This is the first post of my series about our customized 7-day Huayhuash tour from Llámac to Cajatambo. To be able to really go into detail I want to dedicate an individual blog post to each trekking day. In my series, I want to take you with me on this journey alongside the Northern and Eastern flank of the Huayhuash circuit. To get some general information about the Huayhuash Mountain Range, check this post.

 

Preparations

The days before hiking the Huayhuash circuit we spent in the city of Huaraz. In the run-up to our trek we had to solve a big issue: Due to the bad weather conditions we decided not to do the entire Huayhuash circuit but rather a customized 7-day tour. The plan was to start off in Llámac and to finish in Cajatambo. The problem was: From Cajatambo one is unable to return to Huaraz so that we planned heading to Lima afterwards. To do so, we somehow had to send the rest of our luggage directly to Lima. Although I know sending luggage and packages via bus companies is quite common in many Latin American countries we felt a bit uncomfortable about this plan in the beginning. In Huaraz central market I bought package tape (1.5 Soles) and two typically Peruvian bags (ask for costales, 1 Sol each). We then went to Oltursa Cargo in Av. Antonio Raimondi. The price is based on the weight so that we paid around 20 Soles each. After shipping the luggage to Lima there was no way back, we wanted to start our trip the next day.

 

Heading to Llámac

Our alarm clock rang early the day we finally started the Huayhuash trekking. From Huaraz to Llámac there are just two buses a day, one leaves Huaraz around 5am, the other one around 11am. You have to take the bus in Av. Confraternidad Internacional Oeste (walk down 28 de Julio, then turn left for 150m). Including a bus change in Chiquian the drive takes approximately five hours and costs you 30 Soles. We arrived in Llámac, on 3300m, shortly after 10am. The entrance to the community, in 2017, was 20 Soles. The Huayhuash area is a project of community-led conservation, so that all communities charge you a small amount in order to preserve the environment. You should keep the receipt of the peasant community Llámac for a later camping (Quartelwain).

 

Hiking to Laguna Jahuacocha

In the village there is a comparably good option for facilities. Just ask the people who are around on arrival. With heavy backpacks we started to hike up the donkey path to the mountain pass Pampa Llamac on 4300m. Although the sun was burning, we also got some rain (sometimes at the same time) the first hours of our trek. Weather conditions were changing constantly and this did not better the following days. After the pass the pathway continues up and down through almost tropical forests. The surrounding mountains were draped in clouds, every now and then some smaller glacier showed themselves in a cloud hole.

Down in the village we had asked local people how long it would take to Laguna Jahuacocha. They kindly described us the way ahead and estimated approx. four hours. Including a break of around 45 minutes it took us more than 8 hours to the camping. I did not even make a photo stop, indeed I did not take a single image that day. When we arrived at the camping (5 Soles) – after sunset – we felt disenchanted. We walked 13km and more than 1080 meters of altitude with the heaviest backpacks we had ever carried and were not even rewarded by a great panorama or some time for photography. We were just hoping for some more luck the next days. After having a hot soup and some bread we instantly fell asleep.

 

We were rewarded the first morning: Laguna Jahuacocha at sunrise.

 

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