Ultimate Cordillera Huayhuash Trek

Trekking, Hiking, Camping
12 Explorer Chicks
14 Days


Read HERE for info on 2023 Dates.


Hike one of the most challenging, yet beautiful alpine treks in the world! Spanning 14 days, our Cordillera Huayhuash Trek Adventure in Peru is the wild outdoor woman’s Shangri-La. We’ll take you on a circuit trek deep into this remote, breathtaking (sometimes literally!) paradise.

Epic Huayhuash Trek in Peru

The entire Huayhuash circuit is above the treeline, giving you a panoramic view of sheer mountain peaks, pristine glacial lakes, and the occasional soaring condor. Yes, with its extreme altitude in some of the highest mountains on Earth, this hike is one of the most physically and emotionally challenging treks on the planet. But with great effort comes great reward. You’ll find it to be one of the most transformative hikes of your life.

This Huayhuash Cordillera Trek Adventure is our longest and hardest hiking trip. (But hey, some journeys just aren’t worth the short cuts.) Over the course of your 9-day, hand-selected route, saunter past the circuit’s most stunning landscapes. Witness unreal vistas visible only by trekking south and counterclockwise from Queropalca to Pocpa. Yerupaja, second highest mountain in Peru (21,766′), will glisten in the distance.

Deluxe Camping and Hot Springs

Turquoise lakes greet you as you unzip your tent door from your cozy sleeping bag. Midway on the trip, hot springs are your saving grace. Cue imagining plunging your sore muscles into natural hot springs.

Local Guides and Support

With the stories of our local guide, you’ll have a deeper and more connected understanding of the region. The mountains, the meanings of the Quechua names, and the flora and fauna thriving in the high altitude environments will become alive. Our team of porters, cooks, and pack animals will haul the heavy stuff. You can focus on getting your keister up the next 16,000′ pass.

This trek is not for the faint of heart. It requires extensive training prior and demands every bit of grit throughout with the entire adventure. It is in a high altitude environment. Explorer Chicks with the strength, courage and fortitude to complete this trek will be immensely rewarded.

Where is Cordillera Huayhuash? (And how the heck to you pronounce it?)

The Cordillera Huayhuash mountain range is part of the Andes Mountains in Peru. Huayhuash, pronounded “way-wash”—you’re welcome, comes from the Quechua word for either weasel or squirrel. Protected by the Cordillera Huayhuash Reseved Zone since 2002, it has quickly become the mecca for serious hikers everywhere.

Day 1: Welcome to Peru! 

Welcome to Lima – the capital city of Peru! Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to our hotel in Miraflores. Feel free to explore during the day taking in the vibrant culture, the shopping, and the world class dining. We’ll meet as a group in the lobby in the evening for introductions and to have a nice welcome dinner together. Your Explorer Chick guide will review the upcoming week and kick start the SHE-nanigans.

Accommodation: Hotel, Lima

Meals: Welcome Dinner

Day 2: Lima to Huaraz by Bus

It’s an easy morning before we board our bus for the long drive north to Huaraz. Settle in with a good book, podcast, or get to know your new Explorer Chick Sistas!

Transfer Time: Approximately 7.5 hours

Accommodation: Hotel, Huaraz

Meals: B, L

Day 3: Hike to Rajucolta Lake

GOOD MORNING MOUNTAINS! Today we drive southeast of Huaraz to Huascaran National Park for approximately 2 hours. Along the way, you’ll catch glimpses of Cashan (18,654′) and Shacsha (18,710′). You’ll also see traditional adobe houses, local Quechua people wearing their traditional clothes, and colorful farmlands with wheat, lupine and potatoes.

From the gate, we start with a gradual path following a grassy trail along the mountain stream up to a beautiful glacier lake (13,944′) just below the majestic Huantzan Mountain (20,981′), the second highest mountain in the Cordillera Blanca. Break out the camera and capture all the Glamour Shots before just melting onto the ground in complete awe.

Driving Hours: 4 Hours

Hiking Hours: 5 Hours

Accommodation: Hotel, Huaraz

Meals: B, L

Day 4: Churup Lake Hike

This morning, we drive up to Pitec with views of traditional villages such as Unchus and Llupa outside our windows.

The hike begins along a small ridge, giving you breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and snow-capped peaks of the central part of the Cordillera Blanca – the highest snow-capped mountain range in the tropics. You’ll hike through a small Quenual forest and scramble up a trail next to a stream, before finally reaching Lake Churup (15,000′), a beautiful, deep blue lake at the foot of the icy peak of the Churup Mountain.

You’ll forget Chipotle even existed, as you munch on lunch surrounded by snow-capped peaks and the turquoise lakes. Before returning to our private bus, we’ll hike up to Lookout Churup.

Hiking Hours: 2 Hours

Hiking Distance: 4 miles

Accommodation: Hotel, Huaraz

Meals: B, L

Day 5: Let the Cordillera Huayhuash Trek Begin! Huaraz – Huanuco Pampa – Queropalca Camp

Kiss civilization Good bye as we drive to Queropalca. En route, our local guide will share history and interesting tidbits about the small villages we pass along the way. We’ll make a pit stop at Archeological Center of Huánuco Pampa – an Incan ruin that was an administrative center built along the highland highway between Cusco and Quito. We’ll take the time to visit and also fuel up on some lunch. Then we’ll continue to our first campsite: Queropalca (12,565′).

Transfer Time: Approx. 7 hrs.

Accommodation: Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: B, L, D with Snacks

Day 6: Queropalca – Carhuacocha Camp

Easing into it with a half day hike to the foot of Lake Carhuacocha. On a calm day, the snow-capped peaks of Jirishanca and Yerupaja are reflected in the water. Tonight’s camp is on the shores of the lake at 13,711′.

Hiking Hours: 6 hours

Hiking Distance: 6.7 miles

Accommodation: Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: B, L, D with Snacks

Day 7: Carhuacocha – Siula Pass – Huayhuash Camp

Get your Hiker Booty up at dawn, Explorer Chick. It’s an outer body experience watching the sunrise over the lake and peaks from your campsite. The sun’s first rays catching the peak of Mt Yerupaja (21,765′) will make it worthwhile.

Today is a long gradual climb up a beautiful valley surrounded by the splendor of Yerupaja, Yerupaja Chico, Siula Grande, Jirishanca, Santa Rosa and Carnicero, You might recognize Siula Grande from Joe Simpson’s book, Touching the Void. You’ll also get your fill of brilliant blue lakes – Gangrajanca, Siula and Quesillacocha.

It’s a steep climb to the top of the rocky Siula Pass (15,866′) before descending to the Huayhuash Campsite (14,281′) surrounded by even more mountains includng Trapecio and the three Jurau’s peaks.

Hiking Hours: 8-9 hours

Hiking Distance: 8.6 miles

Accommodation: Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: B, L, D with Snacks

Day 8: Huayhuash – Portachuelo De Huayhuash – Hot Springs!

It’s a gradual climb for about 3 hours towards the Portachuelo de Huayhuash pass at 15,676′. It’s a jaw-dropping pass where we leave behind where the water flows into the Amazon river and return to where the water flows into the Pacific.

On the hike down the green valley to Viconga Lake, there’s a chance to go “Ga-Ga” over some fuzzy alpacas. Before long, we’ll reach our camp and the thermal baths! Yeah buddy. It’s time to plunge those sore musles and dirty toes into a steamy bath.

Hiking Hours: 6 Hours

Hiking Distance: 7.2 miles

Accommodation: Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: B, L, D with Snacks

Day 9: Viconga – Cuyoc Pass – Huanacpatay Camp

It’s a steep climb to start the day to reach Cuyoc pass at 16,558′. Yet, the reward is marvelous views of the surrounding high mountains. Then it’s a descent down over a rocky section and a hike along the valley Huanacpatay. Tonight, we camp in Huanacpatay camp at 14,327′.

Hiking Hours: 8 hours

Hiking kilometers: 8.8 miles

Accommodation: Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: B, L, D with Snacks

Day 10: Huanacpatay – Huayllapa – Huactiac Camp

We wake to retrace our steps down the Huanacpatay valley. The temperature warms as we drop to the remote village of Huayllapa (11,798′) with beautiful views of waterfalls. In the afternoon, we climb steeply to spend the night at 14,101′ at Huatiac, a high grazing meadow under the shadow of Diablo Mudo, the ‘Dumb Devil’. Prepare yourself: It’s your hardest day on the trail with a tough afternoon and often hot weather.

Hiking Hours: 7 hours

Hiking Distance: 8.5 miles

Accommodation: Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: B, L, D with Snacks

Day 11: Huatiac – Punta Tapush Pass – Gashpapampa Camp

You earned yourself a short and easy day. It’s a gradual climb to Punta Tapush pass (15,715′), and then about an hours descent to our next camp located in Gashpapampa at 14,948′. Settle in for an epic sunset over Mount Diablo Mudo.

Hiking Hours: 4 hours

Hiking Distance: 4 miles

Accommodation: Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Snacks

Day 12: Gashpapampa – Yaucha Pass – Jahuacocha Camp

It’s a hike down to Angoshcancha valley with a forest of Quenual trees. Then we ascend our next pass, Yaucha (15,906′), with steep sections and all the scree. Cross your fingers for a clear day with magnificent views of the highest peaks of the Huayhuash range and long-distance panoramas to the peaks of the Cordillera Blanca. You might even have some condors fly overhead! Then, it’s a long descent that eventually brings us to Laguna Jahuacocha (13,373′).

Wouldn’t you know it? It’s our last night camping, and we saved what is widely held to be the scenic gem of the whole range for last.

Hiking Hours: 6 hours

Hiking Distance: 6.2 miles

Accommodation: Camping (Shared – 2 per Tent)

Meals: B, L, D with Snacks

Day 13: Return to Civilization: Jahuacocha – Mancanpunta Pass – Pocpa – Huaraz

It’s time to head back to indoor plumbing and real beds. It’s a steady but gradual climb up to Mancanpunta Pass at 15,000′. Take it all in sista. Bask one last time in the surrounding Andean ranges before one last gravelly trail down to Pocpa (11,427′). Here we’ll load up our gear into our bus and return to Huaraz.

Hiking Hours: 5 ½ hours

Hiking Distance: 5.8 miles

Transfer Time: 4 ½ hours

Accommodation: Hotel, Huaraz (Shared)

Meals: B, L

Day 14: Return to Lima and Departures

After Breakfast, we board the bus to return to Lima. Upon arrival, we will be taking you directly to the airport or to the hotel if you opt for our Post Trip Hotel stay.

Bus departs from Huaraz at 11am and returns to Lima at 7:30pm.

*Optional: Post Hotel Stay in Lima. Available for booking at check out.

Transfer Time: 7.5 hours

Meals: B, L

*Explorer Chick reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, availability, or other unforeseen incidents.

  • 9 Days/8 Nights Deluxe Camping on the Cordillera Huayhuash circuit
    • Shared by 2 Explorer Chicks
    • Sleeping Bag and pad
    • Professional Chef and Porters
    • Private Dining Tent and Chairs
    • Eco Toilet
  • 5 Nights Hotel – Shared 2 per room (1-Lima, 4-Huaraz)
  • Land-transportation throughout itinerary including airport transfers
  • All meals as indicated in itinerary: B-13, L-13, D-9.
  • A commemorative Explorer Chick shirt.
  • All tips for included meals and local guides.
  • A detailed Travel Guide upon booking with everything you need to know for your trip.
  • The freedom to enjoy your vacation and mindlessly wander!
  • One local English/Spanish speaking guide(s) throughout the full itinerary
  • One experienced Explorer Chick Leader ensuring your trip is seamless and unforgettable!
  • Small Group experience! Your Explorer Chick Adventure is exclusive and limited to 12 women.

*Packages do NOT include your round-trip airfare to Lima, alcoholic beverages, costs for additional activities, Travel Insurance, and Explorer Chick Leader tips.

*Does NOT include your Explorer Chick Guide’s Tips – Tipping your Explorer Chick Guide is optional, but customary. If you wish to recognize your Explorer Chick Guide for exceptional service,we recommend you tip them 10-25% of your trip costs.

*A passport that is valid for at least 6 months past your arrival date is required.

*Explorer Chick reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, or other unforeseen incidents.

You will receive a travel guide attached to your booking confirmation with all the information you’ll need to prepare for your epic trip.

Your Adventure begins and ends in Lima. (LIM)

Day 1: Arrival Day. Arrive in Lima, Peru at any time today with our official rendezvous and a Welcome dinner at 7pm. You will be provided with airport transportation to the hotel.

Day 14: Departure Day. The bus from Huaraz to Lima arrives in Lima at approximately 7:30pm. We will then make a group transfer to the airport. Book your flight after 11pm.

*Optional – Post Trip Hotel: On day 14, you will be dropped off at our hotel in Miraflores. You can depart at anytime on Day 15. Airport Transportation will be provided. Available at booking.

We require a minimum of 4 Explorer Chicks for this trip. Please confirm your trip is guaranteed before booking airfare.  

Your entire adventure is in a high altitude environment from 10,000′ in Huaraz to our highest point of 16,558′. Knowledge of altitude sickness and its effects is mandatory.

You spend 9 days in a remote, challenging, backcountry environment with potential for extreme weather. To some, this is an absolute dream without Instagram or any connection to the real world. To others, this may be a challenge to camp, travel, and live in a rugged environment for a long period of time. It’s way more than grabbing a pretty picture for your Instagram.

Please consider the physical demands carefully as it is for YOUR SAFETY and the safety/enjoyment of the group.

You should very easily be able to hike on rough terrain at 2 miles per hour. Please read the itinerary thoroughly with the stated hikes, durations, and altitudes.

You should be training on rough and rugged terrain – not always perfectly paved sidewalks. Train how you play!

Find steps, a hill, or the Stairmaster and get to climbing! Your quads, booty, and calves will thank you. Train in all the weather – This even means rain! Please consider the physical demands carefully as it is for the safety and enjoyment of the group.

Train your tootsies! Do NOT show up with brand new hiking boots or trail shoes. You should be spending hours upon hours in your boots leading up to your adventure to break them in. Better to suffer blisters at home than to miss out due to painful hot spots on your feet. This is our number one injury. Do not let it happen to you!

Please consider your ability to meet the physical demands very seriously. It is for the safety of both you and our group. All Explorer Chicks will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Physical Demands as part of their waiver upon booking.

Learn more about the trip on our blog:

Still not convinced that THIS is the adventure for you?

We’ve rounded up some of our most popular blog posts, so you can get to know us a bit better and learn what really goes down on your Explorer Chick Adventure.

You can always reach us by email with more questions! Info@ExplorerChick.com

To protect your travel investment and your hide, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. World Nomads is our trusted travel insurance provider. Receive an no-hassle, online quote in less than 2 minutes.

Questions? We love them! Check out our FAQ’s page first. You’ll probably find your answer there.

You can also send us an email. Info@ec-old.design-works.com



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See our Discount page for Codes and Expirations!

Non-Refundable Deposit: $300 due at booking to secure your spot

Payment Plans Available: Email payments@ec-old.design-works.com after booking to set up your monthly payment plan.

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