Huayhuash Range

Huayhuash (protected nature reserve)

Without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the country and the most splendid of all the Peruvian Andes.

The difficulties encountered in getting to this range, 50km south east of the Cordillera Blanca, has in part allowed it to keep it’s natural beauty. When you arrive in the heart of the range, you will discover lakes, brooks, woods, and a large diversity of flora and fauna. Various communities have set up a quota system that in total comes to 130 soles per tourist for a complete tour of the cordillera, which guarantees security and the use of pastures and camping sites.

The biggest mountain of the Huayhuash range is Yerupaja at 6634 metres above sea level, the second highest mountain in Peru and the highest of the eastern range and of the amazon basin.

The name Huayhuash comes from Quechua and it signifies a type of weasel. Considered by experts as one of the most demanding and beautiful trekking routes on the planet, the area of the Huayhuash reserve is the perfect combination for the traveller and adventurer glacial lakes of imposing beauty, snow covered peaks that seem to be within arm’s reach, extensive pampas and ravines where dense stands of quenual trees grow.The complete tour of the Huayhuash circuit takes between 12 and 14 days, although of course shorter routes exist depending on the fitness and time limitations of the walkers.

The principal route passes through six farming villages situated in the lower valleys (Pocpa,Pacllon and Llamac are the biggest),five high mountain passes over 4500m above sea level and more than a dozen lakes. The path starts in Chiquian, a perfect place for altitude aclimitization, from where you can choose to follow the hard packed road as far as Pocpa by bus or on foot, which will take a couple of days.

From Pocpa, last village on the route where we recommend to stock up on everything you need, the ascent begins for the pampas of Rondoy first high mountain pass towards high: Cacananpunta 4800 meters above the sea. From here, a steep decline bound for the first lagoon Mitucocha route, a real gem in the mountains, where they can try some good trout fishing, the day the walk goes round Carhuacocha another lagoon that offers beautiful views the snowy Jirishanca 6094 meters above the sea, Siula Grande 6344 meters above sea level and Yerupaja 6634 meters on sea level.

The following is Viconga lagoon, where we recommend taking a bath in the hot springs.

There is continued until Cuyoc pass 4965 meters above the sea and the town of Huayllapa, and in the department of Lima (Huayhuash is among Ancash, Huanuco and Lima). Continue until Tapush point where you will meet the great Yerupaja the best gift that nature can give.

The last stretch of the walk will take you to the Laguna de Jahuacocha which houses an interesting avifauna its waters and in its final part some queñual. And it's worth staying a few days in the lagoon and walk around to socialize with occasional people, peasants from the villages of Llamac or Pocpa living for part of the year on high grazing their flocks and making an excellent cheese.

Castilian meaning in the mountains of the Cordillera Huayhuash

Name Meaning Altitude
Yerupaja Paja Blanca 6.634 meters
Siula Ave Giula 6.344 meters
Sarapo Apu 6.127 meters
Jirishanca Picaflor de Nieve 6.094 meters
Rasac Forma de Sapo 6.017 meters
Jurau Mugido de Buey 5.900 meters
Rondoy Cumbre Aspera 5.885 meters
Huacshash Huérfano 5.663 meters
Rosario Cadena de Nubes 5.618 meters
Ninashanca Juego de Cadenas 5.607 meters
Clavel Janca Clavel 5.600 meters
Pariaucro Escondite 5.572 meters
Raju Collota Canto Rodado 5.550 meters
Sacra Tarima 5.542 meters
Yantauri Tauri Negro 5.455 meters
Cuyoc Temblor 5.450 meters
Puscanturpa Hilando el Fogón 5.442 meters
Huagrish Lleno de Bravura 5.430 meters
Cuncush Morena 5.400 meters
Llushuarco Pequeño Colgador 5.350 meters
Gaico El del Rincón 5.300 meters

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