The Santa Cruz Trek is one of the most popular treks in the Cordillera Blanca region of Peru.  It offers some of the most stunning scenery with several high altitude laces. Towards the end the trail leads over the high Punta Union Pass which is the highest pass on the trail at 4750m, offering incredible views. You also get to see massive snow capped peaks like Huarascaran before ending off at Vaqueria.

It is an adventurous challenge with the extremes.

Peru is best known as the heart of the Inca Empire, albeit that it was home to many diverse indigenous cultures long before the Incas arrived. Located on the central part of western South America Peru is hemmed in by the Pacific Ocean. With a popu7lation of over 27 million people, it covers an area of 1,285,215 km2 (about the combined size of Spain, France and Italy ) making it one of the 20 largest countries on Earth. Also because of their geographical location, Peru's coasts have traditionally served as a vital point in maritime and trade routes on the subcontinent.


Day-1: Arrive Lima

Day-2. Lima - Huaraz

Day-3. Huaraz (B)

Day-4. Huaraz - Chavin) (B)

Day-5. Huaraz - (Churup-Pastoruri) (B) 4600m

Day-6. Huaraz - Llamacorral (BLD) 4000m

Day-7. Llamacorral - Taullipampa (BLD)

Day-8. Taullipampa - Punta Union Pass -Paria (BLD) - 4700m

Day-9. Paria-Vaqueria - Llanganuco - Huaraz - Lima (B) - 4750m

Day-10. Lima

Fast Facts

It is 4750m or 15, 583 ft above sea level  on the Punta Union Pass
The shortest number of days required is 12 days as you need those first days in Huaraz to acclimitise because of the sudden increase in altitude.
The best season to make this trek is during the Andean summer (April - October). The rainy season spans from October through March, and the dry season, also known as the 'Andean summer'spans from April through September; during these months the weather is more stable. The rest of the year can be rainy making the paths quite muddy.
Yes you do. Permits are bought in Huarascaran but we will arrange them for you. 
You will sleep in tents at various campsites along the way. We also make use of donkeys to carry extra gear.

Yes you do. We (Nomadic Adventures) do not allow anyone to climb with us unless they have adequate travel insurance. This area is very remote and evacuation is almost impossible. Adequate, means you must be covered for

1) trekking or hiking - this may sound strange, but many insurance list that as an exclusion.

2) altitude up to 5,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard cover and often limit it to 3500m or less.

3) Sprains strains and physiotherapy - yes, many insurers exclude this, though ironically, this is what you will most likely need cover for.

4) personal accident - this is the horrible part of insurance. Yes, you need to be covered in the case of death. We are often told by clients - "if anything happens to me, just leave me there." It is not that simple. Bodies need to be brought home or laid to rest overseas, and this can run into thousands of dollars, creating a huge burden on family members.

We will assist in helping you provide good cover. If you need cover or simply a quote, follow the details herewith:. Once you have done your initial quote, you will need to upgrade your cover to include altitudes up to 5,000. Towards the bottom of the page you will see a section called, Options: Upgrade your cover. Click the link called 'View Adventure Sports Benefits'. A blue pop up screen will open. Look for the level of cover required for 'trekking to 5,000 meters' or 'hiking to 5,000 meters'. Depending on your country it is usually a level 1 or 2. Note: we are not insurance experts and it is your responsibility
to ensure you have correct and adequate cover. If you live in South Africa, we have other cover options


Many people like to hike with trekking poles so it is a matter of choice. We also recommend that you bring some bringing some spare rubber tips with you.

Our grade: Trek Grade: 2c (SP) It does involve some steep ascents and descents but nothing extreme,

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1: Arrive Lima

Day-2. Lima - Huaraz

After breakfast, transfer by bus to Huaraz. Eight hour journey heading first north along the Pan-American highway before turning east and heading towards the ands. Arrival and transfer to your hotel.

Day-3. Huaraz (B)

Free day for acclimatisation in Huaraz.

Day-4. Huaraz - Chavin) (B)

Private trip to Chavin de Huantar, site of the oldest pan-Andean civilization dating back to 2000BC. Located on the outskirts of the village of the same name. It is the oldest known pre-Columbian culture discovered and is known as Chavin-Kotosh. Return to Huaraz where the journey takes you over the continental divide at the high Kawish pass.

Day-5. Huaraz - (Churup-Pastoruri) (B) 4600m

Trip to either Lake Churup or Pastoruri Glacier. Churup is quite a tough 1 day trek which allows you to ascend to 4600m Pastoruri is easier to access due to the usage of a 4X4 vehicle and allows for some time at the wonderful glacier. Return to Huaraz and briefing on the Alpamayo trek

Day-6. Huaraz - Llamacorral (BLD) 4000m

Leaving early in the morning we drive down along the Santa River passing several villages until we reach present-day Yungay. The road winds slowly up into the gully between the Huascaran massif and the Huandoy three-pronged peak, driving until Cashapampa. Start of the trek. Hiking for about six hours until Llamacorral where we will camp at 4000 m.a.s.l.

Day-7. Llamacorral - Taullipampa (BLD)

Breakfast, hike for about six hours. We'll see Mt.Taulliraju looming above us and on the other side its glacial lake. The glacier will add colour and contrast to the amazing view down the Santa Cruz Valley. The peaks of Santa Cruz, Quitaraju, Artesonaju and Alpamayo, the most beautiful mountain in the world, will come into view as well as the two lakes of Ichicocha and Hatuncocha. The pathway is relatively easy going till the final pull up to camp at 4,400m.

Day-8. Taullipampa - Punta Union Pass -Paria (BLD) - 4700m

Early breakfast. The trail ascends towards Punta Union, a pass at 4,700 m.a.s.l. (15,711 ft.) This old trail was heavily used in pre-Columbian and Colonial times as a route for transporting goods from the eastern side of the andes to the main valley. As we approach the pass, we enjoy fabulous panoramic views down the Santa Cruz Valley and Huaripampa Valley. Camp in the vicinity of Paria or Tuctu (3800 m.a.s.l), in the heart of Huascaran National Park. Hiking for about 7-8 hours.

Day-9. Paria-Vaqueria-Llanganuco - Huaraz - Lima (B) - 4750m

Breakfast, hiking through the Huaripampa valley, Colcabamba, Vaqueria and at Portachuelo of Llanganuco at 4,750 m.a.s.l. (15580 ft.) From this point, we will get a spectacular view of Mt.Huascaran, Huandoy, Pisco and Chacraraju. Pickup and private transportation back to Huaraz.Night bus back to Lima.

Day-10. Lima

Arrival in the early morning and transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

End of services

What's Included

Price includes

Airport transfers by private vehicle
Three four or five star hotels with breakfast
All sightseeing tours, entrance fees, guide, transportation
Guide, their wages, insurance and expenses
Entrance permit
Camping on the Trail
All meals on the trail
Internal bus tickets

Price Excludes

International flights, departure taxes and any excess baggage charges.
Mandatory travel and medical insurance
Tips, baggage and porterage
Expenses of a personal nature such as bottled drinks, mineral water, morning and afternoon teas etc laundry etc.
Extra expenses and/of additional days caused due to unexpected events (such a flight delays, porterage because of land slides and other natural events.)
Entry Visa if applicable
Tips and gratuities
Single supplements if applicable

Route Profile Map

Santa Cruz Trek Map 
 Santa Cruz trek query

Trusted Partner

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