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A Huayhuash Trek Cost Breakdown (Guided & Independent Prices)

A Huayhuash Trek Cost Breakdown (Guided & Independent Prices)

The Huayhuash Circuit is known to be one of the most beautiful treks in the world.

One of the major considerations though when deciding how to take part, is the overall Huayhuash trek cost.

Since there are different ways to go about the trek – doing it as part of a guided trek vs. doing it independent, the costs can differ greatly.

Throughout this guide I will be going into detail about all the various Huayhuash costs to consider depending on what way you decide to take part. I hope by the end of reading through, you will be well on your way to taking on the Huayhuash trek for yourself.

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1) Huayhuash Trek Overview

To start, I wanted to just go over a quick overview of what the Huayhuash trek is all about.

The circuit encircles the famous Cordillera Huayhuash mountain range. In its entirety, the trek covers 109 km / 67 miles and 5,350 meters / 17,545 feet of elevation gain, as trekkers head from campsite to campsite around the Huayhuash.

The trek usually lasts anywhere between 8-11 days depending on the particular route that is chosen. There are ways to shorten the overall route by either taking “shortcuts” or by bypassing certain parts of the hike.

The shorter the route, the cheaper the costs will be. However, you may be missing out on some highlights along the way.

For the purpose of this guide, I will be considering costs for a “classic” 10-day Huayhuash route. By the end of reading through, you should get a good idea of the daily costs if you opt for a shorter or longer route.

A classic Huayhuash route will look something like this (linked are trekking guides for each day of the hike):

Learn More: Be sure to check out the Huayhuash Circuit resource page that includes many helpful travel guides to get you prepared for the trek.

-> To learn more about this route and the how to prepare the hike, check out the complete Huayhuash overview up on the site.

Note: the route pictured below includes an optional add on day exploring the Quebrada Sarapococha

Huayhuash Circuit Trek 11 Days Route

2) Huayhuash Trek Options

When it comes to how to go about the trek, there are two main option to consider. You can either join a guided tour or you can opt to do the trek independently.

Fully Organized Guided Tour

The Huayhuash Circuit is not an easy trail to take part of on your own. This is because there are no resources along the hike (except for one night in the village of Huayllapa).

Independent hikers must arrange transport from Huaraz, bring all camping gear, and cook their own food throughout the 10 days. This can result in a lot of logistical considerations and a heavy pack to carry on the trail.

To avoid all of that, many hikers opt to simply join a fully organized guided tour.

These guided treks will take care of nearly everything for you. Some of the main aspects that will be covered in a guided tour include:

  • Round Trip Transport from Huaraz to Huayhuash
  • Tent & Sleeping Mat
  • Three Meals a Day
  • Cooks
  • Mules to Carry Your Gear
  • Local Guides

The idea here is that you can simply show up in Huaraz and be taken care of from day 1 to day 10.

During the day, you will simply be hiking along with a light day pack and the rest of your gear will be taken care of by the porters and mules.

Huayhuash Hike Costs

Independent Trek

On the other hand, you can opt to take part of the Huayhuash trek independently. Some of the main considerations to think about when doing an independent trek include:

  • Logistics to/from Huayhuash
  • Having a Complete Gear List
  • Bringing & Cooking Your Own Food
  • Putting Up & Taking Down Your Tent
  • Carrying Everything on Your Back
  • Navigating the Trail

This of course is going to be a much different (and much more difficult) type of trek to take part of. But if you want the independence and rather be on your schedule, then an unguided trek may be for you.

Just for reference, during my time on the Huayhuash Circuit I did the trek solo and independently without a guide.

Learn More | Huayhuash Trek Difficulty Overview

Huayhuash Trek Guided Tour Cost

3) Huayhuash Trek Cost

Now that you understand some of the main differences and considerations between the two options, let’s get into the Huayhuash trek costs.

Huayhuash Trek Cost – Guided

When booking a guided Huayhuash trek, you can decide to do a group tour or a private tour.

In general, many of the providers price their trips between $80 – $110 USD per day for a group tour. These tours usually have up to ~8 people, but that can vary based on the provider.

So, if you are looking at a standard 10 day route, expect to pay just around $1,000 for the circuit.

If you are looking for a private tour, these will start at a minimum of $2,500 – $3,000. But this can vary depending on how many people are in your group. If your group is big enough, you can get those costs lower closer to the $1,000 per person.

One of the top rates guided tour options, Quechuandes, offers 9 day treks for $980, 10 day treks for $1,100, and 12 day treks for $1,220. That is just one example but expect prices to be in that range.

In addition to the cost that goes to the tour operator, there are additional costs to consider. These costs include:

Sleeping Bag Rental: $50 (~$5 per day)

Sleeping bags are usually not included in the rate. You can either rent from your tour operator, rent in Huaraz, or bring your own if you have.

Campsite Fees: ~$80 total

Each night there is a campsite fee ranging from $5 – $10 per person. These are collected by the local nearby villagers. Be sure to bring small cash denominations for these fees.

Water Purifier: $50 – $100

Your cooks will have no trouble boiling water for you each day. However, if you want to fill up on the trail, you will need to purify your water. This can be in the form of a UV sterilizer, filtered water bottle, or purification tablets.

Tips: Varies

There will be several people making this trek possible for you including guides, porters, and cooks. Be sure to tip your support team based on your preferences.

Busses to/from Huaraz: $30

More likely than not you will be coming into Huaraz from Lima. There are many busses that run the route at all hours of the day. Expect to pay between $10 – $20 for the ride each way.

Hotels & Food in Huaraz: $250 (varies)

Before and after your trek, you will be staying in Huaraz.

Prior to the trek there will be a few acclimatization days in Huaraz (when you can do hikes like Laguna 69 and Laguna Churup). After the trek you may be spending another night or two in the city.

There are many hotels and restaurants to choose from in Huaraz that are very affordable.

Assuming you stay in Huaraz two days before the trek, and one day after, I am estimating costs around $250 altogether (but this can vary).

Travel Insurance: ~$180

This will also vary per person, but expect to pay around $150 – $200 in travel insurance. The insurance is super important for a hike like the Huayhuash Circuit.

In case anything happens during the trek, you will want to be sure you are covered in all situations.

Total Guided Trek Cost

With all of that said, expect to spend around $1,000 on the trek, and ~$650 on additional trek related & Huaraz costs.

All said and done, it will be around $1,650 give or take (plus tips).

Huayhuash Trek Independent Costs

Huayhuash Trek Cost – Independent

If you are heading on the Huayhuash Circuit on your own, you can expect your costs to be much less. The MAJOR caveat here is that you already have all the necessary camping gear.

Here is a breakdown of the various costs if going about trek on your own:

Busses to/from Huaraz: $30

Similar to above, expect to pay around $30 round trip to get from Lima to Huaraz and back.

Round Trip Transport from Huaraz to/from Huayhuash: $20

The cheapest way of transport from Huaraz to the starting point of the hike at Cuartelwain will be by taking two busses and then walking several hours.

You will first hop on a bus from Huaraz to Chiquian, followed by a bus to Llamac. From Llamac, you will then need to hike to Cuartelwain.

Once back in Llamac at the end of the hike, simply return the same way back to Huaraz.

Note: you can spend around $250 (round trip) for private transport directly to the starting point

Campsite Fees: ~$80 total

Each night there is a campsite fee ranging from $5 – $10 per person. These are collected by the local nearby villagers. Be sure to bring small cash denominations for these fees.

Food: ~$200 (can vary)

Since you won’t have a cook making you any food, you will need to take care of it all on your own. That means bringing along energy bars, snacks, and dehydrated meals to cook at night.

I spent around $10 – $15 for each dehydrated dinner, in addition to another $50 or so on snacks for breakfast and lunch.

Hotels & Food in Huaraz: $250 (varies)

Same as above!

Travel Insurance: ~$180

Same as above!

Total Independent Cost: $750

The trek itself should only cost around $300 (transport, campsite fees, and food). Considering the non Huayhuash specific costs, you are looking at an additional $400 – $500.

This gets you to a total trip cost about $750 all said and done.

Note: if you do not have all of your own gear, you will need to rent in Huaraz. This will increase your cost depending on what you already have/don’t have.

Huayhuash Cost

4) Packing List

Whether you are going with a guide or going independently, you will need to consider your packing list. Going on your own means you will need to also pay more attention to that camping gear section.

Learn More | Huayhuash Trek Packing List

Below is an overview on a complete packing list for the circuit:

Cordillera Huayhuash Packing List

5) Huayhuash Trek Cost Recap

So, to recap, below are the important Huayhuash trek cost considerations to think about when going to Peru:

Guided Hike

For a guided tour expect your Huayhuash costs to look like the following:

  • Guided Tour Cost: $1,000
  • Sleeping Bag Rental: $50
  • Campsite Fees: $80
  • Water Purifier $50 – $100
  • Busses to/from Huaraz: $30
  • Hotels & Food in Huaraz: $250
  • Travel Insurance: $180
  • Tips: Varies

Total: ~$1,650

Independent Hike

For an independent trek expect your Huayhuash costs to look like the following:

  • Busses to/from Huaraz: $30
  • Round Trip Transport from Huaraz to/from Huayhuash: $20
  • Campsite Fees: $80
  • Food: $200
  • Hotels & Food in Huaraz: $250
  • Travel Insurance: $180

Total: ~$750

Huayhuash Circuit Price

That about does it for a Huayhuash trek cost breakdown. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to add them in below.

Feel free to also take a look at the other Huayhuash hiking guides up on the site.

Have fun out there and safe travels!

Cost of Huayhuash Hike

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Simon Lusignan

Friday 9th of February 2024

Hi! I am wondering if you can buy snacks en route or you really need 10 days worth of food as early as day 1? And is it a 0f or 0c sleepong bag that you reccomend?