Avg. Time : 3 days
Start / Finish :
- Marcara / Vicos – Chacas
- From Huaraz there are regular bus services to both trailheads.
- From Marcara you can either walk or hire private transport to Vicos (7km from Marcara).
Season : May to October
Maps / Info :
- IGN 1:100,000 Huari [19-i]. May be available at the South American Explorer’s Clubs in Lima or Cuzco.
- Unable to purchase the above topo, I made do with the sketch map and trail notes in Jim Bartle’s excellent Trails of the Cordilleras Blanca and Huayhuash of Peru (1981). This book has been out of print for a long time. An alternative option is Peru and Bolivia: The Bradt trekking guide (2002).
Route / Conditions :
- The climb to the pass (Portachuelo de Honda) is gradual and the trail for the most part is in good condition.
- Water sources are plentiful, however, due to the amount of villages and grazing in the area, be sure to treat all water taken from the valley floors. Higher up, closer to the pass, the water should be ok to drink untreated.
Sleeping : Tent
- Highlights of this hike were the beautifully situated village of Vicos and the views from Portachuelo de Honda (4750m). Whilst taking in the aforementioned vista, my friends and I were treated to a magical aerial show put on by a “scarcity” (flock) of low flying condors.
- Doing the Quebrada Honda route was a last minute decision. My heart had been set on hiking the Cordillera Huayhuash circuit. Maps, food and transport had all been organized. The night before my friends and I were due to leave Huaraz, news came in of a hiking group who were robbed at gunpoint (not uncommon in that area during the 90’s); one of the party who resisted was promptly killed for his trouble. The other three members had to carry his body back to civilization. We decided to change our plans. Robbery is one thing, potentially being shot is another matter entirely.