- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The Wilcacocha Viewpoint hike perfectly embodies the term "short but sweet." Not only does it grant you the chance to acclimatize to the altitude, but it unveils quintessential Peruvian views without elevating your heart rate too much. You'll travel through Cordillera Negra's foothills until you reach the small lake of Wilcacocha, and from here, you'll meander farther to Huanca, where snow-swept peaks lining Cordillera Blanca will enchant.
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Route Description for Wilcacocha Viewpoint
This relatively easy route makes for a wonderful family-friendly activity! The Wilcacocha Viewpoint hike is the perfect way to ease into Peru’s altitude level, especially if you plan on doing harder hikes later on.
You may be under the impression that this hike doesn't encompass exceptional views due to the short route. Still, it carries you to views of the snow-covered peaks hemming the Cordillera Blanca mountain range and to knockout of a lake: Wilcacocha.
Begin your hike to the Wilcacocha Viewpoint at Santa Cruz, which sits at 3,410 m. Walk along a narrow path between typical houses, and corn and wheat fields in the foothills of the Cordillera Negra. After approximately 1 hour, you'll arrive at the small lake known as Wilcacocha, which sits pretty at 3,700 m. Admire the various types of birds spattering this area. If you walk a little farther to the right, you'll reach a clear viewpoint of the Cordillera Blanca. You'll even get to see the Huascaran (6,768 m)—this is the highest peak in Peru! As well as the Huantsan (6,370 m), which is the third highest peak of the Cordillera Blanca. But the hike doesn't end here!
Ascend for 1 more hour to Huanca, which is located at 3,800 m. From here, you can better appreciate the snow-capped peaks sweeping the Cordillera Blanca. Take the same path back to Santa Cruz.
Find even more great hikes in Huaraz:
Insider Hints for Wilcacocha Viewpoint
- Bring food and water from Huaraz since it’s tough to find stops along the way.
- You may encounter some stray pups as you hike. It may help to carry hiking poles, which you can use as a defence mechanism if needed as well as for support on the descent.
- Wear clothes for cold and heat.
Getting to the Wilcacocha Viewpoint Trailhead
Hop on your car and pass by the towns of San Pedro and Huamarin before reaching Santa Cruz, where the hike begins.
Wilcacocha Viewpoint Elevation Graph
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Wilcacocha Viewpoint Reviews
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