When looking at South America, Cordillera Blanca stands out as a location that offers one of the most spectacular possible scenery and greatest trails. Trekkers from all around the world visit every year, with many coming back because of the waterfalls, rivers, stunning lakes, high mountain passes and gorgeous valleys they can experience. The destination is basically a paradise for trekkers and mountaineers.
Cordillera Blanca offers around 12 properly established treks. Besides these, there are many more that do not draw many tourists.
Llanganuco – Santa Cruz
This is definitely one of the most beautiful trekking routes that you can be on in Cordillera Blanca so it should come to no surprise to notice that it is highly popular. This route will go across Santa Cruz gorge, starting in Cashapampa and going to the Llanganuco ravine. It is a 45 kilometers trek that takes around 5 days to complete.
Keep in mind that during peak season, the popularity of the trail is what you would not enjoy. Trash becomes a problem and the entire area becomes quite crowded. You do get to stay at various campsites with pit toilets along the trek but because of how crowded it is, many would not feel great during the trek.
You can also consider other circuits if you are looking for something that is really popular. This includes Alpamayo, one trek that takes 12 days and goes through some beautiful snowcapped summits. Then, we have Cedros Gorge, a trek that takes tourists for 4 days in Huascaran Park’s mountains, Portachuelo and Llanganuco (treks that just take 1 to 2 days).
Other routes that are pretty well known:
- Cojup Valley Trek – 20 kilometers
- Olleros – Chavin – 40 kilometers
- Laguna Churup – 25 kilometers
- Quebrada Quillcayhuanca – Cayesh – 25 kilometers
Besides the routes that were mentioned above, as already stated, others are available and not that popular. The lower popularity is due to the fact that you would need to be in a great physical shape for many of them.
Cordillera Huayhuash Trekking
Intrepid trekkers are constantly looking for new options since the treks are becoming more popular in the past few years. The Cordillera Huayhuash circuits are remote and pristine, being attractive for a group of trekkers that want to stay away from the highly popular destinations. The route is only 30 kilometers long from north to south, although length can drastically increase based on itinerary chosen. You can even go trekking for 165 kilometers if you want to cover everything that the region gives. It offers great mountain vistas and some sparkling lagunas. The communities present though are quite primitive and isolated.