- Hiking / Trekking
- Off the beaten track
Though the Cordillera Blanca mountain range is popular with tourists, it still has many surprises in store and some wonderful yet still little-known places to visit and explore. Amongst these off-the-beaten-track sites is Quebrada Ulta, which is somewhere I was lucky enough to visit and explore on an extended walk I did along the famous Santa Cruz Trek. If you look at a map of the cordillera, you will see that virtually all the hikes in the area can be extended to include Punta Yanayacu.
And in fact, instead of finishing our walk at Vaqueria, which is the normal thing to do, we continued on to the village of Chalhua (note: if you're doing the trek on your own, you can stock up here), before then heading for the mountain pass in question. It took an additional day and a half's walking to reach the high point of the walk, from where you get the best views you'll encounter along the whole route. The panorama takes in the giant peaks of the Cordillera – the famous Mount Huascarán included – and is simply breathtaking. So there you have it: a good alternative option for anyone visiting the region and who wants to do a hike that is not too long, not too difficult, and yet still has something a little special to offer during their trip to Peru.