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Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

Planning a trek in Colca in August (no guide), and I'm wondering if this plan is doable:

Day 1 Cabanaconde --> Llahuar (we'll probably do this leg with mountain bikes to save our joints)

Day 2 Llahuar --> Sangalle (lunch and swim only) --> San Juan de Chuccho

Day 3 San Juan de Chuccho --> Cabanaconde

I've read so many remarks now about how touristy Sangalle is, so although a break for lunch and a dip in the pool sounds nice, I'm not sure I'd want to remain there the rest of the day/night - SJdC sounds much nicer for dinner and overnight. Can anyone offer feedback concerning this idea, particularly Day 2? We are two adults and two teens, reasonably fit and will be using this as a preparation for the Inca Trail (which we will begin 6 days after this trek ends), so it's okay if this route a bit challenging, I just want to be sure it isn't completely unreasonable.

8 replies to this topic
Nashville, Tennessee
4 posts
1. Re: Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

hi! I'm planning a similar trek for later this year...just checking in to see if you did this Colca Canyon trek as planned and how it went! I'd love to hear your tips.

Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

We haven’t done it yet, but plan to about a week from now. I will let you know how it turns out!

Nashville, Tennessee
4 posts
3. Re: Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

yes, please do!! we're planning on the exact same stops as you, but trying to decide whether to do it in that order or the reverse...and where to stay at each stop. I'm interested to hear about your trek!

Paris, Canada
Level Contributor
7,539 posts
20 reviews
4. Re: Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

I don't know if day 2 is too much. We hiked to Llahuar on day 1 and then wanted to go to Fure on day 2 but Fure was deserted (according to the website below it is now possible to stay in Fure again) and so we had to walk on to Malata and Sangalle. That was a long day. Even without the Fure detour I think it might be too far to go to Sangalle and then on to San Juan de Chuccho. If I am not mistaken you would have to hike from Llahuar to Malata, then downhill to Sangalle and then back uphill (back to Malata) and then to San Juan. Sangalle was not too bad in low season but I guess would be busy in August. I also seem to remember that Sangalle to Cabanaconde is supposed to be the easiest trail back to Cabanaconde. It was very steep but I think it might be worse from San Juan but again, I don't know. I would discuss your plan with your hotel in Cabanaconde. All hotels can help you plan. This map might help:

valledelfuego.com/eng/colca_canyon_map.html

And this website helped us a lot when we were planning our trek:

http://www.pachamamahome.com/tours.htm (scroll down for several trekking options)

I didn't know you could go into the canyon on mountain bikes. I guess you follow the road, not the trail? Can you rent bikes in Cabanaconde? We didn't find the hike to Llahuar hard but we like to hike.

Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

Thank you for your feedback, Sonia. We arrive in Cabanaconde this evening and will stay at Pachamama, so I’m sure they’ll be able to tell us if what we’re planning makes sense or not.

Pachamama is also the place offering the mountain bike descent to Llahuar, probably it is via the road but it sounded like a fun way to start the trekking, and save our joints from the downhill pounding at the same time. :-)

Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
6. Re: Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

So as promised, here is my update: we ended up just trekking from Llahuar to San Juan de Chuccho, skipping Sangalle. It is possible to do both Sangalle and San Juan in one day, but it was a little more than we wanted to take on since we were still acclimating to the elevation. We needed about 5 hours to San Juan from Llahuar, I guess adding Sangalle would make it 2-3 hours longer. We didn’t regret our decision, as we found both the Llahuar Lodge and Posada de Roy (which is about 15 minutes’ walk from San Juan) to be very nice places to stay. All lodgings are basic but we had very friendly service and really enjoyed our stay in the canyon.

The hike back up to Cabanaconde from San Juan was challenging and took us almost another 5 hours - I recommend getting an early start every day you trek, as the sun is really strong and hot during the middle of the day. Make sure you have plenty of water with you!

Finally, be sure to visit the Hostal Pachamama in Cabanaconde before your trek. Ludwig, the owner, used to be a Colca guide and offers an excellent trekking map (free for guests, otherwise I think it costs 3 soles) along with good advice and help with transportation planning, etc. It’s also a great place to stay and the restaurant is especially nice in the evenings, cosy with a warm fire and lots of friendly travelers.

Paris, Canada
Level Contributor
7,539 posts
20 reviews
7. Re: Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

Thanks. Good to hear you enjoyed it. Also good to have it confirmed that it would have been possible but a long day and that hiking from San Juan back to Cabanaconde seems to be harder than from Sangalle.

Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
6 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Llahuar-->San Juan de Chuccho w/ lunch in Sangalle - doable?

Oh, and for kjordansherman, the reverse route (going down to San Juan and back up from Llahuar) actually isn’t advised. I’m not sure of the exact reason, but in Pachamama’s map and guide it says that isn’t recommended to ascend that way. I guess it’s very difficult? You could check when you arrive to find out the reasoning, but just letting you know what we read.

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