Santa Cruz Trek & Pisco Climb

$ 2'400

The Cordillera Blanca in northern Peru fascinates with its five and six thousand meter high peaks, with its breathtaking scenery, the bizarre mountains and glaciers and turquoise lagoons. This tour takes you right into the middle of this mountain world. Starting point is Huaraz, the center for mountain and trekking tours in the Cordillera Blanca.

Tour Duration   15 Days

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided Tours, Travel Packages
  • Activity Level Challenging
  • Group Size Small Group
All about the Santa Cruz Trek & Pisco Climb.


  • The most beautiful mountains in the Cordillera Blanca
  • Optimal acclimatization with hikes to Laguna Wilcacocha and Churup
  • Panorama trekking on the famous Santa Cruz route
  • Get to see the famous Laguna 69
  • Campsites next to crystal clear blue lagoons
  • Unforgettable views from Punta Union Pass 4’750m
  • Challenging climb to Pisco 5’752m


For acclimatization we start with two day trips to the lagoons Wilcacocha and Churup. The Santa Cruz Trek is a very impressive short trek in the Cordillera Blanca, which will reward you with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and lagoons. During the tour we cross the 4’750 m high pass Punta Union. We walk to the famous Laguna 69 and reach the base camp of Pisco mountain. Pisco is a very attractive mountain and a great option for acclimatized mountaineers. Previous knowledge in mountaineering is not absolutely necessary and therefore also suitable for the less experienced. On the summit with its 5’752 m you will be rewarded with great 360° views of the Cordillera Blanca.

Surefootedness, a head for heights, a good physical condition, team spirit and willingness to leave your comfort zone. You should have hiked in the mountains already. In preparation for this trip, we recommend conditioning and extensive walks. The hiking times per day are between 4 to 9 hours and can vary depending on the condition of the group and weather.

Best Season
The best trekking and climbing season in the Andes is from April to October, with rainy season in between. It is usually sunny and warm during this time. Due to the altitude, the nights can be quite cold (to minus 5 ° C).

Extra Time
Individual connection programs with Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon and much more are possible. Contact us!

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Transports according to itinerary
  • Bus tickets Lima – Huaraz – Lima
  • Accommodation in Lima and Huaraz
  • Acclimatization hikes according to itinerary
  • Entrance fees to Huascaran National Park
  • Qualified and experienced guide (Spanish/English)
  • Cook and assistant
  • Donkeys and donkey driver
  • Emergency horse
  • All meals during the trek and climb
  • Good quality high mountain tent (2 or 3 person)
  • Sleeping Mattress
  • Dining tent, table and chairs
  • Cooking utensils
  • First aid kit and oxygen
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Meals in Lima and Huaraz
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal equipment
  • Medical care or insurance
  • Emergency rescue or evacuation
  • Additional expenses as a result of leaving the trek early
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Tips (optional)
  1. Day 1 Arrival to Peru

    Individual arrival to Lima. You will be picked up at the airport and taken to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure and you can explore the city on your own.

    Accommodation: Hotel

  2. Day 2 Bus ride to Huaraz

    The bus ride over 400 km into the Cordillera Blanca is varied and promising. First we drive along the Panamericana north through the impressive desert on the Pacific coast, then up into the highlands and over the 4020m high Conococha pass in the Cordillera Negra and descend to Huaraz (3060 m). When we cross the pass, the view to the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca is clear – one of the most impressive mountain landscapes in the world. Arrival in Huaraz and check-in at the hotel. On request, dinner together in the group and first briefing.

    Driving time: 8 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel

  3. Day 3 Acclimatization hike to Laguna Wilcacocha

    We pick you up at the hotel and drive south to the Santa Cruz bridge. Here begins our hike through the picturesque highlands and small Andean villages. We slowly ascend to the Laguna Wilcacocha (3’700m), where we enjoy a 360° panoramic view of the whole Cordillera Blanca. We walk the same way back to the bridge, where our transport waits and brings us back to Huaraz.

    Driving time: 20 minutes
    Hiking time: 4 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel

  4. Day 4 Acclimatization hike to Laguna Churup

    We drive from Huaraz to Pitec (3’850m) passing through the traditional villages of Unchus and Llupa. After entering the national park we start ascending by following the path over a long ridge. The final 100m to the lake scrambling up a steep rock gully which some people may find difficult. We enjoy the silence and peace at Laguna Churup at 4’450m and return back to Huaraz.

    Driving time: 2 hours
    Hiking time: 6 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel

  5. Day 5 Huaraz - Cashapampa - Llamacorral

    We drive down the Rio Santa until Caraz and then on a narrow path up towards Santa Cruz valley. We reach the small village of Cashapampa (2’900 m). Here starts our trekking adventure, there are about 900 hm in front of us, spread over 10 km. In about 4.5 hours we should reach our campsite in Llamacorral.

    Driving time: 4 hours
    Hiking time: 4.5 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, tea time, dinner
    Accommodation: Tent

  6. Day 6 Llamacorral - Taullipampa

    We ascend through the Santa Cruz valley and then arrive at the lagoons Ichiccocha and Jatuncocha. On the banks enchanted trees and lupins in all shades of blue, a paradise for the local ducks. Continue to the lagoon Arhueycocha (4’450 m), at the same time the starting point for climbing the famous Alpamayo mountain. We enjoy a fantastic view of the snowy Alpamayo, Quitaraju, Artesonraju and the peaks of Garcdilazo and Paria. Many people are convinced: the snow-white pyramid of the Alpamayo is the most beautiful mountain in the world!

    Hiking time: 5 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, tea time, dinner
    Accommodation: Tent

  7. Day 7 Taullipampa - Punta Union - Paria

    Today we have a rather strenuous ascent of around 2 hours: First we hike across meadows, but then along a path that is always barren and rocky from the pre-Inca period to Punta Unión, an imposing pass crossing at 4’780m! Gigantic, the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca – the mountains Taulliraju as well as Huandoy, Huascaran and many more! The descent is steep and leads us through a beautiful landscape past the Morococha Lagoon and into the Huaripampa Valley.

    Hiking time: 6 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, tea time, dinner
    Accommodation: Tent

  8. Day 8 Paria - Vaqueria - Portachuelo Pass - Cebollapampa

    After descending through the Huaripampa valley, through romantic highland forests and wildly bubbling streams, we come through typical villages of the high Andes. From the mountain village of Vaqueria, we head back up to the pass Portachuelo de Llanganuco at 4750m. Fantastic views of the snowy mountains Chopicalqui, Huascarán, Huandoy, Pisco, Chacraraju and Yanapaccha. And if we’re lucky, we’ll even spot vicunas! These very shy relatives of the lamas graze up to heights of 5500m. No wonder, they probably produce the finest wool in the entire animal kingdom. From here a vehicle brings us to Cebollapampa.

    Hiking time: 4 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, tea time, dinner
    Accommodation: Tent

  9. Day 9 Cebollapampa - Trekking Laguna 69

    The Laguna 69 is one of the most famous lakes in the Cordillera Blanca. The Laguna is located directly under the huge ice walls of the Chacraraju, one of the most beautiful but also most difficult 6000 peaks of the Cordilliera Blanca. Our path leads through rustic mountain forests and a little marshy area, always on a huge steep flank. When we turn around, the gigantic ice fort of Huascaran rises behind us. Serpentines lead past several wildly bubbling waterfalls, a particularly imposing located right in front of our eyes. Some steep serpentines later the edge of the lake is then suddenly reached. Immediately above the deep blue water surface rise between mighty moraine ridges the steep ice walls of the Chacraraju. We hike back down to our campsite at Cebollapampa.

    Hiking time: 5-6 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, tea time, dinner
    Accommodation: Tent

  10. Day 10 Cebollapampa - Refugio Pisco

    Today we will climb in about 5 hours to the Pisco Refugio (mountain hut), our base camp at 4680m. The views to Nevados Huascarán and Chopicalqui is overwhelming: the Huascaran is with its 6768 meters the highest mountain in Peru. Overnight stay in the mountain hut. We enjoy the view of the Huandoy peaks, Chacraraju and Yanapaccha.

    Hiking time: 5
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, tea time, dinner
    Accommodation: Refugio

  11. Day 11 Summit Pisco

    Shortly after midnight we leave the hut, climb up, cross the long moraine and reach the glacier. A steep ascent leads us to the saddle of the Nevado Pisco. Now the long final climb over the glacier to the 5752m high summit! Now we have again an outstanding view of the highest mountain in Peru – the Huascaran, as well as in the immediate vicinity Huandoy and Chopicalqui and many more. Then descent back to the Refugio.

    Hiking time: 10-12 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch, tea time, dinner
    Accommodation: Refugio

  12. Day 12 Refugio Pisco - Huaraz

    Our tour is coming to an end. In the early morning we start our descent towards Cebollapampa and continue walking until we reach the road. From there we take our vehicle back to Huaraz. Tired and satisfied we arrive at the hotel.

    Hiking time: 3 hours
    Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel

  13. Day 13 Extra Day

    Today serves as extra day. Free day in Huaraz. On request farewell dinner with the group.

  14. Day 14 Bus ride Huaraz - Lima

    Bus drive back to Lima. Overnight in the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel

  15. Day 15 Lima - Return flight

    Free day depending on departure times – return flight. 

    Meals included: Breakfast

Everything you need to know about this trip

During the trek, you spend the nights in two or three person tents.

Refugio (Mountain hut)
We sleep in the Refugio (mountain hut) at basecamp of Pisco.

In Lima and Huaraz, you are accommodated in a double room in good middle class hotels. A single room is possible for a surcharge.

During the expedition we pay attention to a healthy and high-calorie diet. Breakfast and dinner are cooked warm. For lunch, a box lunch is served. We can prepare vegetarian dishes on request.

Donkeys carry our equipment during the Santa Cruz trek and up to Pisco basecamp. From basecamp up you need to carry your own personal gear and lunch box.

Extra Day
In general, the extra day is used where it is necessary during the trek. It not needed during the trek or climb, you have an extra day to enjoy Huaraz.

For the route Lima-Huaraz-Lima we work together with the bus company Oltursa, which is a public bus of the highest category. The rest of the transports take place in minivans or comfortable 4×4 off-road vehicles, depending on the group size. On request and not included in the price, we can also organize a private transport for the route Lima-Huaraz-Lima or a flight (only in the morning).

Packing listOur recommendation
  • Backpack
  • Head torch (with spare batteries)
  • Sandals
  • Well-worn in hiking boots
  • Down jacket
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Fleece or warm pullover
  • Comfortable clothes (quick dry, merino)
  • Trekking trousers
  • Long thermal underwear (merino)
  • Warm socks
  • Cap, gloves
  • Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen (min factor 40)
  • Hiking poles
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers (Gore-Tex)
  • Very warm and waterproof gloves (Gore-Tex)
  • Mountain goggles
  • Mountain boots
  • Crampons
  • 2 ice axes
  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Carabiners
  • Sleeping bag -10° comfort
  • Toilet paper and wet wipes
  • Personal medication travel kit
  • Water bottle and water purification pills
  • Extra Snacks (your favorite chocolate)
  • Extra money

Because it is a long-distance travel, a private travel cancellation insurance is recommended. Absolutely recommended is a foreign health insurance. For a longer trip a baggage insurance is recommended too.

Some basic rules: 

  • Do not climb too fast, allow several days for a gradual acclimatization
  • It can be very useful to take a break at around 3,000 m for a few days
  • Drink more than enough water
  • Do not drink any alcohol
  • Cure infections and other diseases beforehand
  • Do not take sleeping pills
  • Carbohydrate-containing foods, as they consume less oxygen than fats and proteins
  • Drink coca tea or chew coca leaves
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