Just south of Cordillera Blanca lies a Himalayan-style mountain range that contains some of the most difficult but rewarding hiking and mountain climbing in Peru. If you've ever read or watched "Touching the Void" about the treacherous Simpson/Yates expedition up Siula Grande you'll know what we mean. Cordillera Huayhuash stretches 30 km from north to south, with its characteristic steep, jagged peaks reaching upwards of 6,617 meters (21,709 ft). Though it lacks the popularity of its northern neighbor, or the Inca Trail near Machu Picchu, few other ranges in this summit-rich country offer such immense and awe inspiring beauty.
Because of its remoteness, most trekking expeditions here last between 1 and 2 weeks, winding between looming peaks, glacial lakes and cultural ruins. Highlights of a full circuit hike usually include visits to Jauacocha Lake, the beautiful Punta Cuyoc/Cuyoc Valley, and views of such breathtaking summits as Rondoy and the Yerupaja behemoth. Shorter visits can certainly be accommodated, but don't plan on anything under 5 days. If you have the time, hire a reputable guide service and don't hesitate to make the 250 km (155 mile) trip north from Lima.