9 Day Carabaya Trek


This truly off the beaten track adventure takes you into Carabaya, a remote and incredibly scenic province with unmatched opportunities for true high-altitude exploration. This hike is offered only by a few companies, and is possibly one of the most off the beaten track and challenging alternatives in the region. You are greeted by spectacular snow covered landscapes that take your breath away – literally and figuratively! This is a high altitude trek and you should be well acclimatized. We can offer you this trek starting in Puno or  in Cuzco.


We leave Puno early for the four hour drive to our hike starting point. There’s plenty to see as we pass rock gardens, giant bromeliads and locals tending their crops and animals. We’ll look down into the stupendous river canyon of the Rio Corani before turning off onto a back road with incredible views of the glacial valley that takes us to Aimaña. Here we’ll stop to check out the amazing rock formations before driving another 10 minutes to our first campsite, Veloyuc. Here, with luck, we’ll see vizcachas (native rabbit-like animals) and views of the snow capped Quelqaya peak.

Walking time: 5-6 hours.
Minimum altitude – 3,800m / 12,467ft. Maximum altitude – 5000m / 16,404ft.
Altitude of camp – 4536m / 14,882ft.
Approx. night temperature: Between -5 and 5 degrees Celsius (23-41°F).

After an early start we’ll head out east, spending five or six hours gently ascending 600 meters (1,970ft), through open valleys, past immense rivers and more bosques de piedra (rock forests) to the small valley where we have a scenic campsite near some hydroelectric infrastructures.

Walking time 5-6 hours.
Minimum altitude – 4,536m / 14882ft. Maximum altitude – 4,700m / 15,420ft.
Altitude of camp – 4,655m /15,272ft.
Approx. night temperature: Between -5 and 5 degrees Celsius (23-41°F).

Today we climb to and camp at our first high pass, Chimboya (5,122m / 16,800ft). It takes about six hours to complete the ascent. In the pass we’ll enjoy well-deserved views of the Vilcanota range against the endless backdrop of the main Cordillera of the Andes, accompanied by curious llamas, alpacas and vicuñas.

Walking time 5-6 hours.
Minimum altitude – 4,655m / 15,272ft. Maximum altitude – 5,122m / 16,800ft.
Altitude of camp – 5,121m / 16,800ft.
Approx. night temperature: Between -5 and 5 degrees Celsius (23-41°F).

We continue to enjoy spectacular views of the glacier-topped Vilcanota range as we make our way through a varied landscape of swamp and open pampas (flat grasslands) to Hacienda Mates, our campsite for the night, in a sheltered valley surrounded by steep slopes.

Walking time 5-6 hours.
Minimum altitude – 4,773m / 15,660ft. Maximum altitude – 5,122m / 16,800ft.
Altitude of camp – 4,773m / 15,660ft.
Approx. night temperature: Between -5 and 5 degrees Celsius (23-41°F).

Today a rewarding seven hour walk first brings us up to an altitude of more than 5,000m (16,400ft). From here we’ll have equally breathtaking views of the Nudo del Vilcanota (knot of the Vilcanota) and our first glimpses of the mysterious lakes, Sibinacocha and Cascara. We’ll see pink flamingos and vicuñas as we cross the Pucamayu river and make our way to our campsite at Cascara. Here we can fish in the lake and observe migrating ducks and other wetlands birds.

Walking time 6-7 hours.
Minimum altitude – 4,773m / 15,660ft. Maximum altitude – 5,000m / 16,400ft.
Altitude of camp – 4,900m / 16,076ft.
Approx. night temperature: Between -5 and 5 degrees Celsius (23-41°F).

Another big pass awaits us, Yayamari (5,100m / 16,730ft). From here we’ll experience the most stunning views yet with lakes, nearby towering rock outcrops, many massive peaks, and Sibinacocha Lake, to which we will descend to camp.

*Optional extra: If you wish to extend your trek by one day you can do a “scramble” (i.e. non technical climb on loose volcanic rock) up Cerro Yayamari (5,500m / 18,040ft.), a snow-covered peak in the center of this breathtaking panorama of lakes and glaciated summits. This should be booked when you are booking your trek, and is for fit people looking for a challenge. From our campsite at Yayamari, it’s about 4 km to the base of the mountain where we start the scramble. The scramble is tough and physically challenging and takes about 4 hours to go up and 3 to go down. Added to the time it takes to hike to and from the campsite at Yayamari community, this is a 10 hour, challenging day.

Walking time: about 7 hours.
Minimum altitude: – 4,900m / 16,076ft. Maximum altitude – 5,100m / 16,732ft.
Approx. night temperature: Between -5 and 5 degrees Celsius (23-41°F).

After a morning walking through the gentle pampas of Sibinacocha, we’ll ascend about an hour to the important Condor pass at a massive 5235m (17,175ft). From here we’ll see magnificent views which include the even higher, ice-covered Acero Pass (5,500m / 18,050ft), before descending for half an hour and walking another hour or so of ‘Andean flat’ to our campsite at Killita.

Walking time: about 7 hours.
Minimum altitude: – 4,735m / 15,540ft. Maximum altitude – 5235m / 17,175ft.
Altitude of camp: – 4,735m / 15,540ft.
Approx. night temperature: Between -5 and 5 degrees Celsius (23-41°F).

This morning we’ll walk around two hours to Paso Falso (False Pass) from where we’ll take in the magnificence of the towering Ausangate, the highest peak in the Cuzco department and its most important Apu (God). Then it’s an afternoon of ups and downs. First we’ll descend to the community of Ccampa, then climb back up to Ccampa Pass (5,080m / 16,666ft), then descend again to Ninapara where we’ll camp.

Walking time: 6-7 hours.
Minimum altitude: – 4,656m / 15,275ft. Maximum altitude – 5,080m / 16,666ft.
Altitude of camp: – 4,656m / 15,275ft.
Approx. night temperature: Between -5 and 5 degrees Celsius (23-41°F).

We start our last day with an up and a down on our final walk past the awesome Ausangate, and three hours down to Pacchanta where we’ll enjoy lunch and a soak in the local natural hot springs! After lunch we’ll drive for about four hours back to Cuzco.

Walking time: about 4 hours.
Minimum altitude: – 4,336m / 14,225ft. Maximum altitude – 4,656 m / 15,275ft.


  • Pre-trek briefing.
  • Collection from your hotel on the morning of trek departure.
  • Transport from Puno (or Cuzco) to the trailhead at the beginning of the trek in private vehicle.
  • English/Quechua/Spanish speaking professional guide (you will have an assistant guide for groups over 6 people).
  • Tents – 2 people in a 4 person tent which allows for greater comfort, and also storage of backpacks.
  • Basic foam mattress. If you require greater comfort during the trek we can rent you an inflatable mattress (e.g. Thermarest).
  • Cook and Cooking equipment (Assistants are provided for larger groups)
  • Toilet tent.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (optional vegetarian food). Our professional cooks prepare meals that incorporate elements of the western diet and also traditional diet.
  • Peruvian delicacies. (Please communicate with your guide/cook during the trek if you have a preference for certain types of dishes). Salads, if served, are washed in boiled water.
  • Horses (for equipment and personal items) including horsemen. They carry camping equipment, food and kitchen utensils. We provide duffel bags at your briefing for your personal items (up to 7 kg/15 lbs. per person).
  • 1 emergency horse which can be ridden if you are feeling ill or if you are a little slower. Let us know if you would like to hire a personal riding horse.
  • Dining tent with camp tables and chairs and kitchen tent for the cook to prepare meals.
  • Tents for our staff .
  • First aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle.
  • Sleeping bags. If you haven’t got a sleeping bag or you don’t want the hassle of bringing one all the way to Peru with you, then we have sleeping bags for hire.
  • Gratuities for the staff.
  • If you want to take more substantial items or backpacks, you will need to hire an additional mule. Also you an hire a personal riding horse.

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    9 Days


    9 Days trek


    8 nights camping


    8 Dinners
    9 Lunchs
    8 Breakfasts


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