The Santa Cruz Trek is the classic among classics. The most popular trek and one of the most beautiful treks in the Cordillera Blanca. An incredible short hike in the Peruvian Andes. Its popularity is due to the spectacular mountain views, crystal clear turquoise lagoons, its extensive flora and fauna, and the demanding 4750m high Punta Union pass. During 4 days you can witness an incredible variety of landscapes characteristic of this magical circuit.

During the Santa Cruz trek, you will be able to immerse yourself in a wide variety of landscapes such as the imposing view of the Chacraraju needle, the Taulliraju, known in the mountaineering environment as the cathedral of the world for its shape, a perfect view of the silhouette of the Artesonraju, the famous «Paramount Picture» embodied in the logo of the film production company of the same name, you can also appreciate the emblematic Alpamayo and other attractions.

The Santa Cruz Trek is undoubtedly a very beautiful and feasible hike for anyone who loves nature and with a reasonable physical condition. It is a magnificent circuit, excellent to acclimatize before climbing five thousand mountains in the Cordillera Blanca.


In Andean Raju Expeditions, we are a team of young professionals in various areas and with extensive experience in adventure sports and mountain. We offer trekking programs and mountain expeditions in the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash (main adventure destinations). We also offer expeditions to the most emblematic mountains of Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia.

In Andean Raju Expeditions we are proud of our work and that is why our priority is the satisfaction and safety of our clients, always taking into account the conservation and protection of the environment. Our mission goes beyond adventure, we offer a personalized experience for our clients, sharing our culture, offering our friendship, knowledge and love for nature and the mountains to ensure an unforgettable experience.

Technical Data

Max. Altitude:

4,750 masl – Punta Union Pass


4 days / 3 nights

Physical Difficulty:


Technical Difficulty:



April – August


Cordillera Blanca

Average temperature:

Between 13 °C – 23 °C during the day / night -05 °C to -30 °C.


Day 1


Our expedition starts in the city of Huaraz.

The team designated by Andean Raju Expeditions for your expedition will go to your respective hotel to pick you up with private transportation. After the pick up we head north through the Callejon de Huaylas to Yungay, from this point we turn off to the east side towards the Quebrada de Llanganuco. On the way we will stop for 30 minutes for breakfast. We continue our journey and after about 10 minutes we will make another stop to register us in the control of the Huascaran National Park and after another 20 minutes we will surround the beautiful lagoons of Chinancocha (female lagoon) where we will make a stop for the respective photographic shots and Orconcocha (male lagoon). We continue the tour and once again we will stop at Km 42 to enjoy an incredible view of the mountains Huascaran South and North, Chopicalqui, Los Huandoys, El Pisco, Chacraraju and finally the beautiful Turquoise lagoons that we saw before.

Finally the transport arrives to the village of Vaqueria, the starting point of our hike and place where the muleteer and donkeys are waiting for us to transport the logistic camping equipment. Our way begins making a descent to the town of Huaripampa, a place dedicated to agriculture and livestock, at this point you can see the Chacraraju with its imposing needle of the north face. The route is very simple and flat during almost all the time, except for some slight slopes but the road does not present any demanding challenge. After 2 hours of hiking we arrive at the park control to check in and take a short break. On the way we will enjoy a delicious lunch and a refreshing drink. Finally, after 5 hours of hiking we will arrive at our campsite.

  • Lodging: Mountain tents
  • Meals: Box Lunch, tea time lunch and dinner.
  • Transfer by car: 3 hours Trekking time: 4 to 5 hours approximately
  • Difference in altitude: from 3100 masl to 3870 masl (+770)
Day 2


On our second day of trekking, we will start early in the morning. We will wake you up with a hot drink and provide you with warm water for your personal hygiene. Breakfast will be ready and then we will start our day’s hike to Punta Union Pass.

The first two hours are easy because we walk along a flat trail until we reach a zigzagging ascent, we overcome this stretch and take a short break to eat something and hydrate. We continue our ascent to the most difficult stretch of the entire circuit, Punta Union Pass. The route passes through some rock slabs that we have to overcome in the form of zigzag and we cross part of an Inca trail that was used in pre-Columbian times as a route to transport goods. After 4 hours of ascent we will arrive at the highest point of the circuit, Punta Union pass, from here you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the Santa Cruz Valley on the west side, to the east the Huarimpampa valley, the mountains Artesonraju, Taulliraju, Rinrijirca, Paria, the turquoise lagoons, Taullicocha and Hatuncocha. It is here where we will also have lunch and hydrate to recover energy from the effort.

Finally, we make the descent, after 2 hours we will arrive at our camp in Taullipampa, being the highest of the entire circuit, tea time will be waiting for you. In the afternoon you can rest or take pictures of the landscape. At dinner time we will eat and rest to continue with the next day’s journey.

  • Lodging: Mountain Tents
  • Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, lunch, tea time and dinner.
  • Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours approximately
  • Elevation gain: from 3870 masl to 4750 masl (+800 masl) – Punta Union Pass
Day 3


On our third day of trekking. We wake you up with a hot drink and provide you with warm water for your personal hygiene. Breakfast will be ready and we will start with our hike of the day towards the viewpoint of the Alpamayo mountain and the Arhuaycocha Lagoon.

The first stretch is to the viewpoint of Alpamayo, we make the ascent by a short slope to reach the first goal, after 1 hour of walking we can enjoy the view of the Nevado Alpamayo and the silhouette of the Nevado Artesonraju, the famous «Paramount Picture». At this point, if you do not feel in good condition you can choose to go down and continue to the next camp, an assistant of ours will be responsible for guiding you. Those who feel well and in good condition can continue for another 2 hours to the Arhuaycocha Lagoon, the road is through a plain to the base camp of the Nevado Alpamayo, at this point there is a change of slope in the form of zigzag until you reach the lagoon where we stay for a reasonable time to rest, hydrate and take pictures.

Finally we make the descent by the same ravine until we reach the viewpoint of Alpamayo, we turn off to the right to go down a zigzag path until we reach the Quebrada de Santa Cruz, along the way we surround the Hatuncocha lagoon (large lagoon) and it is in this place where we will have lunch.

After a short rest we continue our way until we arrive to our camp in Llamacorral, tea time will be waiting for you. In the afternoon you can rest or take pictures of the surrounding landscape and the beautiful sunset that can be seen in the Nevado Taulliraju. At dinner time we will eat and rest to continue with the next day’s journey.

  • Lodging: Mountain Tents
  • Meals: Breakfast, box lunch, lunch, tea time and dinner.
  • Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours approximately
  • Elevation gain: from 4250 masl to 3750 masl (-500)
Day 4


The end of our trek has arrived and as every day we will start early in the morning. We wake you up with a hot drink and provide you with warm water for your personal hygiene. Breakfast is at 6:30 am and at 7:00 am we start our day hike to the town of Cashapampa.

During the descent you will be able to appreciate a constant change in the vegetation. Finally we arrive to the village of Cashapampa, the transportation will be waiting for us at this point to take us to the city of Huaraz.

  • Type of lodging: Mountain tents
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Hiking time: 4 hours approximately
  • Elevation gain: from 3750 masl to 3100 masl (-650 masl) Transfer by car: 2 hours back to Huaraz

Our Service Includes

  • Certified trekking guide (English, Spanish)
  • Certified cook for the entire circuit
  • Private transportation: Huaraz – Vaquería
  • Private transportation: Cashapampa – Huaraz
  • The muleteer and donkeys for the transfer of the logistic camping equipment (10 Kg per passenger)
  • 5 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, box lunch, tea time and dinner)
  • 4 seasons tent with double occupancy
  • Tent kitchen, dining room and bathroom
  • Tips for getting to Huaraz
  • Complete kitchen and dining room utensils
  • First aid kit
  • Boiled water to fill your bottle every day
  • Warm water for your personal hygiene

Nuestro Servicio No Incluye

  • Ticket aéreo a Lima y hacia el país de origen.
  • Pago de Ingreso al Parque Nacional Huascarán: 20 USD
  • Caballo de emergencia
  • Seguro de accidente y rescate.
  • Equipaje de viaje y seguro de cancelación de viaje.
  • Los gastos personales.
  • Hotel.
  • Costos generados por el abandono de la expedición.
  • Sleeping y colchoneta aislante.
  • Días extras en hoteles en caso de arribos anticipados fuera de calendario.
  • Comidas y bebidas no mencionadas en el itinerario.
  • Traslados fuera de calendario a Huaraz, en caso de abandono prematuro de la expedición.
  • Bolsa de dormir -20° / -25°
  • Propinas guía / personal

Recomendamos Llevar

  • Pantalones de Trekking.
  • Calzado de Trekking.
  • Calcetines de Trekking (fibras sintéticas).
  • Sombrero para el sol, gorra para el frío, polainas.
  • Campera de pluma (-30º).
  • Bastones de Trekking (muy recomendado).
  • Bolsa de dormir (-25°)
  • Camisetas de microfibra y térmica.
  • Gafas de sol y otro de repuesto.
  • Mochila 75 – 80 litros para trasladar sus pertenencias.
  • Mochila de 15/25 litros para la caminata diaria
  • Cargador Solar (opcional)
  • Chaqueta impermeable, pantalón impermeable, ropa impermeable.
  • Botella para el agua (1 Lt.).
  • Linterna Frontal (con baterías de repuesto).
  • Botiquín de primeros auxilios Personal.
  • Accesorios de aseo personal.
  • Material fotográfico.
  • Toalla.
  • Sandalias / Crocs.





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  • Rate expressed in U.S. dollars

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