Multi-day hiking the Santa Cruz trekking trail in Huaraz Peru


Due to the fact Huaraz is surrounded by mountain ranges whichever way you appear, trekking is offered in nearly every single way you determine to head towards. Of all of them, the Santa Cruz trek is a single of the most preferred route travellers opt for. The mixture of spectacular sceneries and a reasonably shorter route (compared to other individuals) tends to make it a best suggested trek.

What you ought to Know

The trek is about 50 km extended and is a three or four day circuit trek by means of the Cordillera Blanca mountains. The only genuinely tricky portion of this hike is generating it by means of the Punta Union Pass on the second day. Otherwise, it is an certainly amazing route that requires you by means of mountains, beside lagunas, valleys, and lots and lots of waterfalls.

Finding lost on this trail is fairly tricky, which is why a lot of folks opt to venture on their personal. I decided to make it very simple on myself and joined a tour. This way, they carried my camping gear and every day necessities, and all I had to do was delight in myself. You can uncover tours for about s/400.

Due to the fact this trek is a circuit, there are two probable beginning points. Most tours will start out in Vaqueria (three,700 m) and finish in Cashapampa (two,900 m). The benefit of beginning at Vaqueria is that you start out off higher and is much more of a down hill trek than up. It is also much less total elevation obtain in the course of the trek than beginning at Cashapampa.

Also, if you are pondering of performing the trek on your personal, it is considerably less complicated to catch a ride back to Huaraz from Cashapampa. It is in fact a town, whereas Vaqueria is much more of a station off the side of the road.


Day 1

I began off at Vaqueria with my tour. The initially day started vibrant and early, prior to the sun even popped up behind the horizon. We got collected in our van and started a 4 hour drive towards Vaqueria. We stopped for breakfast, of course. I’m beginning to understand Peruvians do not like to skip their meals! We didn’t get to Vaqueria till 1pm, exactly where we have been handed a packed lunch, whilst the group packed up all our gears onto the mules.

The initially day is an straightforward and relaxing hike with some of the most effective views on the whole trek. About five hours of hiking, this section is reasonably levelled, so you can devote all your time enjoying the scenery rather of watching your footing.

Day two

On Day two, you get to the pass. You will also get the earliest get in touch with time nowadays. We left our campsite just as the sun began glowing behind the mountains. Even though nowadays is the shortest in distance to cover, it is the most strenuous of all the days.

It is a steady uphill climb till you see the Punto Union Pass, and from there it’ll only get steeper till you attain the best. The altitude does not assistance either. At 4750 m, this was the only time I genuinely felt the altitude affecting me. Processing thoughts and receiving my limbs to act as they have been told became tricky. I was quick on breath, and even even though my physique wasn’t aching from the hike, I was fatigued.

I took a couple caffeine tablets to get my physique processing faster and powered by means of. Producing it to the best was an remarkable feeling! I have to say, the air smells specifically sweet at the best of the mountain!

Beyond the pass is a rocky switchback path down to the campsite. As the climate can be a bit unpredictable, most tours aim to have all trekkers at camp by the noon time.

Right here you can laze about and delight in the rest of the afternoon or if you are up for it, take a hike to a lookout point to see the “Paramount Studios” mountain peak, Artesonraju. The hike is a couple hours extended and is a steady incline up the mountainside, but is absolutely achievable.

Day three

Nonetheless riding the higher of climbing more than the mountain pass, nowadays is a significantly less complicated day. Even even though I had signed up for a four day, three nights tour, some trekkers in my group wanted to return to Huaraz sooner. So our guide gave us the choice of walking the rest of the way on the third day.

If we stuck to the original program, we would’ve hiked three-four hours each and every day, arriving at camp about midday. 

Our group decided to start out out earlier in the day and hike the final 20ish km inside a single day. This way we got to camp closer to the town exactly where it was warmer. The extended distance wasn’t in fact really tricky, as we have been predominately going down hill.

The final evening was spent in Cashapampa, relaxing about the fire and enjoying the firm of my fellow trekkers more than beers. The best way to finish an remarkable multi-day hike by means of the mountains!

For a guide to what else to do in Huaraz, click right here


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