Alpamayo. Mountain in Cordillera Blanca, Peru


Mountain in Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Alpamayo-Piramide-Chacraraju Photo © sharloch

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Alpamayo, Allpamayu or Shuyturahu is one of the most conspicuous peaks in the Cordillera Blanca of the Peruvian Andes at 5,947 meter, in the province of Huaraz. Alpamayo, or Mount Alpamayo, is undeniably the jewel of the Cordillera Blanca. It is a steep (60°), almost perfect pyramid of ice. It is distinguished by its unusual formation and overwhelming beauty.
In 1966, it ranked first place in a survey amongst climbers and photographers, winning the title of ‘most beautiful mountain in the world’


Alpamayo Mountain has cold, dry weather. Its average annual temperature is 10°C (10 °C). The best time for trekking in the Alpamayo is from June through September when it is the driest. However, the weather can be extremely cold and windy at anytime.


Alpamayo has a total of fourteen different routes, but the three most well-known are those of the southwest face:
  • Ferrari: Although it is the shortest and most frequented route, it is one of the most dangerous as you can find large serac (Wikipedia Article)s along almost the entire route.
  • French Basque: This is the optional route, besides the Ferrari when it presents too many seracs, and since 2004, is the most recommended.
  • French Direct: It is the longest route and is not the preferred choice of many. It was opened by American alpinists and baptized with that name in honor of two Frenchmen who tried to open the way two days before their death.

 - Alpamayo
Mountain Lake trekking to Alpamayo. . Photo by twiga269 ॐ FEMEN

Other Attractions

If you thought that trekking was the only thing to do, you were wrong. There’s much more to see and do in this beautiful province than what you originally thought.
  • Most of the Cordillera Blanca is within the Huascarán National Park (Wikipedia Article), and offers a unique variety of plants, flowers, and wild animals that you can admire while you go on a peaceful walk. The scenery is simply beautiful.
  • Visit the many lakes that this province offers.
  • Camping while facing the beautiful mountains and lakes is an option that many enjoy.
  • There are cultural tours to visit the pre -Inca archaeological sites. What a better way to learn history than by being in the actual place were the historical events took place?
  • As each region in Peru is distinct in its flora and fauna, each local cuisine adapts to the natural resources available and present foreign influences. Delight yourself with the exquisite Peruvian cuisine from the Andes. The locals' diet is still based on corn (maíz), potatoes, and an assortment of tubers as it has been for hundreds of years. Meat comes from indigenous animals like Alpacas and Guinea Pigs, but also from imported livestock like sheep, cattle and swine. There are many dishes that you cannot miss such as, Cuy Chactado (guinea pig), Rocoto Relleno (Peruvian stuffed chili pepper), Olluquito Con Charqui (yellowish tuber), and many more.

You can enjoy any of these alternative options offered by the two options of tours available. Walking tours or tours on vehicle. No matter what your preference is, do not hesitate to go out and explore the beauty of Huaraz Province.

Benefits of Visiting Alpamayo

  • Its beauty offers an unforgettable, alpine-climbing expedition.
  • It is consider the “most beautiful mountain in the world”.
  • It gives you a great feeling of accomplishment, since it is not an easy trek.
  • The scenery you’ll experience makes the hard work enjoyable.
  • There’s more to do than just trekking.
  • The experience you will get from the visit is incredible.
  • The scenery allows you to take beautiful pictures.
  • The locals are very friendly. Some of them even invite you to their house to enjoy a homemade meal.
  • There are different tours with different prices suited for everyone’s budget.

Disadvantages of Visiting Alpamayo

  • It requires a lot of physical effort and good fitness. Alpamayo is a serious, high-altitude mountain at 5,944 meter. Less than half of the climbers make it to the top.
  • Because of its popularity (awarded “most beautiful mountain in the world”), sometimes it can be overcrowded.
  • Very cold and windy weather.


  • Mountaineering at these altitudes requires good fitness and proper acclimatization.
  • Keep in mind that all climbers, regardless of routes or guides, must buy a park (not climbing) permit to the Huascarán National Park, about US$23.
  • It would be recommended to either a hire professional guide or a local guide, depending on your skills, money, and time availability. It doesn't matter about what kind of guide you hire, it is important that you’ll go with someone that knows the route since it is a challenging climb.
  • Bring special gear for the trek, including gear for rain, snow, and ice.
  • While you are climbing Alpamayo, do it fast, passing other parties ahead of you. Spending less time on the route where there are a lot of people is the only way to minimize the risk of natural icefall.

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Author: Steffanie Paredes. Last updated: Sep 16, 2014

Pictures of Alpamayo

alpamayo - Alpamayo
alpamayo - Photo by Paulo Tomaz


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