Far from urban zones, Ancash shines a spotlight on Peru’s rich biodiversity. Keep an eye and ear open while hiking through Huascaran National Park, which is home to 300 lagoons, the stunning snow-capped Alpamayo mountain, and notable wildlife including the spectacled bear, north Andean deer, and Andean condor, all of which are endangered. Soak in the silence while gazing at 6,000 meter glaciated peaks. Sip a steaming mug of Peruvian coffee while watching the sunrise after a night spent at Refugio Peru (4,665 meters/15,305 feet) beneath Nevado Pisco. Whether embarking on a multi-day trek through the Cordillera Blanca, biking along the rough mountain trails, or kayaking on Laguna Llanganuco, Ancash’s vast, natural landscape is ready for adventurous exploration.
The four days of hiking on this trip are on mountainous trails that are uneven, rocky, and may not be maintained. Hiking distance ranges from 5.5 kilometers to 16 km per day and up to 7 hours on the trail. Elevation gains range from 500m/1,640 feet to 765m/2,510 feet while ascending. Elevation losses range from 500m/1,640 feet to 1050m/3,445 feet while descending.
High Altitude Alert: This trip ascends to high altitude, traveling above 3,052 m/10,013 feet for most of the trip. The highest altitude reached while hiking is 4950 meters/16,240 feet and sleeping occurs as high as 4,665 meters/15,305 feet (one night).
ARRIVE LIMA, PERU
AdventureWeek begins with our arrival and reception at the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru. We gather together for a welcome dinner at the Ramada Costa del Sol Airport hotel at 8:30pm. During dinner, PROMPERÚ, with the support of VIPAC AND APTAE, takes the opportunity to review the program and update us with any last minute details regarding the itinerary for the week.
Starting very early (5:00am), we travel by4x4 vehicle to thePan-American Highway north of Lima for an off-road experience exploring a natural sand formation known as “El Tubo” (The Tube) and the desert which extends between the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the Andes. En route, we enjoy cold box breakfast with a nice view of the desert. We then continue the journey north and enjoy lunch at La Empedrada Lodge. After lunch, we visit the Sacred City of Caral, where the oldest civilization in America thrived over 5000 years ago. We tour the citadel and walk arounds impressive archaeological site and learn about its fascinating history. Caral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and its discovery rewrote what we knew about life in the American continent up to that time. After the visit, a comfortable bus takes us the rest of the way to the city of Huaraz located a t3,052 meters/10,013 feet above sea level. On arrival at ~8:00pm, we’ll have dinner at the Andino Hotel and a well deserved rest.
Driving time from Lima to Huaraz is approximately 7-8 hours not including breaks.
After breakfast, we depart Huaraz at ~9:00 am. forLaguna Wilcacocha (12,139 feet / 3700 m) a small lake boasting a view the Cordillera Blanca that extends northward. It’s an opportunity to acclimatize to the high altitude of the region and seethe main peaks of the Huascarán National Park. From north to south: Huandoy, Huascarán (the highest mountain in Peru at 6768 meters/22,205 feet), Chopicalqui, Huantsan, Ranrapalca, Vallunaraju, Maparaju, among many others.
After a short walk around the lake (approximately half hour), we enjoy a snack.From the lake, there is an optional hour hike on a trail that descends to Huaraz accompanied by a guide or, if preferred, you can return to Huaraz by vehicle with an alternative guide for an afternoon of rest to acclimatize. Accommodation at the hotel Andino, dinner at Trivio Restobar.
Driving 1-2 hours; Hiking: 1-2 hours, terrain is mostly flat.
Starting a little earlier today, we depart Huaraz at 8:00am to drive to Jancu, the start of our hike today. Hiking higher than yesterday, we continue to aid in our acclimatization to the high altitude. Laguna Shallap (13,944 feet / 4250 m) is tucked at the foot of the giant mountains – San Juan (5,843m), Tumarinaraju (5,648m), and Huantsan Grande (6,395m). Their glacier melt flows into the lake. It’s a gradual walk up the valley with a final steeper section over a moraine wall to reach the lake. After an interpretation walk to appreciate the vegetation and landscape, we return to the head of the road and drive back to Huaraz. Picnic lunch.
After dinner this evening, we learn more about the area and the adventure tourism potential in Ancash.
Driving: ~1 hour round trip; Hiking: 6-7 hours of hiking round trip, 16 km (10 miles) round trip. Elevation gain and loss is approximately 500m (1,640 feet).
The first day of our two day one night trek, takes us to Refugio Peru situation at 4,665m, 15,305 feet with Nevado Pisco (5752 meters/18,871 feet) as its backdrop. After an early (06:00 am) breakfast, we drive for two and a half hours to Laguna Llanganuco (3,850m), above the village of Yungay. We begin a four hour trek from Quebrada Demanda to the Refugio Peru.This hanging valley of glacial origin is nestled below the major cirque of Mt. Huandoy (6,395m), Pisco (5,752m), Chacraraju (6,112m), Chopicalqui (6,354m) and Huascaran (6,768m) the highest mountain in Peru.
From Yuracorral we walk along the valley floor heading towards Cebollapampa, a meadow from where the trail splits into two – we head up to the left toward Pisco Base Camp (4,665m) a hike that will take approx. 4-5 hrs. until we arrive at the at the refugio below the mountain, which is the access to Nevado Pisco basecamp.If time and energy permits, we hike up to the edge of Mt. Huandoy (4-pronged peak) to view this magnificent mountain. Return to the refugio for dinner and overnight at 4,665m/15,305 feet.
Note: We need to carry only a daypack. Our overnight duffles are transported by pack animal.
Hiking: ~5.5 kilometers/3.5 miles, 4-5 hours, elevation gain 765m/2,510 feet
Today we traverse below the moraine with boulders of Nevado Pisco to Laguna 69, a route referred to as the Pisco High Route. It’s a trail with boulders and rocks, requiring requiring supportive hiking boots. At our high point of the trip at Condor Pass (4950m/16,240 feet), we get our first view of Laguna 69 (4,600m) a turquoise lake located below Mt. Chacraraju (6,112m) with its impressive flutes, one of the hardest peaks to climb in the Cordillera Blanca. We enjoy lunch along it shore before heading down the valley to Cebollapampa, where the two trails meet again, forming the loop we just completed. We hike out to trailhead to our waiting vehicle to take us to Carhuaz (~1.5 hours driving). Dinner at a hotel and time to refresh before driving to the bus station in Huaraz. Our overnight bus back to Lima departs at ~10:00pm.
Transfer Huaraz to Lima: 7.5- 8 hours overnight private bus with seats that recline to flat (180°); arrives in Lima at ~ 6:30am
We spend the morning at a local market, where today’s culinary experience begins. Accompanied by a local chef, we discover the main ingredients used in Peruvian cooking in its stands. Next, we take part in a participatory cooking lesson, learning from the chef as he demonstrates making Peruvian dishes. We don’t leave without eating what we prepared in class!
This afternoon there are two options to choose from – a biking tour or a walking tour of Lima. Lima, referred to as the city of Kings, was founded by Fernando Pizarro on the basis of Inca structure. It offers a stunning colonial heritage that is not to be missed. Lima boasts museums with great works of art, archaeological sites, beaches, a boardwalk, natural reserves, the thrill of adventure sports, exquisite cuisine, and nightlife gives Peru’s capital an authentic personality.
The biking tour begins at the Lima Bici office in the Miraflores neighborhood of Lima. On this 2.5 hour bike discover the hidden gems of Lima, learn about the street art and contemporary nightlife of the area. Our local guide brings the area to life. This tour covers the tourist and bohemian neighborhoods of Barranco and Miraflores with a magnificent view of the sea along the Malecón at an appropriate pace for all levels of aptitude and ability. We ride to important attractions such as the sculpture dedicated to love, “The Kiss”, sculpted by the Peruvian artist Victor Dolphin and in the Barranco district we walk over the “Bridge of Sighs.” We ride its beautiful streets to the central church, the main cultural center, and by parks, spotting street art by local and foreign artists as we go.
The walking tour takes us to the historic downtown of Lima, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, where we learn about learn the most distinguished architectural monuments. While on tour, our guide sharesPeruvian traditions and famous folklore tales to give us a better understanding of the Limeños intricate culture and idiosyncrasies. Anecdotes about Lima’s colorful personalities and famous times punctuate the tour. Along the way, we discover the Aliaga House, a former viceroyalty home offered by Francisco Pizarro to one of his captains (Jerónimo de Aliaga) after the foundation of the city. We may well bump into their heirs who still inhabit the house and enjoy a refreshment with them.
This evening, all together again, we visit one of the world’s top museums in the traditional district of Pueblo Libre. Founded by Rafael Larco Hoyle in 1926, the Larco Museum is located inside a vice-regal mansion built on a pre-Columbian pyramid of the 7th century. It houses the most complete pre-Hispanic collection of gold and silver artifacts as well pieces of erotic art. This invaluable collection of archaeological artifacts bears witness of five thousand years of Peruvian history.
Dinner tonight is Café del Museo restaurant.
After breakfast, we transfer to the venue of Marketplace which aims to connect attending buyers and media with local travel companies operating in Peru. The Marketplace takes place form 9:00am – 2:00pm. We gather again for dinner in the Barranco district, celebrating all we’ve learned and the new connections we’ve made during AdventureWeek Peru.
Depart Lima, Peru anytime.
NOTE ON ANCASH ITINERARY
The four days of hiking on the Ancash itinerary are on mountainous trails that are uneven, rocky, and may not be maintained. Hiking distance ranges from 5.5 kilometers to 16 km per day and up to 7 hours on the trail. Elevation gains range from 500m/1,640 feet to 765m/2,510 feet while ascending. Elevation losses range from 500m/1,640 feet to 1050m/3,445 feet while descending.
High Altitude Alert:The Ancash itinerary takes place at high altitude, traveling above 3,052 m/10,013 feet for most of the trip. The highest altitude reached while hiking is 4950 meters/16,240 feet and sleeping occurs as high as 4,665 meters/15,305 feet (one night).
It is imperative you understand the symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS) and the more severe forms of altitude illness, HAPE (High-altitude pulmonary edema) and HACE (High-altitude cerebral edema) so that you can self-monitor your reaction to high altitude. Take the necessary precautions to prevent or alleviate symptoms of high altitude such as staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol, and eating well. Be sure to share any symptoms with your guide.
The Golden Rules
If you feel unwell, you have altitude sickness until proven otherwise.
Do not ascend further if you have symptoms of altitude sickness.
If you are getting worse then descend immediately.
Peru’s winter season of April through to October is the optimum period for hiking in the Ancash region. The days can be expected to be warm and generally sunny, with temperatures between 12 and 20°C above c. 3500 meters. However, mountains can generate their own weather so you must be prepared for rain and possibly snow. During this season, the night-time temperatures will fall below freezing. At our highest point, Refugio Peru, it is possible to have night-time temperatures as low as -5°C. Even though this is winter, Lima is only 12 degrees south of the equator, and the daytime temperatures there will be 20 to 25°C, with cool nights.
Note on Itinerary
Although our hosts aim to adhere to the schedules above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond anyone’s control, including weather and terrain conditions, and the group’s general fitness level. It is important to understand that this trip is logistically complex and it is not unusual that adjustments be made. Please remember that our ability to make adjustments as needed helps to ensure that the trip is successful.
Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) today is widely recognized as a vital leadership voice and partner for the adventure travel industry around the world. The membership and trade organization is designed to be a force for the industry and exists to drive thought leadership, industry promotion, and opportunities to network and convene globally to create trade and business health. It currently serves more than 1,300 members in 100 countries worldwide. The constituency is made up of tour operators, tourism boards, specialty agents, and accommodations all sharing a vested interest in the sustainable development of adventure tourism. Through its growing business services division, the ATTA delivers a portfolio of strategic solutions and a robust ecosystem of events around the globe. With specialized expertise in research, events, education, media, and promotion, the ATTA business service division is able to provide valuable solutions to a broad set of partners across many verticals of business.