Table – Trekking Santa Cruz day by day
The most famous trekking route is the Santa Cruz trek. It is located inside the Huascaran National Park, connecting turquoise lagoons formed by glaciers and snow-capped peaks over 5,000 meters high in a 4-day hike.
- Duration: 4 days and 3 nights
- Distance: 50 km
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Location: Cordillera Blanca
- Cost of access to the trek: $20
HOW CAN I GET TO SANTA CRUZ TREK?
There are two options to get from Lima to Huaraz
- By bus: The trip takes 8 hours and costs between $20 and $30.
- By plane: It takes about an hour and costs between $85 and $150.
After arriving in Huaraz, it is suggested to acclimatize for at least two nights, the first day you can visit the historical attractions and the second day you can visit the Wilcacocha or Churup lagoon.
PRICES FOR THE SANTA CRUZ TREK
- Tour operator: These services have rates ranging from $150 to $350 for the 4-day trek.
- Independent: You will have to pay an entrance fee to Huascaran National Park of $20.
HOW TO DO THE SANTA CRUZ TREK?
- Trekking independently: If you have trekking experience, it is possible to complete this trek without the need of a guide. The trail is well marked and the campsites are well marked. It is important that you have a good map, the proper equipment, the park permit and a reliable reference guide before leaving Huaraz.
- Trekking with a tour operator: The easiest way to do the Santa Cruz trek in the Cordillera Blanca is to hire the services of a tour operator in Huaraz.
Santa Cruz trekking route
Day 1: From Huaraz to Yungay and Vaqueria, to finally arrive at Paria camp.
- Transportation by vehicle: A journey of approximately 4 hours to Vaqueria.
- Duration of the trek: About 4 to 5 hours
- Elevation gain: From 3100 to 3870 masl (11,000 to 11,000 fasl)
- Distance: 11 Km
The first day of the trek starts at an altitude of 3700 meters above sea level, with the objective of reaching the Paria camp, located at 3870 meters above sea level, the journey covers a distance of 11 km and begins in a beautiful forest of queñuales and exotic high mountain flora. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to observe the life of the small nearby communities, whose activities are centered on agriculture and cattle raising. Before arriving at Paria Camp, you will pass through a spectacular plain surrounded by imposing mountains.
Day 2: From Paria Camp to Punta Union Pass, and then to Taullipampa Camp.
- Duration of the hike: About 7 to 8 hours.
- Elevation gain: from 3870 to 4750 masl.
- Distance: 11 Km
The second day represents the biggest challenge, as we ascend from 3870 meters above sea level to 4750 meters above sea level. This stretch reaches the highest point of the trail, known as Punta Union, which is believed to be part of an ancient trail used in pre-Columbian times for the transportation of goods, and from this point, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Santa Cruz valley, considered one of the most impressive postcards of the entire Huascaran National Park. At the end of the day, the Taullipampa camp is located at a slightly lower altitude, at 4250 meters above sea level.
Day 3: From Taullipampa Camp to Llamacorral Camp.
- Hiking time: About 7 to 8 hours.
- Elevation gain: From 4250 to 3750 meters above sea level.
- Distance: 15 Km
During the third day of the trek, the impressive mountain scenery continues to surround the trails. Along the way, you will be able to admire the imposing snow-capped peaks of Artesonraju, Taulliraju and Alpamayo, the latter considered the most beautiful mountain in the world. Another unforgettable moment in the Santa Cruz trek is when you reach the Arhuaycocha lagoon, whose virgin turquoise waters inspire a special tranquility. The day ends at the Llamacorral camp, located at an altitude of 3800 meters above sea level.
Day 4: From Llamacorral camp to Cashapampa village and finally to Huaraz.
- Duration of the hike: 4 hours
- Return to Huaraz by car: approximately 3 hours.
- Difference in altitude: from 3750 to 3100 masl.
- Distance: 10 Km
The last day of the Santa Cruz trek consists of a short hike through the valley to Cashapampa. During the trek, you will see impressive waterfalls cascading down from the Andes Mountains, while small houses begin to dominate the landscapes characterized by agriculture. After arriving in Cashapampa, you will take a 3-hour drive to Huaraz.