Cordillera Blanca Traverse Trek
Day 1: Arrive Lima in the morning. Meet the guide and KE Land Only package services begin with the transfer to the bus station, where we board the tourist bus. We make the long drive across the Punta Conococha (4100m) to the town of Huaraz (3091m), where we check in at the group hostal.
Day 2: An acclimatisation day from Huaraz. We drive up to the Llanganuco Pass for great views of Huascaran (6768m), the highest of the Blanca peaks. We drive back down to Huaraz, with the option to take an easy stroll opposite Chacraraju. We spend a second night at our accommodation in Huaraz.
Day 3: Driving south via Chavin, we stop off to see the nearby pre-Colombian remains (a UNESCO Heritage Site), then continue through the villages of Huari and Acopalca to our first camp at the lake of Purhuaycocha.
Day 4: Today, we start trekking on the left side of the lake, gaining height steadily to a great viewpoint where we have our last glimpse of Purhuaycocha. We continue ascending to our camp on the high grazing area of San Bartolome at 4230 metres.
Day 5: Quite a wild day's trekking, as we climb up for 3 hours, with little in the way of a path, to a ridge beneath Nevado Perlilla at around 4600 metres. We then follow the ridge-line to the San Bartolome Pass and drop down on a path to a camp in the Tayancocha Valley (3830m).
Day 6: An easier day, involving little more than 3 or 4 hours of walking on a well-marked trail to the isolated village of Chacas. We set up our camp and have the opportunity to check out this important Conchucos Valley settlement, with its church and tradition of handicrafts.
Day 7: We reascend the valley to the west of Chacas, passing through the village of Pompey to enter a region with a number of small lakes. We set up our camp at the magnificent Laguna Yanaraju in the Cancaraca Valley.
Day 8: Climbing more steeply, we pass Laguna Cancaraca and reach the pass of Punta Olimpica (4890m). .Great views of the south-east faces of Chopicalqui and Huascaran. We drop down through a remarkable landscape to camp at Ocshapampa in the Ulta Valley.
Day 9: We will trek up the Ulta Valley to another high pass, the Yanayacu, situated in a fantastic glaciated cirque beneath Huascaran, Chopicalqui and Cotrahierbas. Then descend into the Keshu Valley and camp at Molino Pampa.
Day 10: An easy descent to the villages of Chalua, then Colcabamba, beyond which we ascend into the Huaripampa Valley and pass close to the lake of Patacocha. We set up our camp for 2 nights at Tuctupampa.
Day 11: Today, we have an optional return hike up to the Punta Union (4750m) for views of the granite pillars of Taulliraju and the pyramidal Alpamayo. Super walking through high pasture studded with small lakes. We spend a second night at Tuctupampa.
Day 12: Steady climbing takes us up to the Alto de Pucaraju Pass (4650m) for a new perspective on Taulliraju and Chacraraju and good views of the Punta Union. We descend to the lake of Huecrucocha, where we camp.
Day 13: We make an ascending traverse to the Tupa Tupa Pass (4360m) and descend on its far side to the isolated houses at Pishgospampa. Crossing a high grazing plateau, we set up our camp at Jancapampa.
Day 14: A long day, trekking up the Laurel Valley to the lake of Sactaycocha. We continue climbing to the Pucajirca Pass for more fine views, including the north-east side of Alpamayo. Then, descend to the village of Hilcapampa and our camp at Tayapampa (4000m).
Day 15: Another great day of trekking, up to a minor pass and then on to the Q'ara Q'ara Pass (4830m). We descend to camp below the lake of Jancarurish in a high cirque between Sant Cruz and Alpamayo.
Day 16: A chance to take a rest today, or to make the round trip up to a great viewpoint for Alpamayo. This walk leads through the Pumapampa Valley to the aptly named Cerro Mirador, directly opposite Alpamayo's stunning pyramid. A second night camping at Jancarurish.
Day 17: We descend the Alpamayo Valley to the grazing area at Ruina Pampa and from here gain height to cross a couple of passes, including the Jatun Vientona Pass (4750m), to reach our camp at Osuriri.
Day 18: Today's trek takes us across the Gallo Huacanan Pass (4850m) to the stunning Laguna Cullicocha, which is dominated by the ice-fluted peak of Santa Cruz. Then, continue our descent to Huishcash and Hualcayan, the site of our last camp of the trip.
Day 19: After breakfast at camp, we say goodbye to our trekking staff and poneymen. Then, board our transport for the journey back to Huaraz. We may visit the village of Caraz and the site of the village of Yungay, destroyed by an avalanche in 1970. After checking in at our hostal in Huaraz, the remainder of the day is free.
Day 20: We return to Lima on the tourist bus, via the altiplano and the Conococha Pass, descending towards the often foggy Pacific coast. We check in at our hotel in Lima.
Day 21: Depending on the time of your flight, there may be time for sightseeing in Lima. Then, transfer to the airport, where KE Land Only package services end.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.