Cordillera Huayhuash. Mountain Range in Peru, South America

Cordillera Huayhuash

Mountain Range in Peru, South America

Cordillera Huayhuash Photo © Florian Mair

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Cordillera Huayhuash

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The Cordillera Huayhuash is in the south of the Cordillera Blanca, in Peru. This is an extension of 67,589.76 hectares.
It borders the regions of Ancash (Wikipedia Article), Huanuco (Wikipedia Article), and Lima. It has a dozen peaks which are very difficult to hike because of frequent avalanches.
The most famous peaks are Yerupaja (6,634 meters), Yerupaja Chico (6,121 meters), and Jirishanca (6,094 m).

Flora and Fauna

The Andean Cordillera Huayhuash has a unique flora and fauna in it some rare and beautiful species are also found like condors, vicuñas, viscachas (wich are close relatives of the Chinchilla), it also has beautiful birds like colibri and picaflor (wich are like hummingbirds) and some other amazing species.
In the winter season which is from October to March and early spring, the landscapes become something really beautiful with green ichus (Stipia bunch grass) and multicolored flowers. The green of the hillsides, the glow of the White Mountains, the pure blue of the mountain sky reflected on the waters of sweet lakes are just beautiful scenery in a few parts of the world can see The Andean Cordillera Huayhuash has a unique flora and fauna in it some rare species are also found. In the winter season which is from October to March and early spring, the landscapes become something really beautiful with green ichus (Stipia bunch grass) and multicolored flowers. The green of the hillsides, the glow of the White Mountains, the blue of the mountains sky reflected in the waters lakes are really beautiful sceneries that you only can see in a few parts of the world.


The weather is marked by two stages during the year: from December to March is humid and with warm winds coming from the Amazon basin, which produce high amount of rainfall, and the second stage from May to October which is marked by a dry season.
On sunny days the temperature can reach 25°C and at night it gets very cold like 0°C or less.


The trip is about 180 kilometers long and has different routes but two are the most known:

The long route:

The longest for trekking professionals and the second one is for those who are beginning in trekking and just want to enjoy a beautiful landscapes without making such a long journey. I recommend this route to those who have experience in trekking because it is really hard to accomplish and it takes approximately 12 days of travel.

The level of hardship and hours of hiking of this route are calculated only for people with average physical condition and who are well acclimatized to the altitude. A good physical condition will help you to climb 2-3 hours whit a good rhythm and long descents down without hassle. Also it´s going2 to help you when you have to sleep in tents for several days in very cold conditions.

Some people walk faster and others find it more difficult and walk slower. The effects of altitude make the hike be much harder than a similar trekking close to sea level altitude and the effects vary from person to person. Many people decide to take this route with a guide as being one of the most difficult trekking route in the world, people feel it is safer go with an expert.

The Cordillera Huayhuash is one of the hardest, long and spectacular trekking routs in the world, that is why it has outperforming other routes in the world like Nepal, Himalaya and Africa.

The short route:

This route is approximately 45 km long, which is highly recommended to people who don't want to walk for several days but just want to see the lakes and beautiful landscapes.

This route can also travel in groups, alone or with a guide; for being of short duration many people choose to go alone or in small groups, but for those wishing to travel accompanied with a guide can too, besides accompany and guide you through the best roads they will tell you stories and legends of each place.

The Good

  • Thanks to the spectacular scenery you can take cool pics everywhere.
  • It is one of the most beautiful tours in the world.
  • For those who do trekking, this is one of their favorites.
  • If you go with a guide you will get to know legends and stories from many places around.
  • You will have an unforgettable adventure.

The Bad

  • It is considered one of the hardest trekking routes in the world.
  • If you have no trekking experience you may not be able to finish the whole tour.
  • The height makes harder to climb the Cordillera.
  • Many roads are very narrow.
  • Because of the snow, the routes are very slippery.


  • I suggest you to go in a group or with a tour guide, even if you have experience doing trekking as there are accidents because of the steep and snowy roads.
  • Get information of the weather, besides knowing the general conditions of the territory through which you are going to travel is very important to know if the weather is suitable. There are weather conditions that prevent trekking and others that will make it difficult but solvable if we take appropriate measures for equipment.
  • The town of Chiquian, which is near to Yerupaja, Jirishanca, Siula Grande Rondoy, Ninashanca, and Rasac, is the ideal place to stock up on food.
  • Go with special climbing shoes and clothes.
  • Carry a trekking pole, even though many people believe that trekking pole is a dispensable, when we add hiking actually it is almost essential. The cane helps maintain balance and reduces fatigue on knees and ankles.
  • Take the necessary gear and try not to make it too heavy.
  • Carry two cameras or a solar battery charger so you can take all the pictures you want without worrying that the battery will run out.

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Author: Steffanie Paredes. Last updated: Aug 24, 2014

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