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Huayhuash- An Unforgettable Trekking Adventure

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 22-06-2023

Perched in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range in Peru, the Huayhuash trekking circuit near Huaraz is a hidden gem that promises breathtaking vistas, challenging trails, and an unforgettable adventure. Renowned for its snow-capped peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and dramatic landscapes, this trekking destination has captivated the hearts of adventure enthusiasts from around the world. Here, we delve into the details of the Huayhuash trek, highlighting its key features, logistics, and the awe-inspiring experiences that await intrepid trekkers and mountain climbers.


The Huayhuash Trek is a challenging and rewarding high-altitude trek located in the Peruvian Andes. On Peru adventure tours like Huaywash, you will see stunning mountain scenery.  This includes towering peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and remote Andean villages.

Happy Trekkers


The Huayhuash Circuit

The Huayhuash trekking circuit spans approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) and generally takes around 10 to 12 days to complete. This high-altitude route weaves through a rugged and remote region, presenting trekkers with stunning panoramas at every turn. Towering peaks, including Yerupaja (6,634 m/21,765 ft) and Siula Grande (6,344 m/20,813 ft), dominate the skyline, while glacial valleys, turquoise lakes, and lush meadows create a picturesque backdrop.


The Huayhuash trek takes around 10 to 12 days to complete It is known for its demanding terrain and high elevations, reaching over 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) above sea level. This Peru adventure trip is usually done in a clockwise direction, starting and ending in the town of Chiquián.

Huayhuash Circuit




Carhuacocha Lake is a mesmerizing body of water surrounded by majestic mountains. The turquoise hues of the lake, reflecting the towering peaks above, provide an awe-inspiring sight as you trek along the trail.


Carhuacocha Lake is a stunning high-altitude lake located along the Huayhuash Trek. The lake sits at an elevation of about 4,200 meters (13,780 feet) above sea level This makes it a challenging yet rewarding destination for trekkers on their Peru adventures.



Paso San Antonio - As you traverse the challenging mountain passes, Paso San Antonio stands out as one of the most exhilarating. At an elevation of 5,020 meters (16,470 ft), this pass rewards trekkers with sweeping views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers.


San Antonio Pass is a high mountain pass along the Huayhuash Trek. It is located at an elevation of approximately 5,020 meters (16,470 feet) above sea level. The pass offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains on your Peru adventure trip.

San Antonio Pass


Laguna 69 - Although not officially part of the Huayhuash circuit, a side trip to Laguna 69 is a must for nature lovers. Situated in the neighboring Cordillera Blanca, this stunning lake boasts crystal-clear waters, fed by cascading waterfalls, and is set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks.


On your Peru vacation package, visit Laguna 69. This is a stunning glacial lake located in the Huascarán National Park. It is renowned for its vibrant blue waters, that is fed by the surrounding glaciers and snow-capped peaks.

Laguna 69


The Physical Challenge

Trekking the Huayhuash circuit requires a decent level of physical fitness and adequate acclimatization to the altitude is a must for this trek. The trail features steep ascents and descents, challenging terrain, and high passes that push trekkers to their limits, both mentally and physically. Altitude sickness can be a concern, so proper acclimatization and gradual ascent are crucial for a safe and enjoyable trek.


The Huayhuash Trek is ideal for experienced trekkers looking for challenging Peru adventures. The Cordillera Blanca is a remote and pristine wilderness. Due to the high altitudes and rugged terrain, it's essential to be well-prepared and acclimatized before attempting this trek.

Huayhuash Scenery


Local Communities and Traditions

The Huayhuash region is home to several traditional Andean communities, including the Quechua people, who have preserved their cultural heritage for generations. Trekkers in the region will have the opportunity to engage with these communities, gaining insight into their traditional ways of life, folklore, and craftsmanship.


The Huayhuash region is home to several indigenous communities. This includes Quechua-speaking people who have inhabited the area for centuries. These communities have a rich cultural heritage and are known for their traditional way of life, which is closely tied to the land and the mountains. Visit on a Peru culture trip!

Local on Horseback


Planning and Logistics

Permits and Regulations: Before embarking on the Huayhuash trek, it is essential to obtain the necessary permits. Check with local authorities and ensure you comply with any regulations in place to preserve the natural environment. 

Guided or Independent Trekking: While experienced trekkers may choose to tackle the Huayhuash circuit independently, hiring a local guide or joining a guided tour is highly recommended for first-time visitors. Guides offer invaluable knowledge of the region, ensure safety, and provide support throughout the journey. Remember the Andea are unpredictable and unless you are an experienced trekker and know the route, you could get caught out.

Best Time to Trek: The optimal time to trek the Huayhuash circuit is during the dry season, which spans from May to September. These months offer clear skies, favorable weather conditions, and minimal rainfall, enhancing the overall trekking experience.


Huayhuash Campsite


Trekking Equipment:

 For travelers who choose to trek with an agency, it is common for the agency to provide trekking /camping gear as part of their services. Trekking agencies often offer equipment rentals or include the necessary gear in their trekking packages.  Camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat), cook and all food and other gear required for the trek. It is advisable to inquire with the agency in advance to ensure they provide the specific equipment you may need.


On our Peru private tours, why not head out on a trekking expedition along the Huayhuash Trek? A tailor-made tour to the Huayhuash region can be an incredible adventure. It Will allow you to explore this stunning part of the Peruvian Andes at your own pace and according to your preferences.

Trek Lightly


Clothing and Personal Items

While the agency will provide trekking gear, you will still need to bring your own clothing and personal items. Due to the challenging terrain and high-altitude conditions, it is crucial to have appropriate trekking gear, including sturdy hiking boots, warm clothing, a reliable backpack, a sleeping bag, and a waterproof tent. This includes proper layering clothing suitable for different weather conditions, comfortable trekking boots, thermal wear, waterproof jackets and pants, hats, gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, and personal toiletries.


Mules are commonly used on the Huayhuash Trek to carry gear and supplies for trekkers. Many trekking groups hire mules and muleteers (handlers)on their Peru adventure tours.This is to assist with the logistics of the trek, especially for longer treks or those carrying camping equipment and food.

Pack Mules


Food and Water

When trekking with Valencia Travel, we will take care of the food arrangements. We will provide meals and snacks during the trek, ensuring you have sufficient nourishment to sustain your energy levels. However, it's always good to check with the agency in advance regarding their food arrangements and any dietary restrictions you may have. It is recommended to carry a reusable water bottle, as the agency will provide access to clean water sources or offer water purification methods.


The Huayhuash mountain range in Peru is home to several stunning lakes, each with its own unique beauty and charm. This high-altitude lake Siula offers breathtaking views of the Siula Grande mountain, made famous by Joe Simpson's book "Touching the Void."

Laguna Siula


Additional Items

While the agency will provide most of the necessary trekking gear, there are a few personal items you may want to consider bringing, such as a headlamp, trekking poles, a small backpack for days trekking, a camera to capture the stunning scenery, and any personal medications you may require. We will provide a full packing list prior to the trek.


When choosing boots for the Huayhuash Trek on your Peru tour packages, look for ones that are specifically designed for hiking. They need good ankle support, a sturdy sole with good traction, and waterproof or water-resistant materials. It's also important to break in your boots before the trek to ensure they are comfortable and won't cause blisters.

Decent Footwear

Embarking on the Huayhuash trek near Huaraz, Peru, is a life-affirming experience for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. From the rugged beauty of the mountain peaks to the serene alpine lakes and the vibrant cultural tapestry of the local communities, every step along this trek is a testament to the captivating wonders of the Andean wilderness. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes, conquer the challenging trails, and create memories that will last a lifetime on this extraordinary journey along the Huayhuash trek. Find out more here about the stunning Huaywash trek!


It's important to pack light and only take the essentials on your Peru adventure tours. On treks like Huayhuash, you'll be carrying your pack throughout the trek. Layering your clothing allows you to adjust to changing temperatures. It's also a good idea to pack items in waterproof bags or stuff sacks to keep them dry.

Stunning Lagoon