Alpamayo Base Camp Trek
Our Alpamayo Base Camp Trek is a challenging trekking circuit that ascends through Andean environment with panoramic views of the highest mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, crossing several passes, spectacular valleys with abundant flora and fauna and the opportunity to see the famous Nevado Alpamayo Mountain 5947m, the most beautiful mountain in the world.
This trek provides access to the remote inner sanctum of peaks, glaciers and lakes in this range.
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 few alpacas and llamas, 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: 9 nights and 10 days trek
Grade: Strenuous, Up to 7-8 hours physical activity each day
Maximum Altitude: 4860m
Season: May – September
Day By Day Itinerary
Day 1: Huaraz – Llanganuco Lakes – Portachuelo Pass – Vaqueria – Paria
You are picked up at your accommodation and begin the journey with a spectacular scenic drive along the Callejon de Huaylas Valley and then into the Huascaran National Park, past the turquoise Llanganuco Lakes and over the Paso Portachuelo de Llanganuco Pass 4785m and then down to Vaqueria (3700m) which is the starting point of the trek 4 hours drive. There are opportunities for photo stops along the way. From Vaqueria our equipment is loaded onto the donkeys and we have a 5 hours hike on a gradually rising path to our campsite in the Paria Valley 3890m.
Day 2: Paria – Tuctubamba
A short hike today. We walk up the valley for 2 hours to camp at Tuctubamba 4100m. We can do a side trip on the way and climb up to the top of Punta Union Pass at 4750m to have fantastic views down into the Santa Cruz Valley. 5 hours walk extra.
Day 3: Tuctubamba – Alto de Pucaraju Pass – Huecrococha Lake
We ascend steeply on a rocky path to the top of Paso Alto de Pucaraju Pass 4640m. From the top of the pass there are lovely views of many mountains such as Taulliraju, Chacraraju, Paria and many others. We then walk down through lupin covered hillside to camp at Laguna Huecrococha Lake. 4000m. 7 to 8 hours walk.
Day 4: Huecrococha – Tupa Tupa Pass – Jancapampa
We ascend towards Paso Tupatupa Pass 4360m with views of the massive snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca and then we have a long descent to camp at the head of the Jancapampa Valley at 3700m. 7 to 8 hours hike. We will see many local people and kids wondering around the campsite.
Day 5: Jancapampa – Yanacon Pass – Huillca
We ascend a long gradual valley for 3 hours and then we climb steeply to reach the rocky Pass Paso Yanacon 4610m for another 2 hours. We go down to our camp at Huillca 4100m. 7 to 8 hours hike.
Day 6: Huillca – Mesapata Pass – Gara Gara Pass – Jancarurish
We have to cross two passes today. The first pass is a gradual climb to the lower pass of Mesapata 4460m, we then traverse and continue climbing to the higher pass Paso Gara Gara 4830m from where we have great views of the big mountains Jancarurish, Quitaraju, Alpamayo and Laguna Jancarurish lake. We descend to camp at Jancarurish 4250m at the foot of the majestic Alpamayo. 7 to 8 hours hike.
Day 7: Rest Day
We have another night at Jancarurish Camp to marvel the beauty of Alpamayo. Walk up the moraine to Laguna Jancarurish Lake for close up views of Alpamayo. 3 hours round trip or continue climbing towards Alpamayo Base Camp 4500m. 5 hours return hike or rest in camp and enjoy the sun.
Day 8: Jancarurish – Ruina Pampa – Plataforma
A short walk today. We descend a flat valley for about 2 hours and then hike up for one hour to our camp at Plataforma 4250m.
Day 9: Plataforma – Vientunan Pass – Osoruri Pass – Cullicocha Lake
Today is a long and demanding day. First, we start climbing up on a well-used trail towards Paso Vientunan Pass 4770m and then we descend and ascend again to the second pass Paso Cullicocha 4860m from where we have lovely views of the surrounding mountains. We then descend to the fabulous lake Laguna Cullicocha 4650m from where we can admire the majestic peaks of Nevados Santa Cruz before descending to our last camp at Wishcash 4350m. 8 hours walk.
Day 10: Wishcash – Hualcayan – Huaraz
We descend a long zigzag trail to the village of Hualcayan 2900m and then drive back to Huaraz. 4 hours walk and 3 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 strenuous. We trek approximately six to eight hours per day with several long ascents and descents.
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.
It was a very well planned trip, with excellent guiding services, cooking and donkey handling. Rodolfo went out his way to explain or interpret what we were seeing. Very personable as well. Peter Greene, USA.
We also offer Alpamayo Base Camp Trek in 8 and 9 days. For more information and prices contact us.