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Santa Cruz LLanganuco Mini Trek


Punta Union Pass

Timing : 3 Days
Grade : Hard

This is a special mini trek along the famous Santa Cruz Llanganuco Circuit especially for those travelling with limited time available, but still wanting to experience the splendour of the Cordillera Blanca mountain scenery.

The trek offers amazing mountain scenery with spectacular views of snow covered mountains, vertical rock walls, crystal blue lakes and the challenging pass Punta Union at altitude 4750m, all condensed into just 3 days hiking.This is a demanding trek, suitable only for fit people who are already well acclimatised. It is an ideal trek to combine with treks and tours to other areas of Peru or as extra acclimatisation for climbing in the Cordillera Blanca.

Day 1: Drive to the famous Llanganuco Lakes, and then on to the settlement of Vaqueria (3600m) where we start trekking. A relaxed gradually ascending hike through the agricultural settlements of the Huaripampa valley to camp in a secluded hidden valley at Paria (3900m) 5 hours

Day 2: A sustained climb up to the narrow pass over the Divide, Punta Union (4750m). After admiring the views and taking photos, we take an easy zig zag trail down to our camp in a meadow at Taullipampa (4254m) 6 to 7 hours.



Day 3: We make a short detour to hike up for views of the famous Alpamayo Mountain then a long but easy down hill hike to the village of Cashapampa (2900m) where our private vehicle will be waiting for us & we return to Huaraz. 6 to 7 hours hiking.

Note: Special Interest

If you choose to do this trek, you will be helping and contributing to improving the economic situation for the local people of the villages of Colcabamba and Vaqueria at the start of the trek.

Because of unfair local politics, the donkey drivers from these villages are not permitted to work on any treks other than those starting from Vaqueria. The work as donkey drivers is a vital source of cash income for the people who live in these villages, and without this work they have very little cash with which to improve their lives and educate their children.

Classic examples are two of our favourite donkey drivers, the brothers Victor and Cirillo Mendez from Colcabamba. These two men are extremely hardworking, honest and loyal. Victor is working hard to support his eldest daughter who is at university in Huaraz studying to be a nurse. Victor’s vision is to educate both his daughters so that they can advance and not be trapped into the hard and difficult lives of mountain living people.


Cirillo                                               Victor

Matt & Jolene from Canada who did this trek with Victor said:
Donkey driver. – We´ll take Victor anytime!. He´s great

David / Santa Cruz Trek said:
I’ve just returned from the most amazing place! I joined a group that completed the Santa Cruz trek which offered a spectacular visit to the Andes mountains. I found Peruvian Andes Adventures while searching the web for a company that offered guided treks in Peru. They offered a variety of treks and I was seeking quality and expertise. There is no place more beautiful or as rewarding to hike through that I’ve found on earth than Peru, and one can’t imagine a better run company than Peruvian Andes Adventures. I look forward to another trip with them next summer

Map – trek route
Download PDF for climb description & notes
Adobe Acrobat Reader

Contact us for more information and prices.

If you know, tell us the approximate dates that you would like to be trekking and the number of people in your group, as well as if you prefer a private trek or would be happy to join with other people.


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