Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Our original plan was to do a multi-day trek somewhere around Cuzco in the Sacred Valley but after researching prices we decided it just wasn't in our budget. Luckily we found many inexpensive trekking options in the Andes near the city of Huaraz northeast of Lima that included a guide, chef, and donkey porter.

We decided on a four day, three night trek on the famous Santa Cruz trail located in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range, the second highest mountain range in the world. Quoted from National Geographic's World's Best Hikes "While the Himalaya get all the attention when it comes to high-altitude trekking, Peru's Cordillera Blanca offers the solitude of big mountains with far less of the hassle of the premier routes in Asia. It's also a less-crowded alternative to the hordes headed to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. The mountains take precedence here."

After a four-hour bone rattling bus ride that saw very little pavement we started the trek at 12,500 feet and hiked through a beautiful valley to our first camping spot surrounded by snowcapped mountains.

The second day took us up and over the continental divide at 15,600 feet! The air was thin and the views incredible. The trail fell steeply down towards a turquoise glacial lake and into another valley.

Our second night we slept below two famous peaks. On one side, Mount Artesonraju, the mountain on the paramount pictures logo, and on the other side, Mount Alpamayo, credited as the most beautiful mountain in the world. Really the only way to improve on the scenery would have been if a brilliant rainbow appeared. Oh wait, one did. And it was a double rainbow too.

The rest of the hike continued through the valley before finally ending in a small town. Our last night we were rewarded with a soak in some natural hot springs that eased our tired muscles. D's camera is still trying to recover from being overworked.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an incredible place as described so well by your description and pictures. You once again found the lesser known, but oh so beautiful gem. Thanks for sharing it all with us!