Santa Cruz  &  Ulta    

The Santa Cruz Trek is one of the most popular hiking routes in the Cordillera Blanca. While an option exists to do the trail in just 4 days, our Santa Cruz expedition includes a 2-day extension through the far-more pristine Ulta Valley which always proves to be a highlight for those who make the time to go. The trail winds through fertile alpine valleys, boasts views of spectacular glaciated peaks, and crosses from one side of the Cordillera Blanca to the other by means of Punta Union pass which rises to14,700 feet (4750 meters), then back again over Yanayacu pass at 4850 meters before descending to the trailhead above the small town of Shilla. With donkeys carrying the load, the walk is made even more enjoyable, allowing one to focus his or her attention the stunning landscape instead of the weight of their backpack! An optional hike to visit the popular Alpamayo basecamp can be woven into the trip on day 2, or for those more inclined to just put their feet up and take in the sights the grassy pasture of Taullipampa couldn’t be a more perfect resting place. You’ll wander past the monstrous peaks of Santa Cruz, Artesonraju, Taulliraju and more. On your way to Colcabamba, you’ll pass through a small community where you’ll see up close and personal the way the people of this mountainous zone live, perhaps even taste some of their local cuisine! A short and very sweet hike, it is no wonder why the Santa Cruz is considered “THE trek” to do in Huaraz.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Total nights in the mountains: 5 Itinerary length Lima to Lima: 11 days

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  • ITINERARY
  • SERVICES
  • DATES & PRICES
  • ENROLLMENT INFO
  • F.A.Q.

SANTA CRUZ/ULTA ~ DETAILED DAY-TO-DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Private pick-up at the Lima Airport. Transfer to hotel in Lima for a nice meal & a good nights sleep.
Day 2: Private transfer in the morning to the bus station. Take a comfortable first class ride to Huaraz (approximately 8 hour journey). Move into your hotel and relax.
Day 3: Orientation meeting in your hotel in the morning to review your itinerary, answer questions, and finalize logistical details of the trip. Head out on a 4-hour acclimatization hike to the Puka Ventana (“red window”) outside of tow, where you’ll get great views of the entire Cordillera Blanca range from North the South. Spend the night in your Huaraz hotel.
Day 4: Day hike to the turquoise waters of Laguna Churup (4500 meters), approximately 5 hours of hiking round trip. Return to Huaraz, night in hotel.
Day 5: Depart Huaraz and drive to the small village of Cashapampa to meet your donkeys and begin your trek up the beautiful Santa Cruz Valley. Hike about 4 hours before setting up camp and settling in for the evening in an area called Llama corral.
Day 6: Continue hiking up the valley 5-7 hours towards the first pass of the trek (Punta Union 4750 meters). Camp before the pass near the popular Alpamayo base camp. Optional trip up to see the base camp.
Day 7: Hike up and over Punta Union and descend to about 4200 meters where a nice camp awaits in Paria. Hiking time, 6-7 hours.
Day 8: Continue your descent towards the town of Vaqueria, then cut southeast on the trail at Colcabamba. Enter the Ulta valley and sleep in Molina Pampa before ascending to the second pass. Hiking time, 4-5 hours.
Day 9: Hike up towards tDayhe pass on a lightly-traveled path to a beautiful campsite called Avalancha situated below the towering peak of Contrahierbas. The sounds and sights of the mountain will keep you entertained throughout the afternoon! Hiking time 5-6 hours.
Day 10: Enjoy your last morning at camp then pack up and hike out to meet your transport at the road. Transfer to Huaraz for the well deserved warm shower and celebration banquet
Day 11: Last minute shopping for family and friends before departing for Lima at 11:00am, arriving at the airport or your hotel by 7:00pm.

SANTA CRUZ/ULTA ~ SERVICES INCLUDED & NOT INCLUDED IN PACKAGE

Services Included:

• All in-country transport during program, including airport shuttles & private transport to all itinerary destinations
• First class bus tickets between Lima and Huaraz
• Hotel accommodations (three star) for specified time in Lima and Huaraz
• Professional, English speaking guide for acclimatization activities and trek
• Professional expedition cook
• Three healthy meals a day plus snacks during the wilderness components of the trip
• National park entry & all community/camping fees
• Sleeping tents, sleeping mats (foam)
• Eating tent, table, chairs + cook tent & bathroom tent
• All cooking and eating materials
• Donkeys to carry the load throughout the trek
• First aid kit stocked for wilderness expeditions
• Satellite telephone for emergency use
• Celebration banquet at the end of trip

Services Not Included:

• International flights to/from Lima and applicable airport taxes
• Personal clothing and equipment (see gear list)
• All food during in-town days or extra food/beverages ordered from hotels with the exception of the celebration banquet at the trip end
• Incidental personal expenditures, including emergency evacuations and medical expenditures, extra nights in hotels, extra transports not indicated in program itinerary
• Travel, Personal, and/or medical insurance

SANTA CRUZ/ULTA DATES & PRICES

 

Santa Cruz/Ulta Trekking Package:

May 5-15 
June 20-30 
August 10-20

Custom dates available upon request

 

Price per Person:

$1435 USD ~ 4-person minimum group size

CONTACT, ENROLLMENT AND PAYMENT INFORMATION ~ click tabs below for more information

 

SKYLINE ADVENTURE SCHOOL CONTACT INFORMATION:

EMAIL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PERU TELEPHONE (51)(43) 943-238090 or 943-919850 (cellular)

(51)(43) 42-70-97 (office land line)

when calling from the U.S., dial 011, before the country code (51), city code (43), and desired number

when calling from Countries other than the U.S.A., contact an operator for appropriate calling codes
PERU ADDRESS Jirón Industrial #137, Cascapampa, Huaraz PERU

USA TELEPHONE (406) 322-3065

USA ADDRESS PO Box 8321 Missoula, MT 59807

Please feel free to contact us in any manner using the above information. If you would like to start an application process for a trip or any type of course, please read the directions below. For an online inquiry form, click here.

INQUIRY / APPLICATION PROCESS:

Are you ready to sign up? Congratulations!!!

The process is simple:

First, decide what trip/course you would like to do and when you would like to do it. If your dates do not match those we have already programmed, let us know and we can most likely schedule you in for the time slot of your choosing.

Second, get in touch. You may fill out the online inquire form here, send an email to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or give us a call to any one of the numbers above. A Skyline admissions staff person will get in touch with you soon after.

Third, fill out the appropriate application forms and send them back to us (faxed or scanned is preferred, or you may post them to our address in Montana). To guarantee your spot on a trip, a $500 deposit per person is required (see payment information below). Once we have received all of your documents and deposit, we will promptly confirm your placement.

Note: The application process is not binding until you indicate with a deposit that you are going to participate in a particular trip. Getting in touch only helps us to work with your holiday goals & interests! Visit our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS page for answers to many of the most common inquiries.

Please read all of the information below regarding:

payment, cancellation, insurance, and assumption of risk.

PAYMENT DETAILS:

We require a $500 non-refundable deposit / application fee per person to confirm and guarantee your trip. This can be paid by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Paypal, check drafted in US Dollars, or bank transfer, and must accompany application forms at least 4 weeks prior to your trip. Payment in full must be made in at least 2 weeks before trip departure date by Visa or Mastercard, in US Dollars, or the Peruvian Nuevo Sole equivalent. All credit card payments will have a 3% service charge added to the trip price, all bank transfers must be separate from the sending bank’s fees.

OPTION 1:

For Online Payments: You can make a trip deposit or payment in full by clicking the "Pay Now" button below. Payment methods accepted include Visa, MC, Amex, Discover, or Paypal. After clicking the button, you will be redirected to the Paypal site to enter all payment details. You will have the option to pay through your paypal account if you have one or directly with a credit card by choosing the "Continue" button located near the credit card logos on the page. ** Note: A 3% credit card processing fee will be added to all credit card payments and will show up as sales tax on the Paypal site. To avoid this charge, you may make your payment by check or bank transfer.

OPTION 2:

Phone / Email Payments: You can make a trip deposit or payment in full via email or over the phone using a Visa or MC credit card. For email payments, please print out the Credit Card Form below and scan/email it back to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. For phone payments, give us a call at one of the numbers listed above. ** Note: All credit card transactions will have a 3% processing fee added to the total.

Click here for a Credit Card Processing Form

OPTION 3:

Check or Bank Transfer Payments: A check drafted in US Dollars can be made out to Skyline Adventure School and sent to: Skyline Adventure School, PO Box 8321, Missoula, MT 59807. For bank transfers, please send us an email requesting details.

CANCELLATION:

If Skyline Adventures cancels a trip or course, you will be reimbursed 100% of your payment, including your entire deposit, excluding situations outlined in the Force Majeure section of the application. You will be alerted in no less then 14 days from the departure date in the event that the trip or course is not going to run. Trips that have been custom priced for less than 3 participants and confirmed by Skyline Adventures will not be cancelled for low enrollment reasons and the deposit is non-refundable should YOU remove yourself from the trip/course.

If YOU cancel a trip or course for any reason, your entire deposit will be withheld by Skyline Adventures. Any cancellations made greater than 8 weeks from a trip start date will receive full reimbursement of any payment made over the deposit. For cancellations within 8 weeks, we reserve the right to process payments in full with no reimbursement.

INSURANCE and EARLY DEPARTURE COSTS:

All participants on our courses and guided trips must carry an insurance policy that covers the activities included in their course or trip. You will be asked to submit a copy of your policy with your application. If your current policy does not cover these specific activities, you should purchase travel and/or climbers insurance from a reputable agency.

In the event of an evacuation or an unscheduled departure from a course or trip, you will be responsible for all costs incurred in your leaving the field. This includes but is not limited to, medical, behavioral, and motivational events.

ASSUMPTION OF RISK:

In your application you will be asked to sign an assumption of risk form. Be sure to read it over carefully before signing. Contact us with any questions regarding the risks that you will be assuming.

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ~ click tabs below for more information

TEMPERATURE / CLIMATE

Between the months of May and September, Peru experiences their dry season. During these months, the climate stays surprisingly stable and predictable. In Huaraz, you can expect temperatures between 40 degrees Fahrenheit (at night) and 70 degrees during the day, with occasional rain. In the mountains and at higher altitude, it will be colder.

ALTITUDE

Huaraz is located at 3100 meters (approx. 11,000 feet) above sea level. Most people who arrive from lower elevations experience some shortness of breath, dizziness, insomnia, and a loss of appetite as their bodies adjust during the first few days. All of our guided trips and courses allow for proper acclimatization prior to ascending to high altitudes. For more information, check www.high-altitude-medicine.com.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

Courses: The courses are physically demanding and consistently require physical effort. At a minimum, you should be able to run two mountain miles in 20 minutes or less and be able to walk 10 miles in one day. Embarking on a fitness regiment once you have signed up is imperative to your comfort and success on the course.

Guided Trips: With or without a backpack, hiking can be quite exhausting. The better physical condition you are in, the more you will be able to enjoy your experience. Being able to walk 4 miles in a day is the minimum requirement for all of our trips.

CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT

A general clothing and equipment list for all trips & courses can be found HERE. For shorter trips, you may need less than what you find on the list due to less days being spent in the mountains. If you have questions specific to your trip or course, please feel free to get in touch and ask!

GROUP SIZES

Guided trips can run with group sizes between two and six; guide to client ratio depends upon specifics of trip. Courses will be filled with between six and ten students.

HEALTH & VACCINES

Check with your doctor regarding what vaccines are currently being recommended for travelers that are headed to Peru. Note – Huaraz is located in the Sierra Mountain region of Peru, and you will only need vaccines for this area if you do not plan on traveling to the Amazon before or after your course / trip. Staying healthy while you are in Peru mostly involves drinking bottled water, eating only at recommended "tourist" restaurants, and washing your hands frequently.

MONEY

Traveling with large amounts of cash is NOT recommended. In Huaraz, there are several ATM machines which accept debit cards, VISA, and MasterCard. Travelers Checks are another option, although you are limited in where and when you may cash them. While in the wilderness, all of your expenses are covered; however, you will be responsible for purchasing all of your in-town meals.

SPANISH

As few Peruvians speak English, it will only enhance your experience in the country to understand a few Spanish words and try to communicate with the local people. You can study up at home before your trip, bring along a dictionary and learn a little as you go, or take a Spanish class while you are here in Huaraz! As a reassurance, many people travel in Peru without Spanish skills and get by. You can expect an English speaking staff person to help you with the language barrier during your time in Huaraz, so don't let this discourage you... at the very least you will become a good actor!

SAFETY / PERU

In the last 13 years, Peru has made remarkable progress in becoming a stable and friendly place for all visitors. As a traveler, however, you will attract attention. You should be alert at all times, watch your luggage and keep your valuable items (cameras, wallets, music) on your person and as discreet as possible. You don’t want to wander around alone at night, and make sure to keep your important documents, cards, and cash with you or locked up in a secure place.

ENTRY VISAS / PASSPORTS

As of now, when traveling to Peru from the United States or England, you do not need a pre-arranged Visa. All you will need to have is a current Passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure. For US Citizens, information on applying for a passport in the United States is available at this site: www.travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

CARRYING BACKPACKS

Courses: Although we will have pack animals along on some of our activities, you can expect to be carrying a 20-30 kilogram (40 - 65 pound) pack during our treks and climbs.

Guided Trips: During treks and climbs, we use donkeys, llamas, or porters to transport all gear and food. We do recommend that you have a daypack to carry your personal items like cameras, water bottles, warm layers, etc... For climbing trips, you will be carrying a backpack with your sleeping bag, clothing, and personal items, typically weighing about 10 kilograms (25 pounds).

GETTING TO HUARAZ

You can expect an arranged transport from the airport in Lima to Huaraz and back on all Courses and Guided Trips. If you are spending the night in Lima, you will have your hotel room arranged and transportation to and from the hotel, airport, and bus station set. Spanish speaking ability is not required as the driver will know your trip details and ensure you are well taken care of while in the city. You can expect English speaking staff in the hotels in Lima and Huaraz.

ACCOMODATIONS

You will be provided clean, friendly, accommodations in Lima and Huaraz for the extent of your course or trip (between set trip dates).

GETTING TO THE SUMMIT

As safety is our unquestioned priority, we cannot in any way guarantee you will get to the summit. Our Certified Guides and Instructors have undergone extensive skills and emergency training, and have been hired for their impeccable safety records and attention to your well being. They will act conservatively in the interest of safety over the desire to stand on top of something. In your application, you will be asked to sign an assumption of risk form. Be sure to read it over carefully before signing. Contact us with any questions you have regarding the risks that you will be assuming.

OUR GUIDES / INSTRUCTORS

Feel free to peruse our staff profiles HERE. If you have specific questions about or for your guide / instructor and we know in advance who that person will be, we can put you in touch.