Santa Cruz Trek to Ulta Valley Trekking
Highlights of the Cordillera Blanca. The highest tropical mountain range in the world, the Cordillera Blanca is part of the spectacular Andes that form the spine of South America. A mecca for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, the region boasts over 50 peaks that exceed 15,000 feet, 700 glaciers and 300 lakes.
Hiking The Santa Cruz Trek in Peru: The Santa Cruz Trek is one of the most popular trekking trails of Cordillera Blanca in northern Peru. Offering the chance of high-altitude hikes against a backdrop of sublime mountain vistas and with some of the country’s loftiest peaks, including the mighty Huascarán, towering in the distance, this trail is a favourite with many trekkers to the region. For those looking for an adventurous challenge but one that won’t push them to their absolute limits, this trek is an attractive option and often is considered as one of the best treks in Peru. Below we’re giving you all the details of the Santa Cruz Trek in Peru.
Overview: Santa Cruz trek is the most popular of all the Cordillera Blanca treks and for a good reason. It is easy to organise from Huaraz and offers the chance to see some of the magic of the Andes without requiring excessive exertion or high levels of fitness, meaning it is accessible to anyone in reasonably good shape. On day two, trekkers will see two beautiful lakes known as Ichiccocha and Jatuncocha (Big and Small Lake in Quechua). On day three, the trail leads over the Punta Unión Pass (4750 m), the highest point on the trail, which offers some of the best views. On the final day, trekkers can view snow-capped peaks like Huascarán, the highest mountain in Peru, before arriving in Vaquería, from where transport completes the journey back to Huaraz.
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we will travel by private bus as we descend through the Callejón de Huaylas until our first stop in the town of Carhuaz (2,650 masl). In Carhuaz we’ll have an opportunity to try the regionally famous homemade ice cream that incorporates a variety of local fruits and visit “El Abuelo” handcrafts shop to check out authentic local textiles. We will continue another hour through the Callejón de Huaylas, stopping in the town of Caraz to make any last-minute purchases if needed. From Caraz, we will begin our ascent into the mountains passing through rural villages, finally stopping in the community of Cashapampa where we will meet our team of donkey drivers. Once our gear is loaded, we will set out on a 5 to 6-hour hike to our first campsite, Llamacorral (3,800 masl)
Our first full-day of hiking, prepare yourself for a day filled with spectacular views of snow-capped peaks. After breakfast, we will continue hiking for 2 hours until we reach the glacial lakes Ichiccocha and Hatuncocha. From here, we’ll continue another 2 hours until we reach the Alpamayo Basecamp, an excellent vantage-point for vistas of surrounding peaks such as Quitarahu, Artesonrahu, Parón, Aguja and Alpamayo, known as the most beautiful mountain in the world! After this stop, we’ll head to our second campsite, Taullipampa (4,200 masl)
Make sure to eat plenty at breakfast, because today’s hike will be physically demanding as we cross the Punta Union Pass (4,750 masl). Departing camp at 8:00am, we will hike 4 hours until we reach the top of the pass where we will break for a high-altitude picnic, accompanied by breath-taking scenery. After lunch, we will descend into the Conchucos Valley for approximately 3 hours, making camp in Cachinapampa (3,800 masl).
Well rested after a good night’s sleep, we’ll start our day hiking for 2 hours until we reach the rural village of Colcabamba. We’ll continue ascending another hour before breaking for lunch, where we’ll have a great view of the peak, Contrayerbas. After lunch, we will continue hiking until we reach our campsite at Molinopampa (3,600 masl)
Our day begins at 8:00am with a 3-hour hike before breaking for lunch. Keep an eye out for local fauna such as the “Taruka” and “Vizcacha”! After lunch, we’ll continue hiking for 1.5 hours until we reach the Avalancha Campsite (4,500 masl) where we will rest for the night.
After breakfast, we will embark on a 2-hour hike up to the Yanayaku Pass (4,850 masl) where we’ll be greeted by views of mountains such as Huascarán Sur, Chopicalqui, Ulta, and Hualcán. After a brief lunch, we will begin our final descent into the Ulta Valley for roughly 3-hours until we reach Cruzepampa where transportation will be waiting to take our group back to Huaraz. We will arrive in the city around 3:00pm.
Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner
Services included in the prices:
- Peruvian trekking-guide
- Cooks and helpers
- All meals during the tour
- Donkey driver and donkeys
- Camping tents (2 persons)
- Kitchen equipment
- Transportation as tour schedule / Huaraz
- International flights to Lima / Peru round trip
- Transfer from the airport for bookings of individual flights with different times of arrival / departure
- Exit tax at the airport in Lima
- Travel accident and health insurance
- Luggage insurance and trip cancellation
- Meals in restaurants in Lima and Huaraz
- Pick up at the airport in Lima to the Hotel
- Transfer from the Hotel to the airport and bus station
- Transport public bus or Domestic flight Airline LC-Peru
- Hotel Casa Andina 2 nights in Lima or other hotel
- Hotel San Sebastián 4 nights in Huaraz or other hotel
- Entrance fees to the Huascaran National Park
- Personal expenses
- Personal equipment (such as boots, ice ax, crampons, harness, sleeping bag, mat, Goretex, etc.)
Prices & Dates
» Additional dates available upon request
» Rates may vary from July 26th to 31th for the national holidays
Prices (per person):
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Deposit for reservations: — USD (– EUR) ✓ Full payment 40 days before. No refund if you cancel less than 30 days!
Trip-code: Number ►PER-
Duration: 06 days
Participants: Minimal: 4 Maximal: 12
Members: We don’t have an open group to join – We can open a new group – Contact us!
Country / Location: Peru
Mountain Guide: Juventino Albino Caldua
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!
3% early bird discount when booking 6 months prior to departure 2023
EZZ Single room supplement
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Juventino Albino Caldua
Expert guide certified by IVBV - UIAGM - IFMGA
Co-Founder, Peru Expeditions