Huascarán National Park
Huascarán National Park
4.5

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles653 reviews
Excellent
521
Very good
104
Average
20
Poor
5
Terrible
3

Yannick M
Foix, France36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2012 • Couples
Right if you're staying anywhere Huaraz in Péru you need to do the one day hiking to Lake 69. The landscape is amazing and the lake is great ! How to do it. Take a private transport to get there because it's not much expensive than taking public buses. We got the return for 50 soles. You get picked up at your hotel at 6 in the morning then it takes 3 hours to get to the start of the hike. 5 soles to get in the park. It takes 3 hours approx to climb up to the lake wich is at 4500m high, then 2 hours to get down.
Written April 22, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TyandAm
San Ignacio, Belize100 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
My husband and I went to Peru in May 2014 to hike Machu Picchu. We are not avid hikers but since we had to acquire the gear and train for the Machu Picchu hike we decided to go all in and find a second hike to complete our vacation. Alvarado Adventures (www.alvaradoadventures.com) was recommended to me by a friend of one of my colleagues (both are experienced hikers who have hiked all over the world).

I reached out to Alvarado Adventures in early 2013. Peter Alvarado Henostroza was my contact at the company and he set everything up for us to go on the four day Santa Cruz Circuit hike near Huaraz. He offered to set up our complete vacation (including booking the hikes, hotels, air and land transportation, etc.) however in efforts to save money we elected to book these items ourselves. Peter did set up our bus transfers from Cusco to Huaraz and gave us recommendations for a hostel in Huaraz called Olaza’s- which was great.

We booked our vacation in May 2013 then had a year to wait. Throughout the year Peter would periodically check in with us. His emails provided a personal touch and were very thoughtful. We had a couple of minor changes prior to our trip and Peter handled them seamlessly.

In May 2014 we hiked Machu Picchu. After the hike we returned to Cusco, caught a shower and a few hours of sleep, a short plane ride, then took the 8 hour bus ride to Huaraz the next morning. We were on a “luxury” bus line that was clean and comfortable but the trip was long, hot, and noisy. When we arrived in Huaraz we were tired and I knew that I needed to email Peter to make arrangements for the time of our pick up in two days. To our surprise, however, Peter showed up at the bus station, took us to our hostel, and helped with our check-in. His arrival was completely unexpected. We talked for about an hour about the upcoming hike, food requirements (we had none), etc. Upon departure he recommended a great restaurant to us for a late night dinner.

The hike itself was great. Peter was our guide, his dad Emilio was our cook, and we were also joined by a mule driver. My husband and I only speak a little Spanish so we conversed with Peter in English. Peter told us about the history of where we were hiking, local flowers and plants, and about the farming in the valley. He was very personal, friendly, and always smiling. His kind demeanor was infectious and we had a great time getting to know him.

The hike itself was relatively easy since mules carried our gear and the majority of the hiking was only moderate inclines/declines. The valley was filled with wildlife and we enjoyed seeing the horses, mules, cows, and goats go about their day. There were also very few other hikers, which was a nice change from the very populated Inca trail.

I fell ill the second day and Emilio and Peter went out of their way to make special teas to settle my stomach. They even offered to let me ride Emilio’s horse. I declined the horse ride so the hike that day took way longer than it should have but Peter was a sport and kept me smiling. Emilio’s meals were fabulous and more than anyone should eat.

Peter took a number of pictures during the hike and shared them via Facebook after the hike. Almost a year later Peter still occasionally emails to check in. It is always great to hear from him and it has been fun to see the posts of his pictures on Facebook and reminisce.

Overall Alvarado Adventures was great from start to finish. Peter and Emilio are great people and we are glad to know them. Peter has an easy smile and a warm heart and I would highly recommend using Alvarado Adventures if you interested in easy to difficult hiking or trekking anywhere in Peru or Ecuador.
Written January 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravellinJonny
Leuven39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Couples
The Santa Cruz trekking was definitely a highlight of Peru for us. We've picked this trekking because it could easily be done without a group or guide. Here's some tips:

1. Do this on your own.
You can rent your equipment (sleeping bags, tent,...) in Huaraz and you can camp anywhere. That way you can avoid camp sites which tend to be crowded.
We did this trekking with our backpacker cloths so don't start buying expensive stuff for this.
Some people were saying it was impossible to do this trekking without a guide but back in June 2014 the park rangers didn't check whether you're with a guide.

2. Plan 3-5 days.
3 days will be sufficient for doing the whole tour but if you have more time you can do a side trip to the south side of the Alpamayo.
Doing the trekking is possible in both ways. I don't think there's really a big difference.
Ask for a basic map at the place you're renting your stuff. You can buy topographic maps in Huaraz if you'd like to.

3. Try to be flexible and check weather charts.
Lonely Planet says you can expect clear bly skies in july and august but this a huge generalisation. There's a big chance of clouds up there and it will influence your experience.

Enjoy!
Written November 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roverda
31 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Friends
We did the trek ourselves, which is doable if you are a bit experienced and take care of the altitude. The mountain pass is at 4750 meters high, but actually this is the highest point. If you come from Cashapampa then there´s a gradual ascent, and to the pass it´s a ascent of a steep 500 meters. Comming from Vaqueria, one has to make a steep ascent of a 1000 meters. In our opinion, starting the trek from Vaqueria (which we didn´t) one has better views of the mountains.

We we´re told in Februari there were two minor landslides and the trek was ok. When we walked inside the valley it became apparent that it was more then a landslide, there was a massive flood which destroyed the valley and changed the lake in a mud coloured swampy area. We had to search for the track and mostly we had to make our own way and jump over several small rivers. In a way the flood damage has it´s beauty of it´s own.

The other thing we didn´t really like is the huge amount of cattle (cows, horses and donkeys) that roam the area. They destroy the tracks (as it looked to us there was once a very good stone path which was wrecked at several spots) and their excrements are everywhere and if you are not carefull with your food, they are going to eat it. Unfortenately some people feed the animals, adding to the problem.

We heard that in Huaraz people were told it was not allowed to go on the trek without a guide, which is nonsense. It is allowed and doable. You have to pay an entrance fee of 65 soles each, which in our opinion isn´t used for repair or maintenance of the park.

So at it´s best it´s quite a beautifull walk, but at it´s worst it´s a ruined area which in our opinions is overrated at this time. We think that a multiple day trip to the Laguna Paron is much better. We especially recommend the walk up the Artesonraju climbers base camp, with a great view of the glaciar and glaciar lake.

Note: when arriving after the trek looking for Vaqueria it´s not clearly signposted which way to go. Ask locals for the right direction. When arriving in the valley village, take the road on your right hand just after the second big explanation board. If you´re starting from Vaqueria the trek is better signposted and says Punta Union (the mountain pass).
Written May 20, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

coadytlee
Halifax, Canada7 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015
My girlfriend and I are both guides in Canada, so we were shocked by this company.

There are so many issues with our 4 day trip that it would take a long time to explain, so here it is in point form.

-rented hiking poles for a 60 km hike, did not receive them

-were informed that the tents would all be under a big enclosure, this wasnt true so when we camped at 4200m and 3600m it was freezing. They said we would be fine but lied about the distances we were travelling each day.

-the morning we were supposed to be picked up.. They forgot us? We called the company and they said "the guy that sold you the trip doesnt work here". We obviously had our receipt so we convinced them to pick us up. The guides and cook told us immediately when we got in the van that Mony Tours had lied about the trip and the guides were concerned about our equipment. Since they did not know to pick us up they had no extra tents or sleeping bags. So we made due with our own.

-the main guide, Margarita, was in a relationship with the cook. The four hour drive to the trailhead she sat on his lap flirting and TOUCHING eachother sexually. Very unproffessional. And for me and my girlfriend sitting directly beside them it was very uncomfortable.

-the guide did not walk/talk with anyone from the group of paying customers. She only walked with the cook the whole trip. Typically the cook stays with the donkeys ahead and the guide with the group. This makes the meals happen on time and is more efficient. Nothing about our whole trip was on time.

-the experience was so bad that 8 of the 14 people in the group hiked out on day 3 and caught a bus back to huaraz. All 8 people were supposed to do the four days but had had enough of the guide.

-when mony tours sold us the trip they said they only had 4 day trips even though we only wanted to do a 3 day. When we arrived on the trek there was one person booked for just a 3 day.

-but the worst part of this whole experience was when we arrived back and wanted a 50 sole refund for the extra day, no poles, no tent and no sleeping bag and of course the poor guiding service. So we met with the owner and not once did he apologize for any of it? I guess thats what you can expect from a guy who names his company Mony Tours. He argued with us, called us liars. Tried to tell us they did not forget us. Even though the guides had to turn around to pick us up and TOLD us that they were not informed we would be on the trip. We were promised no more than 10 people on the trip and in the end had 14. The owner of Mony Tours had his finger in our face yelling at us about how his company did nothing wrong. All for the sake of a 50 sole refund??

-PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND AVOID MONY TOURS AT ALL COSTS. Disgusting experience.

Written October 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chris w
Changwon, South Korea65 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Solo
For anyone thinking of doing the Santa Cruz trek and are still undecided, I wouldn't recommend the trek for those who have been trekking in Patagonia. Patagonia has far superior treks. The Santa Cruz trek has a lot of trash on it, and there is always danger from the water. Cattle roam freely in the water, and I even saw two dead cows in the creeks! Not very good for your water supply. There are no facilities en route. The toilets that were dug several years ago are full, so people just go to the toilet anywhere. I'm not sure why you have to pay to get into the park, and I think the park management is terrible.
Written September 16, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

frogANDpepper
Dublin73 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
OVERALL IMPRESSION: It is nice day out in a sunny day, it's no super stunning view if you have other travel experience but you can enjoy mountain scenery. Walk is straight and simple so if you have time this might be optional.

TRANSPORT: We took a collectivo minibus from Huaraz, to Yungay for 5 soles. In Youngay there are collectivo taxis waiting for tourists, the price to Laguna Orconcocha (one way) is 15 soles per person if 4 people ( ie for 1 person only with no extra passengers both ways would be total120). I arrived with my partner on Saturday at 9.20am and we had to wait half an hour for other 2 people. The taxi driver said that normally tourists come at 10-10.30am. The drive to Lagoon in on unsealed road up and takes about 1hr and 20 mins with one stop for pictures and at the park entry (you need to pay 10 soles entry fee). Taxi driver stops at the end of Lagoon Orconcocha, I'd you want further up you need to pay 5 soles extra but its 30 mins walk.

DURATION AND ROUTE: The car goes up the same road you will be walking down from Lagoon Orconcocha down to Lagoon Llanganuca. You arrange the time with taxi driver to pick you up. Taxi drivers are very nice and quite flexible. When I first saw a route I thought 1.5hr would be enough but with taking pictures and if you want to go a bit further up (about 30-40 mins walk up the hill from the small bridge at the end of the second lagoon, totally worth doing) you cannot make it within that time. I would recommend 3 hrs. Please note the walk is very streigt forward, I can't call it even a trek, no difficulties. There is also possibility to take a boat at the first Lagoon, I did not take it, but the view is really nice from that point so make sure you will visit it at the end of the walk.

OPTIONS: There are actually a few options to be considered at the area, you can do the trek to lagoon 69, also there is about 2hr trek to viewing point 'mirador', but in this case you need to start early morning. Check options beforehand.

TIME & WEATHER: The best time to visit lagoons would be a day with perfect clear sky (I mean zero clouds) and we were lucky. We arrived just after 11am and it was perfect, we could see snowy mountains peaks on the blue sky. Really nice view. However after 12pm the clouds started to form above the picks and at 1pm picks were almost hidden.
When we arrived there was cold wind but within half an hour it became pleasantly warm with no wind at all.

TIPS: If you are traveling from north I would recommend staying in Huanchaco, then taking a morning LINEA 5.30am bus to Chimbote. Next, bus to Caraz Yungay express leaves at 8.30 in the morning from the same station in Chimbote, 6hrs drive through beautiful Canion el Pato. Stay in Caraz and do Lagoons from there :). I stayed in Caraz but did lagoons from Huaraz which does not make much sense.
Written July 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leandro Nogueira
Rio de Janeiro, RJ3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Solo
I have been to the park for the five-day Santa Cruz Trek (including Lake 69 in the first day, before leaving to Vaquería). The whole area has astonishing landscapes and is not spoiled by the tourism industry. The park is surrounded by rural villages, whose dwellers' cattle wander the place, making a nice scenary for photos! The mountains and lakes are among the most beautiful I have seen. Grass was very green in May and mountain peaks still had plenty of snow. I was lucky to face clear weather all the time, except for light rain in the second morning. I met other travelers who had just finished Santa Cruz and had trekked under rain everyday. I strongly recommend Huascaran Adventure Travel Agency! I booked in advance (like two months before) and had no surprise. I was travelling on my own but they had a small group booked. They were very professional on handling a difficult situation as the other travelers (two girls) walked much slowlier than me. As one of them was not even able to finish the acclimatization hike, I was told they would have to hire a horse otherwise they would take me alone. Fortunately, the girls agreed with the horse, but one of them went on walking. Thus Miguel, the guide, was very competent to cope with the "two groups" since he had to stay with the girls and watch me going before them, The occasion I got the wrong way he quickly reached me to show me the right trail. The food he prepared was really tasty. Tents were not cramped (I was given a double one as promised and the girls had a tent fit for three). The arriero and the guide were in charge with the tents. It is like v.i.p. camping... but when they say hot water for bath at night, do not expect a bathtub. Unlike other agencies, they include Lake 69 day-trek on their Santa Cruz trek. Paulino, the manager, says all the agencies used to do that in the past. It is not necessary to include the Lake 69 indeed, but I really liked having one "more" night in the mountains. The campsite in Llaganuco Valley is tremendously beatiful and afterall it was a v.i.p. camping experience.
Written June 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HansTofuWurst
Quito, Ecuador3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Solo
Did the Santa Cruz Trek solo and visited the Pastoruri (or how its spelled) Glacier with a Tour (booked through Alpes Huaraz). The Tour was 40 Soles for the Extranjeros and some Peruvians in the same Tour paid 25 - The Tour stopped at the End just 30mins before Huaraz for Lunch in an overpriced Resteraunt - when i asked why we do this, the Guide just refered to the Driver beeing in need to eat something - he probably would have survived the last 30mins! The Glacier itself was kind of nice, but beeing packed in a tour always feels uncomfortable - as a trip to acclimatize it might be nice - if you are - safe the day and go on a longer multidayhike!!!

Santa Cruz Trek
To stay in the Huascaran Park overnight you pay an entrance fee of 65 Soles - roughly 20€. For this you get: nothing! Everything which seems to be close to infrastructure - like toilets are well marked on the campgrounds but totally destroyed, there is no trail-marking (mostly you dont need it) besides pretty obvious signs as (walk here) where there is no other way to go. Arguments go, that the money is used for the Pueblos you pass at Vaqueria on your way to the Trailhead. That might at least explain the fancy church which you will find at that way. Other negative Tourist impact can be felt from Kids insisting on Cookies and Women asking for Medicine.

As most People go on a Tour you can easily organize it on yourself, save some money and, from my perspective, have a way more intense Nature Experience. From all of the possible side-trips I just went to the Alpamayo Base Camp, but it was really worth it and not that much of a de-tour from the regular trail.

Santa Cruz was not that challenge to walk (w/15kg Backpack) and not too crowded and the Landscape was just great - i wish i didnt went on the spoiled Salkantay Trek and had more Time to do a proper Huyahash Circuit..

P.S. If you're also pissed off from the Tourist Rip-off then I highly encourage you to write some official complaints to iPeru e.g.
Written June 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Louis-Guillaume M
Courbevoie, France229 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Couples
We did the laguna 69 and also the Santa Cruz trek, both of them were lovely (300soles/pax for both) BUT, you have to know that in low season 90% of agencies (the cheap ones) delegate the tour to Ganesa tour (near the main plaza). It means that they can promise a good guide, a good cook, equipment, at the end, it would be the ganesa tour stuff.
We have issues during the tour: cook not present as promised because drunk, guide not present the first day because sick, tents of 3/4 people, instead of tent of two, etc. The trek was nice because we need what to expect but we were lucky: the group was fun and only of 10 people. The group of the previous day was 15 ppl while the main tent (for eating) can only accept 10 people. It means that they could not eat together and have to rotate under the rain.

Be careful with that and don't pay more than 300s for the trek (some of the group paid 450s for EXACTLY the same thing). At the end, when they go the agency, the agency told them 'not our fault, see with ganesa" and ganesa said "not our fault, see with your agency for refund"

You can also pay twice the price with agencies like Hurascan which give a great service but cost a lot more.

In conclusion, the park is GREAT (if you are lucky with the weather because it can be cold) but be careful with the agency: pay the cheapest price and know what to expect, or pay a lot more if you like confort
Written November 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 206
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Huascarán National Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

FlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars