Setting up camp on Santa Cruz trek with guide in Cordillera Blanca
Panoramic view from Santa Cruz Guided Trek

Santa Cruz Trek

8 days

Setting up camp on Santa Cruz trek with guide in Cordillera BlancaHikers on Santa Cruz trek with guide in PeruCampsites with beautiful view of Peruvian Andes on Santa Cruz trekBeautiful lake on Santa Cruz trek with guide in PeruGroup of hikers on Santa Cruz trek with guide in PeruHiking the Andes on Santa Cruz trek with guide in PeruPunta Union Pass at 4750m in the Cordillera Blanca on Santa Cruz trek with guide in PeruBeautiful peak along the trail on Santa Cruz trek with guide in PeruCamping on the Santa Cruz trek with guide in Peru

Experience the power of Peru's Cordillera Blanca on this 8-day guided trekking adventure

Imagine yourself trekking in Peru’s stunning Cordillera Blanca. This trekking tour takes you through the Santa Cruz Valley north of Huarez, and is perfect for travellers who want a shorter tour that still has spectacular scenery. If you want to see some of the best trekking in Peru, you’ll love this trek in Parque Nacional Huascarán.

On this guided trek in Cordillera Blanca, you will immerse yourself in the nature and culture of the Santa Cruz and Ulta valleys in the Peruvian Andes on this eight-day guided trek. Challenge yourself to climb to new heights which will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Follow the trail through native plants, trees, and grasslands. You will even have the opportunity to visit traditional Quechua villages to experience a taste of daily life for these native people. Spend each night camped under the stars and wake up to inspiring mountain views. This guided trek in Peru is truly an unforgettable experience.

Since most of this tour is above 3,000m in elevation, it is important to spend a few days prior to the Santa Cruz Ulta trek getting acclimated to the altitude. A 3-4 day acclimatization hike in the vicinity of Huaraz is strongly recommended.

Highlights of the Santa Cruz Trek

Trek in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca on this stunning trekking tour.
Climb to stunning overlook points for view of spectacular snow-capped peaks.
Visit traditional Quechua villages and experience aspects of daily life there.
Hike along trails through native Andean plants, both wild and cultivated.

Prices

From $995USD
8 days
Difficulty
Guided
Inn and Camping
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Beautiful mountain views on Santa Cruz trek with guide in Peru

Santa Cruz Trek Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival day in Huaraz

Arrive in Huarez and check into your guesthouse. Enjoy exploring Huarez on foot as you get used to the altitude.

If you are coming from a lower elevation, it is strongly recommended to spend 2-3 days acclimatizing to the altitude, and you can book a 3-day acclimatization tour during the booking process, or you can plan your acclimatization before the trip on your own. The optional acclimatization tour you can book takes you out to some of the most beautiful hikes around Huarez.

You can also arrange bus travel from Lima to Huarez in the booking process.
Overnight Location: Morales Guesthouse
Distance: None
Meals:None

Day 2 Transfer to Cashapampa and hike to Llamacorral

Meet your transfer vehicle at your hotel for a 3.5 hour transfer to Cashapampa (2,900 m / 9,514 ft), a town just outside Huascarán National Park. The village of Cashapampa is the starting point for your Cordillera Blanca trek. A horseman and pack animals will meet you there, and after you have transferred your luggage, you will start the hike. Enjoy the trail as it wanders through native trees of the Andes in the Santa Cruz Valley. After about 4 hours of hiking, you will reach the Llamacorral campsite (3,760 m / 12,335 ft) which is your home for the night.
Overnight Location: Camping at Llamacorral (3,760m)
Distance: 3.5 hours driving, 4 hours hiking, 860 m ascent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Trek to Taullipampa

After breakfast, continue your trek along the trail through the Santa Cruz Valley. Along the way, you will see beautiful lakes including Ichiq Cocha (“small lake”) and Hatun Cocha (“big lake”). You will also enjoy a spectacular view of snow-capped peaks as you hike through the Cordillera Blanca, surrounded by native Andean flora. Continue hiking for about 5 hours until you reach tonight’s campsite at Taullipampa (4,200 m / 13,780 ft).
Overnight Location: Camping at Taullipampa (4,200m)
Distance: 5 hours, 440 m ascent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Trek to Huaripampa Valley via Punta Union Pass

Climb to new heights today! After breakfast, hike for about 3 hours up to the Punta Union Pass (4,750 m / 15,584 ft), which is one of the highest points on this tour. From this overlook, you can see a fantastic Cordillera Blanca vista, including the Taulliraju, Rinrihirka, and Paria peaks. Rest, take pictures and enjoy the view before continuing the trek for about 3 hours down to the campsite in the Huaripampa Valley (3,850 m / 12,631 ft).
Overnight Location: Camping at Huaripampa Valley (3,850m)
Distance: 6 hrs, 550 m ascent, 900 m descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Trek to Molinopampa via Colcabamba and Chalhua

Today is a wonderful day as you get to experience Andean village life. Begin today with a 2.5 hour hike down to Colcabamba (3,300 m / 10,826 ft) and visit the village of Huaripampa along the way. Continue walking through the Keshu Valley where you will visit the Quechua village of Chalhua. In Chalhua, you have the opportunity to meet with local residents, see their farms, and watch them perform daily activities. Keep your camera ready for this unique experience! Then, continue hiking for about 3 hours until you reach Molinopampa (3,600 m / 11,811 ft) where you will set camp for the night.
Overnight Location: Camping at Molinopampa (3,600m)
Distance: 5.5 hrs, 300 m ascent, 550 m descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Trek to Avalancha

Today’s hike is about 5 hours of climbing from Molinopampa up to Avalancha (4,500 m / 14,763 ft). The trail leads you through grasslands and fields of crops grown by the local people of the Keshu Valley. Throughout the hike, you will have inspiring vistas of the Contrahierbas mountains before you. When you reach Avalancha, at the base of the Contrahierbas mountains, you will stop to camp for the night.
Overnight Location: Camping at Avalancha
Distance: 5 hrs, 900 m ascent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Trek to Ulta Valley via Yanayacu Pass, then transfer to Huaraz

Get an early start on this last day of your Cordillera Blanca trekking tour. First, you have a 3.5 hour trek that takes you up to Yanayacu Pass (4,830 m / 15,846 ft) which is the highest point of your tour. From this overlook, take in the breathtaking sight of snow-capped peaks, including Huascaran, Chopicalqui, Contrahierbas, and Ulta. Pause to rest and take pictures of this viewpoint before continuing with a 3-hour hike down into the Ulta Valley (4,300 m / 14,107 ft). Here, a car will be waiting to take you back to Huaraz, with a stop in the traditional village of Shilla along the way.
Overnight Location: Morales Guesthouse, Huaraz
Distance: 6.5 hours, 330 m ascent, 530 m descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8 Departure

Today you’ll depart Huarez. Many guests take a bus back to Lima, though some stay on to complete another trek in the Huayhuash.
Overnight location: None
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

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Dates and prices of Santa Cruz Trekking tour

This trekking tour in Peru is always run as a custom tour for you and your group. Please contact us with your preferred starting date and group size so we can help you make incredible memories on this private group tour. This guided Santa Cruz trekking tour is typically run from April through September.

Prices for a Private Guided Santa Cruz Trek

Enjoy a private trek for just your group. Pricing is based on the number of guests on your trip.

  • Guided groups of 1: $2,950 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 2: $1,450 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 3: $1,295 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 4-7: $1,100 USD per person
  • Guided groups of 8-12: $995 USD per person
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Accommodation on Santa Cruz Trek Tour

You will be staying in a guesthouse / Inn in Huarez at the start and end of this tour. In between, you will be pitching camp at various scenic spots along the Santa Cruz trek. These camp sites allow you to enjoy spectacular views of the Cordillera Blanca and sleep under the stars. Camping allows you to enjoy the natural surroundings around you, as well as enjoy staying on the trail itself along the way.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a $125 USD supplement to have private rooms in hotels. Solo travelers not wishing to pay extra will be matched with another solo traveler or added as a third person in another room.

Hotels on Standard Tour

Morales Guest House ★★★

This pleasant hotel is located is a popular base pre and post-trekking. Located a 5-10 minute walk to the central plaza, this hotel has wonderful views of the Cordillera Blanca.

Night 2-6

Camping in Cordillera Blanca

You will be pitching camp at scenic spots along the Alpamayo Trek. Your campsites are owned by the rural communities in the Cordillera Blanca, and your staying there provides valuable revenue.

Morales Guest House ★★★

This pleasant hotel is located is a popular base pre and post-trekking. Located a 5-10 minute walk to the central plaza, this hotel has wonderful views of the Cordillera Blanca.

What’s included in the Santa Cruz Trek Tour

Meals

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

Accommodations

Accommodations along the trekking tour are included, as are accommodations in Huaraz before and after the trekking tour.

Transportation during the tour

This tour includes transportation at the beginning and end of the trek to and from Huaraz. You can also arrange transport from Lima to Huaraz (8 hour bus trip) during the booking process.

Also Included

  • English-speaking guide throughout the trip
  • Hotel taxes and service charges in Huaraz
  • Camp cook
  • Horseman, pack animals, and emergency horse
  • Camping equipment for collective use (sleeping tents, kitchen tent, dinning tent, bathroom tent, mattress, table and chairs)
  • Kitchen Service (all the crockery)
  • Celebration Meal
  • Park fee entrances
  • First Aid Kit
  • Luggage porterage using donkeys and/or horses
  • All logistics

Not included

  • Anything not listed as included
  • Flights to Peru
  • Transit to Huarez. First class bus ticket (bed seat) from Lima to Huaraz: $30 USD per person. Transfer from the airport to the bus station in Lima: $9 USD-$15 USD per person, depending on group size.
  • Personal trekking gear
  • Any food or beverages not listed
  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • Incidental personal expenditures, including any travel insurance, emergency evacuations and medical expenditures
  • Travel, personal, and medical insurance

Optional Extras

  • Bus Transfer from Lima: $30 USD per Person
  • Additional night in Huaraz: $85 USD per double room
  • 3 day, 2 Night Pre-trip Acclimatization hikes in Huaraz: $400 USD per person

Frequently Asked Questions about Santa Cruz Trek

Go2Andes is a family-operated tour operator whose owners were raised in a small Peruvian village called Llamac, located in the iconic Cordillera Huayhuash in the Andes.

Nearly all of Go2Andes’ guides are from the villages of the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Huayhuash, and they use this deep familiarity to their advantage.

Go2Andes has led clients from over 30 different countries and they aim to become friends with each client before returning them home.

Learn More

Santa Cruz Trek Map

Click map for a larger version

Is this tour for me?

This tour is rated as a 5 out of 5 for difficulty, largely due to the altitude of this circuit. Acclimatization to the altitude prior to the start of the tour is recommended.

Local Guide

Christian, Go2Andes
Christian
Huaraz, Peru

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