Cordillera Blanca trip planning
You are an adventure sports lover, you want to be in the mountains and perhaps climb one too. You want amazing views of lakes, rivers, streams, flora and fauna, and of the world’s highest tropical mountains, so your destination is the Cordillera Blanca, a paradise for trekking, climbing, mountain biking, day tours, scientific studies, and more. Below we list some suggestions to help you plan your visit to the Cordillera Blanca:
- Choose your activity (trekking, climbing, mountain biking, etc.) The Cordillera Blanca has many trekking circuits and climbing routes to offer which differ greatly in duration and difficulty.
- Choose the date of your trip. The weather is best between April and October (the Andean summer), but there are possibilities all year round.
- Choose the manner in which you would like to travel, using a travel agent or on your own. According to Huascaran National Park’s latest regulations, some trekking circuits, the Santa Cruz trek route in particular, are no longer open to independent travelers and can be done only through a tour operator or travel agency accredited by Huascaran National Park.
- Check which documents are required for your nationality to visit Peru. Most countries do not require a visa and the maximum stay is 90 days. For more information consult your embassy.
- Acquire all the necessary equipment for the trip you want to do (climbing/trekking equipment, first aid, maps, etc.) See equipment list.
- As all the activities take place at high elevations it is important to acclimatize. We recommend that you eat lighter foods and drink lots of water for the first few days. If you suffer from heart disease, consult with your physician.
- We strongly recommend that you book in advance your hotels in Lima and Huaraz and also any tours in which you might be interested.
- Most travelers to Peru arrive via the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. Residents of neighboring countries (Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile) and people visiting those countries have the option of arrival by land.
- Lima, the capital of Peru, is a large city with many interesting places to visit. It has museums, great restaurants, colonial buildings, pre-Inca ruins etc. A visit of at least a day is worthwhile and highly recommended.
- From Lima you may travel to Huaraz by land, which is most common, or by air.
- Upon arrival in Huaraz we strongly suggest that you spend a couple of easy day acclimatizing. You can go for a city tour, there are several possible day trips by bus to ruins, lakes, or viewpoints, and several options as well for days hikes to be done as warm-ups for more ambitious trips.
- In Huaraz there are many travel agencies, which can be very helpful in making arrangements for your adventure, including the hiring of a vehicle to get you to and from your trek.
- Once in the mountains the common means of transport is the use of pack animals (donkeys, mules, or horses). They are always accompanied by a “burro-driver”. The easiest way to hire pack animals and a driver is through one of the various Huaraz travel agencies.
- Almost all of the Cordillera Blanca is within the limits of Huascaran National Park, so visitors must know and respect its regulations.
If you would like to organize your own trip, there are many options open to you. Read our tips for independent travelers.