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Viconga to Cuyoc: Huayhuash Circuit Day 5 Overview

Viconga to Cuyoc: Huayhuash Circuit Day 5 Overview

The fifth day of the Huayhuash Circuit takes you from Viconga to the campsite of Cuyoc. Along the way you will get to enjoy some beautiful views, and make your way up the Cuyoc Pass, before descending down to camp.

Read on to learn more about the route between Viconga to Cuyoc and what to expect out on the trail.

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1) Hiking Overview: Huayhuash Day 5

Day 5 of the Huayhuash Circuit will take you from Viconga to Cuyoc (also named as Elefante on some maps). Below are some helpful stats about the day and what the trail is all about.

Starting Point: Viconga
Viconga Elevation: 4,410 meters / 14,470 feet

Ending Point: Cuyoc
Cuyoc Elevation: 4,500 meters / 14,765 feet

Mountain Pass: Cuyoc Pass
Cuyoc Pass Elevation: 5,000 meters / 16,400 feet

Distance: 5.6 miles / 9.0 km
Elevation Gain: 1,940 feet / 590 meters
Duration: 3-4 hours

Day 5 Highlights

• Views of Cuyoc mountain
• Elevated views over alpine lakes
• Views from Cuyoc Pass

While this article will simply talk through day 5 of the trek, you can learn much more of the overall experience in the Huayhuash Circuit overview up on the site.

Route Note: this daily trekking guide (as well as the other daily guides on the site) go over a standard 10 day Huayhuash Route. Trekking routes can be greater or fewer days depending on your preferences (learn more about these in the previously mentioned overview above!).

Huayhuash Cuyoc

2) Huayhuash Circuit Day 5: Viconga to Cuyoc Map

To better visualize the hiking route on day 5, below you can find a trail map for the fifth day of the circuit.

If you would like to see the full route, be sure to check out the guides I put together for the complete Huayhuash Circuit Map and Huayhuash GPX file (for navigation purposes).

Viconga to Cuyoc Map

3) Elevation Gain Profile

Below you can find the elevation gain profile for day 5 of the Huayhuash Circuit. The trail heads from Viconga to Cuyoc as it peaks at the Cuyoc Pass, which sits at 5,000 meters / 16,400 feet in elevation.

Viconga to Cuyoc Elevation Gain Profile

4) Huayhuash Circuit Packing List

A complete Huayhuash Circuit packing list will be essential for your time out on the trail (especially if hiking without a guided tour). Be sure to check out the comprehensive Huayhuash packing list I put together for more detail.

Below you can find just some of the most important camping items to consider for your trek:

• Hiking Backpack | Hyperlite Southwest 3400 

• 3-Season Tent | Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL

• 0 F Degree Sleeping Bag | Thermarest Questar 0

• Sleeping Bag Liner | Sea to Summit Liner

• Sleeping Pad | Thermarest NeoAir Xlite

• Camping Pillow | Thermarest Camping Pillow

• Trekking Poles | Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ Trekking Poles

• Water Bottle | Katadyn BeFree 1 Liter

• Headlamp | Petzl Actik Core

• Emergency Satellite Locater | Garmin inReach 2 Mini

• Solar Charger | GoalZero Nomad 10

• Portable Charger | Anker Portable Charger

• Cooking Stove | Jetboil Micromo

• Hiking Shoes | Keen (Targhee Series)

• Hiking Socks | Darn Tough Socks

Cordillera Huayhuash Packing List

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5) Huayhuash Circuit: Viconga to Cuyoc Hike

After a nice relaxing afternoon at the Viconga hot springs on day 4 of the Huayhuash Circuit, it is time to leave camp and head over to Cuyoc. 

The day begins by retracing your footsteps back out from Viconga. After passing over a small bridge, you will want to make a left hand turn up towards Cuyoc (the other way would be back to Lake Viconga).

From there you will see the pathway out in front of you that will take you onto the next portion of trail. While there will be elevation gain here (as well as throughout the day), it is a more moderate incline and nothing too steep.

As you continue up the hillside, you should be sure to turn around from time to time to enjoy the vast views of the valley behind you.

Viconga Valley

Once you are up and over this initial valley, you now will be welcomed to some new mountains and views all around (including Cuyoc).

The trail continues to ascend with the mountains off to the side, before approaching a couple smaller lakes.

Cuyoc Huayhuash Circuit
Hiking to Cuyoc
Huayhuash Circuit Lakes

As you make your way around the lakes, you will come across some streams of water. Be sure to fill up here as it is the last main water spot for the rest of the day.

After filling up your water, continue gaining some elevation until you reach a great viewpoint overlooking the lakes and surrounding mountains.

Huayhuash Lakes

Once past the viewpoint area, you will be on the last portion of trail up to the Cuyoc Pass. There will be some additional elevation gain as Cuyoc mountain looms large off to your right hand side.

Cuyoc Mountain
Cuyoc Pass Views

Soon enough, you will reach the top of the Cuyoc Pass, one of the highest points of trek. Take some time to enjoy the views in all directions before continuing on.

Cuyoc Views
Cuyoc Route
Cuyoc Pass Descent

The descent can be a bit steep at times, but just for the initial portion. Be sure to take it slow and watch your step as you head down. The trail will begin to flatten out and it will turn into a nice and easy stroll to the Cuyoc campsite.

Along the way you will see signs pointing you towards the alternative Huanacpatay campsite / Huayllapa, for those opting not to head over the San Antonio / Jurau Pass the following day.

Trail to Cuyoc Camp

The campsite is located right along a river, making it easy to wash up and fill up your water. There are also a couple toilets at the campsite as well.

Cuyoc Campsite

If you have any questions or comments about the day, feel free to add them in below. Have fun out there and safe travels!

Viconga to Cuyoc Huayhuash Circuit Trek

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