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Santa Cruz trek & Climbing Nevado Mateo 2024

Trekking Santa Cruz: One of the most classic and popular hiking route in the Cordillera Blanca, the hike around this tropical mountain range passes through impressive landscapes of uncommonly beautiful mountains, frequent lakes and glaciers. The camps are some of the most spectacular in the world. This is a short and very popular hike with spectacular views of lakes and mountains.
For acclimatization, we begin with a day hike to Lake Willcacocha at 3700masl. The highest and most demanding pass on Santa Cruz trek is Punta Union Pass (4750masl)

Mountain Mateo: One of the peaks of the mountain range called Contrahierbas in the Huascaran National Park, Ancash. It has a height of 5150 meters and is considered a 5 thousand technically of medium ascent, the advantage is that it is possible to climb it in one day, since the transport reaches the base of the moraine or rocky road, however all ascent to a mountain implies certain risks and therefore the equipment, guides and adequate experience are required.

The path to reach the glacier Mateo is rocky and with certain slopes not suitable for those suffering from vertigo and can easily take 3 to 4 hours to reach the summit, depending on the climber’s physical condition.

  • Our staff will pick you up at the Lima airport and at the end of your trip will also drop you off at the airport.
  • Start at your arrival in the bus station.
  • Finish at your depart in the bus station.
  • Best time April to November


Moderate to hard, the highest point is the summit of Mateo (5150 m)


We will fulfill everything we offered you, there is nothing hidden, no surprises.


10 days
Best season: May to October


Bilingual (spanish/english) trekking and mountain guide. Groups could be mixed.


From $ —

Program details

Day 01: Transfer from airport to Hotel in Lima

Pick up at your arrival in airport of Lima and transfer to hotel in Miraflores.

Day 02: Travel by bus to Huaraz (3100 m) - 400 km/approximately 8 hours
  • This ride follows the Panamerican highway north across the impressive Pacific coastal desert.
  • Continuing toward higher terrain, we pass through the Cordillera Negra (Black Range) at Conococha Pass (4020 m) into the Santa Valley and Huaraz (3100 m).
  • Once across the pass, you’ll see a charming view of the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, without a doubt some of the most impressive scenery in the world.
  • You can also fly via LCPERU (now suspended until further notice) – flight duration 50 minutes. Overnight Hotel
Day 03: Huaraz - Day Hike to Laguna Willcacocha (3700 m)

Duration: 20 min (by car) 3 – 4 hours (hiking)

  • Our guide will pick up you at your hotel after breakfast with our transportation and we’ll drive about 20 minutes southeast of Huaraz to the bridge of the Santa Cruz Village where we will start ascending to the lake Willcacocha.
  • The hike is a gradual ascent up on a local trail for about 2 ½ to 3 hours.
  • Along the way you may expect to meet local Quechua people still wearing their traditional colorful Andean clothes.
  • You’ll pass close to their traditional adobe houses and see how they have lived for countless centuries surrounded by richly green farm lands where they grow their products as: wheat, corn and potatoes.
  • Upon arriving the lake, you will be amazed with the magnificent views of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range with its highest mountain Huascaran at 6768m/22,205ft.
  • At such a vantage point, you will have the perfect lookout point for enjoying the surrounding breath taking views and shooting some “10 on the drool scale” photos and we have lunch enjoying the panorama view, before we begin our easy descent to the Shansha Village Bridge trailhead.
  • On our way down you’ll have the great view of the valley below and of the Cordillera Blanca peaks accompanying you.
  • Our private transportation will be waiting to take back to Huaraz Hotel.Total time of this acclimation journey is approximately 6 hours.
Day 04: Huaraz - Day Hike to Laguna Churup (4450 m)

Duration: 50 min (by car) 5 – 6 hours (hiking)

  • Drive up on the dirt road to the parking place at Pitec ( not a village , but a few farmhouses).
  • Along drive we pass through traditional village of Unchus and Llupa with its traditional adobe houses and reach farmlands, there is opportunity to see local quechua people on their traditional clothes and working land with their hands.
  • Then as we reach Pitec, after checking with the Huascaran National Park range, start ascending following the path over the long ridge.
  • After about 1 ½ you reach a steep an rocky part, to the left of the water fall.
  • From there, you reach lake Churup after a quite intimidating 45 minutes climb.
  • This climb can be a real challenge climb , to avoid this steep part, there is an option to climb more to the left where is a a kind of metal rope that helps to climb. Then as you arrive to the lake will be impressed for the beautiful view of the lake and landscape sourrounded.
  • Spend time walking around lake side , take pictures, relax and have box lunch enjoying the nature.
  • Then return on the same way back to Pitec , where our transportation waits to drive you back to Huaraz. Overnight Hotel.
Day 05: Huaraz – Cashapampa – Llamacorral (3800m/12464ft)

Duration: 3 hours (by car) 4 – 5 hours (hiking)

  • Pick up at your hotel in Huaraz.
  • Drive along the Callejon de Huaylas Valley to the village of Cashapampa 2900m.
  • There are opportunities for photo stops along the way.
  • Cashapampa village is the start point for hike to ascend steeply for about 2 hours and then the track levels out.
  • Camp at Llamacorral (3750m).
Day 06: Llamacorral – Jatuncocha – Taullipampa (4200m/13776ft).

Duration: 5 – 6 hours

  • Today is an easier hike up the Santa Cruz valley.
  • This day it is generally flat and we ascend just the last hour towards the camp.
  • We will pass by the Jatuncocha lake, one of the largest lake during this trek.
  • Visit the Alpamayo mountain viewpoint (if we have enough time we will go to the base camp Alpamayo and Laguna Arhuaycocha)
  • Camp at Taullipampa (4250m), surrounded by many peaks such as Paria, Artseonraju, Rinrijirca, Quitaraju and Alpamayo.
Day 07: Taullipampa – Punta Union Pass (4750m/15580ft) – Cachinapampa.

Duration: 7 – 8 hours approx.

  • This day will be the hardest, since we will ascend to the highest point of the route ( Punta Union pass 4750 mts).
  • We ascend steadily for about 3 hours on a good trail to the Punta Union Pass 4750m.
  • We can feel the effects of the altitude as we reach the pass.
  • From the pass we have very close views of the big mountains of the Cordillera Blanca.
  • We have a long descent passing two small lakes and then coming down into the Huaripampa Valley.
  • Camp at Cachinapampa 3700m.
Day 08: Paria - Trekking to the village of Vaquería. Transfer to Huaraz..

Duration: 3 hours (hiking) 5 hours (by car)

  • After descending through the forests and whitewater rivers of the Huaripampa Valley, we pass through a typical village of the high Andes, Vaquería.
  • The farmers here raise small animals and some crops.
  • At this elevation there are still flowers, and their colors brighten the landscape.
  • From the village we climb to Portachuelo de Llanganuco Pass, 4650 meters, where you will have fantastic views of several mountains covered in snow.
  • From here we take a continue to Llanganuco valley and then to Huaraz. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 09: Full day climbing to nevado Mateo (5150 m)

Duration: 2 hours (transport) 5 hours (mountainneering activitie)

  • Between 3:00 and 3:30 am departure from Huaraz and we will drive to the city of Carhuaz where we will take the detour to the Cordillera Blanca via the Ulta valley to the tunnel at the high point of Punta Olímpica for 2 hours.
  • At 5:30 a.m. Approx. begins the ascent through the moraine (rocky and vertical path) of the south face of Nevado Contrahierbas – 2 hours approx. until we reach the glacier – and after ascending the glacier for 1.5 to 2 more hours we will reach the summit.
  • After spending a few minutes at the top, the descent can take about 2.5 hours to the road where our private transport awaits us. Then the return will take us 3 hours to the city of Huaraz – end of the tour between 2:00 to 3:00 pm approx.
Day 10: Transfer to the bus terminal and trip to Lima. In Lima, transfer to the hotel.

8 Hours by bus to Lima. 

In Lima transfer from bus station to hotel en Miraflores


Services included:

  • Transfer from the airport to hotel in Lima.
  • 01 night Hotel in Lima.
  • Transfer from your Hotel in Lima and transfer to the bus station
  • Bus tickets from Lima to Huaraz and viceverse.
  • 05 nights Hotel in Huaraz
  • Pre-departure briefing: You will meet your guide in you hotel for an orientation before to start the activities.
  • Transport: You will be picked up from your hotel everyday in the morning and will travel by private transportation to the starting point of the trek and also private transport from the end of tour to the hotel.
  • Experienced Guide: English speaking, professionally educated, and official tour guide. Your guide will explain the culture and surroundings along the entire route! He or she will keep you safe, sound, and comfortable on your trek so that you can enjoy your time worry-free!
  • Professional certified mountain guide for climbing tour Pisco.
  • All camping & cooking equipment (sleeping, Dining and kitchen tents, tables, chairs, and cooking equipment (all carried by the donkeys).
  • Colective climbing equipment (such as rope, ice axes, crampons, helmet, harness)
  • Cargo Mules: For to carry the all camping equipment and your allowance of personal baggage (8 kgs), this does not include climbing equipment, which can be transported on the last day of the Santa Cruz trek.
  • Trekking Cook: A chef specialized in cooking on the trail, with an assistant (if the group is more than 8 people), will prepare all of your delicious meals along the journey to replenish your energy. You will never go hungry!(Vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost)
  • Wake up tea: Every morning at the campsite, you will woken up with a cup of coca tea! Our staff will bring the tea to your tent so that you will be warmed from inside out before you start your day.
  • Tea time daily: Every afternoon before dinner, the cook will provide popcorn, biscuits, coffee, hot chocolate, teas, hot water, etc. After a long day of hiking, you will not have to wait until dinner to relax, warm up, and enjoy a bite to eat!
  • Snacks on the trail daily: Our snacks consist of local fruits, biscuits, chocolate, caramels, etc. We will give this snack to you at the beginning of each day in your cloth bag.
  • Entrance fee to Huascaran National Park
  • Medical kit: Our crew will bring a first-aid kit, including emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Transfer to bus station and bus ticket from Huaraz to Lima
  • Transfer from bus station to Hotel in Lima.
  • 01 night hotel in Lima
  • Transfer from Hotel to airport.

Not included:

  • International flights to Lima / Peru and taxes
  • Travel accident and health insurance
  • Luggage insurance and trip cancellation
  • Meals in restaurants in Lima and Huaraz
  • Personal equipment (such as boots, sleeping bag, Goretex, etc.)
  • Additional expenses as a result of leaving the tour early or additional expenses as a result of an emergency rescue or evacuation.
  • Additional costs or delays out of control of the management (landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.)

Prices according to number of people Please contact us for more information.


5 to 8


(Price x person)


US$ —

  • If you book in advance we find the other participants for the date you choice. (Group Service considerate from 5 to 8 participants) We open a new group minimum base on 2.


Price x person

02 person US $ —
04 people US $ —
06 people US $ —
08 people US $ —
  • If you want to take this PRIVATE SERVICE, you can book up to a week before the date (subject to availability).
  • If you are a group of friends or family of 4 people or more, we recommend that you try to organize your experience in PRIVATE SERVICE, because you only know the health situation of your circle of friends and/or family.



How fit do I need to be to Trek or Climb in Peru?
For trekking, it is not necessary to be “super fit”, but you do need to be of generally good fitness and a regular walker. You need to be able to hike continuously uphill (sometimes steep) for 2 to 2½ continuous hours with rest stops to reach the top of a pass. Total walking time in a day varies from 3 or 4 hours to up to 7 hours for moderate treks and the hard treks can be up to a 9 hour day.
For climbing you need have good aerobic fitness and be generally strong, and it is important to be well acclimatized. On many of the climbs, you have to carry your equipment with sleeping bag, mattress, clothes up to a high camp in a backpack and you need to be strong enough to manage this.

Hotels, bus before/after trek?
We can also organize transfers, hotels in Huaraz or other cities, packages in the rest of the country etc. If you would prefer more services, from the airport in Lima for example or a complete Peru travel package, please let us know.

Can you accommodate food sensitivities?
Our cooks are used to dealing with vegetarians. However, other clients and staff may have a conventional diet. Meals are prepared in the same tent and scents of meals can not be avoided. if you do not want to eat your meal in the same tent with clients having a conventional diet, please inquire about a private tour.

How to book the tour?
FIRST: To make a booking, please email us to check availability and receive customized booking form.
All clients will need to fill out a Passenger Details form. Please be ready with the following information (FROM EACH PARTICIPANT in your group). We need the following information:
  • Personal information (Full name, exactly as on your passport):
  • Gender and passport number
  • Nationality and date of birth
  • Dietary requirements and medical conditions (alergies)
SECOND: We require a deposit of 50% per person in order to purchase a permit for the Huascaran National Park 4 days. You can make you deposit by VISA/Mastercard/Dinners or another cards (payment link) or Wester Union (request our data).
Important for group departures!
  • If you book in advance we find the other participants for the date you choice. (Group Service considerate from 5 to 8 participants) We open a new group minimum base on 2.
  • For booking validation you should deposit a 50% of total price, and rest 50% you pay when you arrive to Peru or Huaraz.
  • Dear visitors you should know that our company is available to provide wherever information regarding our trip, for detailed information you should request us and we will reply as soon as possible, because we have an expert guide available.
  • Our trek rates can change according the book time or number of participants, contact with us for more information please.

Information for a better experience during the trek


Packing list for trekking in Perú

During the treks in Cordilleras Huayhuash or Blanca you will fill your backpack just enough. Clothes, sleeping bag, accessories depending of the tour duration.


Altitude sickness in Perú? Travel tips

It is important to know what precautions to take before traveling to the Andes of Peru, also because of its geography, Soroche is a possibility.