Llangaduco- Santa Cruz 4d/3n
This is an incredible trek. Although the hike goes through a pass at almost 4800m, it is a relatively easy trek, with the last two days being down hill. The trek could be easily compressed into three days or two long days. That being said, we lacked the necessary camping equipment and instead of skipping the trek joined with Galaxia Expeditions. Gear, guide, and food, the total was about $120 per person plus a 60 sole entrance fee to the park. If you go, a lot of the local villages are trying to tack on additional fees to help support their communities. It’s up to you whether you pay or choose to dispute the fee, but either way be prepared with small bills.
Our trek lasted 4 days (from Llangaduco to Santa Cruz), with the longest and hardest day being day number two when we cleared the pass. The tour was handled professionally and our guide even spoke a little english! Each day we carried a small backpack with our water and layers of outerwear which were rapidly changed seemingly every 200m or so in altitude. The rest of our gear was brought to the next camp by mules.
With temperatures below 0 degrees Celcius, individual camping gear was extremely important. Luckily we had excellent gear through Galaxia Expeditions, appropriate for the climate and altitude and in good condition. Hot breakfast and dinner were prepared for the group by Emilio, our camp cook and mule driver, and each morning we were given a high calorie bagged lunch. Each afternoon upon our arrival at camp we were greeted with hot beverages and snacks. Overall it was a great experience.