Cordillera Huayhuash Treks

Although much smaller than the Cordillera Blanca, the main chain of the Cordillera Huayhuash is known for its isolation and pristine environment. For years, the area remained essentially off-limits to foreign tourism, as it was a major stronghold for the Shining Path insurrection that terrorized much of Peru's Central Highlands throughout the 1980s. Today this isolation is what makes the region so special. Treks here are measured in weeks, not days, with road access and tourist infrastructure almost nonexistent. The opportunities to spot rare Andean wildlife are much greater here and the chances of meeting tour groups next to zero.

Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit: This taxing trek, the major draw here, can take up to two weeks, passing through some of the region's most spectacular mountain scenery. Access to this trail was traditionally via Chiquián, but the road has been extended to Llamac. Tours and supplies are best organized in Huaraz, although Chiquián does provide some limited facilities, and porters and mules can be arranged here.

Siula Grande (6,344 meters, 20,814 feet): See the mountain made famous by Joe Simpson in his gripping tale of survival in Touching the Void.

Yerupaja (6,617 meters, 21,709 feet): The second-highest mountain in Peru.

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