to Punta Union Pass 4750m. We can feel the effects of the altitude as we reach the pass. From the pass we have very close views of the big mountains of the Cordillera Blanca. From the pass, we have a long descent passing two small lakes and then coming down into the Huaripampa Valley to camp at Paria 3890m. 7 hours walk.
Day 4: An easy walk down the Quebrada Huaripampa Valley where we pass by many farm houses and see a lot of local people, children, sheep, caws, goats and donkeys on the path. We then ascend for about an hour to Vaqueria 3700m 4 hours walk. We take our private transport over Portachuelo Pass 4767m and then down the steep zigzag road to the beautiful lakes of Llanganuco. We then return to Huaraz. About 4 hours drive.
We highly recommend that you arrive in Huaraz at least 2 days 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 long ascents 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.
Rodolfo and Huaraz Treks met and exceeded our expectations in all respects. His lifelong knowledge of the Cordillera Blanca enriched our trip beyond the trek itself, including identification of birds, animals, mountains, and the local villages. He also was helpful in suggesting other activities for our time in the Huaraz area. Bright, personable, excellent English, quick judge of our abilities and interests. Evan Metcalf, USA.
For more information and prices contact us.