Cordillera Huayhuash, Ancash, Peru (with Map & Photos)

Cordillera Huayhuash (possibly from Quechua waywash, ferret, or waywashi, squirrel) is a mountain range in the Andes of Peru, within the boundaries of the regions of Ancash, Lima, and Huánuco. Since 2002, it has been under the protection of the Cordillera Huayhuash Conservation Area.

With snow-capped peaks exceeding 6,000 meters, emerald lakes and the breathtaking natural landscape of the Cordillera Huayhuash, it is one of the most beautiful and least explored places on the planet, as well as one of the ten best trekking destinations in the world.

Cordillera Huayhuash
Cordillera Huayhuash

The fact that this part of the Andes is preserved in its original form, almost untouched by the human hand, is due to its inaccessibility: a section of 180 km, located at around 4,000 m and taking an average of 12 to 14 days of travel.

The Cordillera Huayhuash is located on the borders of the departments of Lima, Ancash and Huánuco and is no more than 30 km long. Having delved into its transparent sunny landscapes reflected from the crystal turquoise of icy lakes, the traveler seems to fall into the arms of silent mountain giants majestically towering above his head, as if they could compete with the vault of heaven.

Among the peaks of the Cordillera Huayhuash rises the snowy Yerupaha (6,634 m), the second highest mountain in Peru and the highest on the eastern slopes of the Andes, in the company of several others: Toro, Carnicero (Predator), Diablo Mudo (Mute Devil), Hirishanca or Ronda; whose impregnable peaks were able to conquer only a few daredevils.

There are three ways to get to Wyahuash, the choice of any of them depends on the degree of the traveler's readiness to realize his volitional potential.

The first path makes a complete circuit around the Cordillera, taking approximately twelve days. Going this route suggests having a similar experience or a very strong motivation to test your strength. The second makes a semicircle to the village of Huayapa, from where you can then return to Lima along the Cahatambo road. The last path, the shortest, allows you to approach the lovely lake Jahuacochalocated near the city of Chikian.

Regardless of the chosen route, it will take at least one week to fully enjoy the trip: try your hand at the Andes, in the midst of the spiritual virgin landscapes of this part of our planet. An adventure that will undoubtedly change the next years of your life.

Cordillera Huayhuash Map