The Santa Cruz Trek is a full-service trek in the Cordillera Blanca, an exquisite region of snow-swept mountains characterised by plunging valleys and studded with glaciers and gemstone blue and minty green glacial lakes.
The 4-day guided trek along the Santa Cruz valley covers 40km of striking, ever-changing terrain.
Be prepared to walk between 5km and 12km per day (5-7hrs walking): there’s a lot of ascending and descending over this relatively short distance. En route you’ll cross 3 high altitude passes, with views of gigantic glaciers, icy lakes and jagged peaks. The area is full of wildlife, isolated farmsteads and traditional indigenous villages.
Lunches will be packed and evening meals will be cooked for you, while your luggage will be transported from camp to camp. In the evenings you camp in large tents. Bear in mind that you'll overnight at up to an altitude of 4,200m. This is a private service: just you and your guides and porters.
Depart Caraz in the morning and drive for an hour to reach Cashapampa where the trail begins. Meet up with the mule drivers and their animals to begin the ascent. Hike up the Santa Cruz gorge. After a steady climb, the track opens out into an area of meadow with views of the snow-capped peaks of Aguja and Caraz. It's a steady hot and dusty climb to reach the Paccharuri waterfall, then from here gently up to the campsite (3,850m). Approximate trekking time 4-5hrs.