2024 Peru Photo Tour

The best of the Peruvian Andes – Cordillera Blanca & Huayhuash

Join us for a Peru photo tour to capture the most breathtaking landscapes and night skies in the Andes Mountains. From giant, glaciated peaks; turquoise lakes; and endless valleys and vistas, to colorful wildflowers and some of the darkest skies on the planet, this region in Peru is home to some of the best natural wonders in the world.

We are running this Peruvian Andes photo trek from July 28th to August 10th, 2024, during the dry season, when conditions are best for hiking and chances are best for clear skies at night.

Huayhuash photo tour milky way photography


Our Peru photo trek will mainly focus on hiking and capturing the most iconic landscapes in the Cordillera Blanca & Huayhuash, the world’s highest tropical mountain ranges. This time of year is perfect for hiking, as it coincides with the dry season, and ideal for astro, as it’s the peak of Milky Way season in the Southern Hemisphere, with 10+ hours of Milky Way visibility at night.

Over 14 days, we will hike and photograph some of the most spectacular mountains, valleys, and “lagunas” in the Andes. In the Cordillera Blanca, we will visit the turquoise lakes of Laguna Churup and Laguna 69 and be surrounded by snow-capped peaks while we acclimatize ourselves to the high altitude. Once we are in Huayhuash, we’ll camp and hike every day, with vistas of 20,000+ foot towering, glaciated peaks, like the famous Yerupajá and Siula Grande, beautiful lagoons, such as Mitucocha and Carhuacocha, and breathtaking passes, like Trapecio and San Antonio.

At night, we will photograph our Milky Way arching over some otherworldly landscapes. Being at a high altitude and far away from sources of light pollution, you’ll see our galaxy like you’ve never seen it before and feel like you could literally touch the stars.

Peruvian Andes Photo Trek


    • Photo tour from July 28th – August 10th, 2024
    • Group size: 12 participants + 2 instructors + 2 licensed mountain guides.
    • Main topics: Landscape and astrophotography – Mountains, lakes, Milky Way.
    • Main areas: Cordillera Blanca & Huayhuash Mountain Ranges.
    • Single accommodation included in hotels and private tents.
    • Transportation included throughout the entire trip.
    • All excursions included, such as the visits to Laguna Churup and Laguna 69.
    • Fully outfitted Huayhuash trek with porters and everything included (more details below).

Download the Official Peruvian Andes Photo Tour Brochure

Peruvian Andes photo tour brochure

Is this Peru Photo Tour the Right Trip for me?

Before you continue reading, it’s important to note that this Peruvian Andes Photo Trek is strenuous and physically demanding. You can expect to hike an average of 4 to 6 miles every day with a 2,000-foot elevation gain at an altitude of over 13,000 feet.

The weather can be very changeable in the mountains, so expect to experience all kinds of weather conditions. Also, we’ll be sleeping in tents on half the nights during the trip.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never hiked at high altitudes before; we’ll make sure that you gradually become acclimatized. However, you shouldn’t consider this photo trek unless you are exceptionally fit and mentally prepared for an adventure of this kind.

You’ll be well rewarded for your efforts, as you’ll enjoy views of one of the most beautiful high-altitude treks in the world and photograph our Milky Way in places where it has never been shot before.

*There is an age limit to join this photo tour, which is 70 years old.

*Participants over 55 years old need to present a mandatory physical examination 3 months before the start of the tour

Peruvian Andes Photography adventure

2024 Cordillera Blanca & Huayhuash Photo Trek itinerary

Below is, the itinerary of our Peruvian Andes Photo Tour. We have planned out every day, but bear in mind that some of the hikes and shoots might change depending on the weather conditions.

Dry season usually means clear days, but in the mountains, you can expect rain, sleet, and even snow at any time of the year.

We know the locations very well andhave a team of local experts in the field to help us, so we’ll plan every shoot so that we have the best possible conditions and experience.


Our Peruvian Andes photo adventure starts in Lima, where a private bus will take us to the heart of the Cordillera Blanca in Huaraz.

We will depart at 09:00 AM and the bus will make two stops: one to pick up people fromLima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport, and another at our hotel, where we recommend staying the night before if you plan to arrive early.

The drive is long and it’ll take us around 8 hours to get to Huaraz, so we will make several stops along the way.

Once we arrive at our destination, we will check into our private accommodation, where we will stay the next 5 nights and get some much-needed rest.

Huaraz is the capital of Peru’s Ancash region and at the heart of the Cordillera Blanca. Located at an altitude of almost 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), it’s the perfect place to acclimatize ourselves before our photo trek.

Cordillera blanca and Huayhuash photo tour


Acclimatizing properly is key for adapting our bodies to the high altitudes of the Huayhuash circuit, so we’ll follow a specific plan to acclimatize ourselves. Every day, we will gradually increase our elevation before then sleeping at a lower elevation in Huaraz.

On the first day, we will spend the morning and afternoon visiting Huaraz. We will walk around the city and visit the main landmarks , including the Plaza de Armas and Mercado Central, and have some delicious food in one of the local restaurants.

In the evening, we will take a private taxi to one of the higher viewpoints outside Huaraz, where we will photograph the sunset with the towering mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, like Huascarán and Huandoy, in the background.

Peru Photo Tour

Peruvian Andes Tour Aclimatization

Mountain photography tour in Peru


On the third day of our Peru photo tour, we will take the first of our three day-acclimatization hikes.

We will hike to Laguna Wilcacocha, the perfect hike to start with, since it’s located outside Huaraz at an altitude of just over 12,220 feet (3,725 meters), following an easy and gradual elevation gain.

Our private transportation will leave us at the beginning of the trail, where we’ll start the 3.9-mile hike to the top of the Wilcacocha Lagoon in the Cordillera Negra. Once at the top, we will enjoy some stunning views of the Cordillera Blanca, we’ll have a break for lunch, and take pictures of the peaks using our longer focal lengths.

During the trek, we will pass by some tiny villages, where we’ll have the opportunity to see Peruvian rural life. After this hike, we will arrive back in Huaraz where we’ll rest and then have a group dinner in one of the local restaurants.

    • Distance: 3.9 miles (6.2 kilometers) round trip
    • Elevation gain: 1,883 feet (573 meters)
    • Max. altitude: 12,220 feet (3,725 meters)
    • Estimated hiking time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

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On day 4 of our Cordillera Blanca photo tour, we’ll take our second acclimatization hike to Laguna Churup.

Our private transportation will take us to the start of the Churup trail. The TheTaltitude and difficulty of the hike will increase compared to the day before, but after two nights of sleeping in Huaraz, our bodies will be better acclimatized for longer hikes.

Churup is an emerald-colored lagoon that is surrounded by snowy peaks and is located in Huascarán National Park. On this hike, we will see waterfalls, canyons, and exceptional views of one of the most beautiful locations in the Cordillera Blanca.

We will take our time to hike the 1.8-miles up to an altitude of 14,600 feet (4,450 meters), where the lagoon is located. Once there, we will have a break for eating lunch, taking pictures, flying drones, and enjoying the marvelous vistas before returning down to the start of the trail.

Once we are back in Huaraz, we will rest and then have dinner in another of the local restaurants.

    • Distance: 3.6 miles (5.8 kilometers) round trip
    • Elevation gain: 2,142 feet (652 meters)
    • Max. altitude: 14,600 feet (4,450 meters)
    • Estimated hiking time: 3 hours and 30 minutes


On day 5 of our Peru photo tour, the last day of our acclimatization hikes, we will embark on one of the most special treks in the Cordillera Blanca: Laguna 69.

Laguna 69 is considered one of the most beautiful glacial lakes in the world. It’s located in Huascarán National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s full of huge ravines, wildflowers, and the highest mountain in the Peruvian Andes (Mt. Huascarán).

This national park is located two and a half hours from Huaraz, so our transportation will pick us up at our accommodation at 4:30 AM so we can start the hike in the early morning.

After breakfasting in the area, we will start the spectacular photo trek to Laguna 69. The hike starts out mostly flat, but the elevation increases gradually as we get closer to the mountains. The trail is a feast for the senses and you can expect to see waterfalls, canyons, wildflowers, and massive mountains and glaciers.

Once we get to Laguna 69, we will take a break for pictures and aerial photography with drones. We will have an incredible view of the turquoise lagoon in a location surrounded by waterfalls, glaciated peaks, and the spectacular glaciers of Pisco and Chacraraju.

After our shoot, we will have some snacks before hiking back to a lower elevation.

We will get back to Huaraz, where we will get some rest before the next big adventure. At this point, we will be fit, acclimatized, and ready for our Huayhuash Astrophoto trek!

    • Distance: 8.6 miles (13.8 kilometers) round trip
    • Elevation gain: 2,762 feet (841 meters)
    • Max. altitude: 15,092 feet (4,600 meters)
    • Estimated hiking time: 5 hours

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Laguna 69 in Peruvian Andes

Laguna 69 UNESCO World Heritage

Visit and photograph Laguna 69


On the 6th day of our Peru photo tour, we will start our Huayhuash photo trek. We will depart Huaraz after breakfast and take a relatively long drive (6 hours), which will allow us to enjoy great views of the incredible Huayhuash range from the road. Our final destination will be Llamac, a tiny village of farmers and shepherds, and the last human settlement we will see for the following 6 days.

Our local team of guides and porters will set up our camp near Llamac in Quartelhuain, where we will enjoy a delicious dinner in our dining tent. There will be no hiking on this day, since our goal will be to be well-rested for our Huayhuash photo trek.

If conditions allow, we will do an astrophotography session near the campsite.

    • No hiking
    • 6-hour drive from Huaraz approx.
    • Campsite altitude: 13,670 feet (4,168 meters)

Huayhuash photo trek

Camp in the Peruvian Andes

Visit Peru and the Peruvian Andes


On day 7, we will start the real Huayhuash photo trek adventure by hiking our first section from Quartelhuain to Laguna Mitucocha via Cacanan Punta Pass.

We will reach our first mountain pass of the route early in the morning and get the first spectacular views of this mountain range from the top. From here, we’ll enjoy our first great vista of the snowy mountains of Rondoy and the Andean Condors overhead.

Once at the top, we will then descend down to our next camp near Laguna Mitucocha and stop for many photography breaks along the way. From our camp, we will have an excellent view of the giants Jirishanca, Rondoy, and Ninashanca, all glacier-capped mountains that are over 18,000 feet tall.

After resting at our camp at Janca, we will take the evening to visit the nearby Laguna Mitucocha and scout locations for our night shoot. There are many great Milky Way compositions to be found here in the early evening, so if conditions allow, we’ll do an early Milky Way session after dinner.

  • Distance: 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1,680 feet (512 meters)
  • Max. altitude: 15,350 feet (4,680 meters)
  • Campsite altitude: 13,917 feet (4,242 meters)
  • Estimated hiking time: 4 to 5 hours

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On Day 8, we will start the day by shooting the sunrise near Laguna Mitucocha. This is the best time of day, when the morning light illuminates the Rondoy and Jirishanca peaks, for good lighting at this location. After this shoot and a good breakfast, we’ll leave our camp to start hiking towards one of the most special spots on our Peru photo tour: Laguna Carhuacocha.

We will ascend the Carhuac Mountain Pass in the early morning and descend to the majestic Laguna Carhuacocha, where our local team will set up our camp for the next two days.

The views of the valley from this lagoon are unparalleled and you’ll feel very small as you face some of the highest mountains in the Andes, including Yerupajá (21,768 feet high/6,634 meters), Siula Grande, Yerupajá Chico, Jirishanca, and Rondoy.

During the day, you can see epic displays of light when the clouds roll around the peaks and feel the thunder of the avalanches falling off the mountain glaciers.

However, the real show at Carhuacocha starts at night, when this high-altitude valley gets so dark that you won’t be able to see your own hands. Be prepared because you’ll enjoy one of the most stunning night photography sessions of your life as you watch the Milky Way rise over the mountains with the light reflected in the lagoon.

This location is so special that we have reserved two nights here for exploring the area and making sure that we can enjoy the best possible conditions for astro.

    • Distance: 6.8 miles (11 kilometers) round trip
    • Elevation gain: 1,240 feet (378 meters)
    • Max. altitude: 15,150 feet (4,620 meters)
    • Campsite altitude: 13,622 ft (4,152 meters)
    • Estimated hiking time: 5 to 6 hours

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Huayhuash Mountain Range, Peru


On the 9th day of our Peru photo tour, we will explore the main photography landmarks around Laguna Carhuacocha.

After a sunrise shoot where we watch the alpenglow over the higher peaks, we will take the Huayhuash Alpine Route to another breathtaking vista in the Mirador de las 3 Lagunas ( Huayhuash Three Lagoons Viewpoint). After hiking the Carhuacocha valley, we will start gaining altitude while passing the three turquoise-colored lagoons of Gangrajanca, Siula, and Quesillococha.

The views of the mountains along the way are impressive, and it’s common to see the occasional avalanche falling off the cliffs. The last part of the hike is steep, but we will be rewarded with an exceptional panoramic view of the mountains from Pico Carnicero to Rondoy, with the impressive Eastern Siula Glacier and the three lagunas across the valley.

Beyond this viewpoint, we will take a couple of off-route, small hikes to different areas of the lagoon that nobody visits, so we’ll have the opportunity to capture unique camera and drone shots.

Once we are back at our base camp in Laguna Carhuacocha, we will do a second night photography session and photograph our Milky Way from a different perspective.

    • Distance: 8.2 miles (13.9 kilometers) round trip
    • Elevation gain: 1,738 feet (529 meters)
    • Max. altitude: 14,747 feet (4,495 meters)
    • Campsite altitude: 13,622 feet (4,152 meters)
    • Estimated hiking time: 6 hours

Huayhuash alpine trek

Huayhuash, 3 lagunas, Peru

Huayhuash in the summer, Dry season, Peru


On day 10, we will have a long day ahead of us, so we will depart in the early morning after a sunrise session andl take the same Alpine Route up to the Mirador Tres Lagunas. Having an extra day here will allow us to enjoy this photogenic area in different light conditions .

After a break at the Three LLagoons Viewpoint that we visited the day before, we’ll continue climbing up to Siula Pass, the highest altitude of the trek so far. After this, we’ll start the descent to Laguna Carcinero and pass through areas where we will enjoy new views of the mountains. This area of the trek is very wild, so you can expect to see Andean condors and, if we are lucky, vicuñas (wild alpacas).

We will take a break in a lush valley with an excellent view of Pico Carnicero before starting our descent to Huayhuash Camp, where we will photograph the sunset and do our astrophotography sessions at night.

Note: *If you feel tired and don’t want to take this steep and scenic route, there will be an alternative hike via Carnicero Pass, which is easier and lower in elevation.

    • Distance: 8.6 miles (14 kilometers) round trip
    • Elevation gain: 2,296 feet (700 meters)
    • Max. altitude: 15,750 feet (4,800 meters)
    • Campsite altitude: 14,240 feet (4,340 meters)
    • Estimated hiking time: 8 hours

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The 11th day of our Huayhuash astrophoto trek will offer another day of beauty at new heights!

The ascent on this trail is long, but it’s very gradual, so we will take our time until we reach the majestic Trapecio Pass. Here, you’ll barely believe your eyes when you see have the view, a 360°, up-close vista of towering mountains, glaciers, and lagoons.

Once at the top, we will take a break and then start an optional 200-foot hike to reach the highest point of the trek at almost 16,700 feet (5,100 meters), where we will see one of Huayhuash’s best-kept secret views.

After the pass, we will leave the moraine rock and hike down to Cuyoc, where we’ll walk through a very different type of terrain that descends into a fantasy-like valley with peaks and glacial lakes.

The final destination will be Elefante Camp, where we will rest before our night photography session in the valley.

    • Distance: 5.1 miles (8.2 kilometers) round trip
    • Elevation gain: 2,362 feet (720 meters)
    • Max. altitude: 16,732 feet (5,100 meters)
    • Campsite altitude: 14,270 feet (4,350 meters)
    • Estimated hiking time: 8 hours

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On this new day of our Peruvian Andes photo tour, we will start with a sunrise session around Elefante Camp and rest in preparation for a very short but steep hike to San Antonio Pass for sunset where, if the weather cooperates, we’ll be able to enjoy possibly the most epic vista in the entire Huayhuash range.

During the day our mountain guides will prepare a farewell barbeque for us, as this will be our last sunset with them.

After lunch and before sunset, we’ll start the steep hike to San Antonio Pass. From the top of San Antonio, you can get a perfect view of the highest mountains in the Huayhuash range, including Siula Grande, Yerupajá, and Carnicero, and the turquoise lagoons of Jurau and Sarapococha. Another highlight from this height is seeing the Siula Glacier Valley, where Joe Simpson’s harrowing fall and survival, as dramatized in Touching the Void, occurred.

Once we are back at Elefante Camp, we will rest and get ready for one last Milky Way photography session if the weather allows it.

    • Distance: 2.7 miles (4.5 kilometers) round trip
    • Elevation gain: 1,673 feet (510 meters)
    • Max. altitude: 16,469 feet (5,020 meters)
    • Campsite altitude: 13,976 feet (4,260 meters)
    • Estimated hiking time: 5 to 6 hours

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Mountain pass during a fiery sunset



On the last day of our Huayhuash photo tour, we will return to the “human world” in a descent hike to Huayllapa Village.

We will take our last photos along the way, passing by wildflowers, rivers, and some waterfalls.

Once in Huayllapa, our private transportation will drive us back to Huaraz, which will take 8 hours. Once we are back, we will enjoy a great shower and sleep in a bed again after our Huayhuash photo trek!

    • Distance: 8.2 miles (13.2 kilometers) one way.
    • Elevation gain: 200 feet (60 meters)
    • Max. altitude: 13,976 feet (4,260 meters)
    • Estimated hiking time: 4 to 5 hours 
    • 8-hour drive to Huaraz approx.

Unique photography experience in Peru


On the last day of our Peru photo tour, our private bus will pick us up from our hotel after breakfast to drive us back to Lima at 09:00 AM.

Expect to spend 7 to 9 hours on the road, so don’t book your flights home for before 8 PM.

We recommend spending an extra night in Lima in case there’s any delay because of traffic or if you need to catch an early flight the following day.

PRICE: $4,690 USD

Deposit: $1,500 USD

A $1,500 USD deposit is required to reserve your spot for this workshop. You can also pay in full at any time. The remaining balance is due 120 days before the start of the tour. If the remaining balance is not paid in full by the due date, you will lose your spot.

What does the price include?


    • Transfer by private bus Lima – Huaraz / Huaraz – Lima.
    • Transportation during the entire trip in private vehicles.
    • Fuel and parking fees.
    • 6 nights of accommodation in Huaraz in single rooms with bathroom.
    • Acclimatization hikes to Wilcacocha, Churup, and Laguna 69.
    • Entrance ticket to Huascarán National Park.
    • Photo guide services from Dan Zafra, professional landscape and astrophotographer.
    • 8-day fully outfitted Huayhuash Photo trek, including: (Click to display)

      -Private 4-season tent with sleeping bag and air mats.

      -All food and drinks – breakfast, picnic, lunch, dinner.

      -Bilingual, accredited professional mountain guide.

      Assistant guide.

      Cook & kitchen services.

      Kitchen assistant.

      Donkey drivers (“arrieros”) with mules.

      Dining tent.

      -Portable power generator.

      Satellite phone and first aid kit.

      Rescue horse.

      -Huayhuash communities camping fees.

      Night photography sessions.



    • Flights to/from Jorge Chávez Lima International Airport.
    • Accommodation in Lima before/after the trip.
    • Meals before/after the Huayhuash trek (E.g., meals in Huaraz).
    • Personal trekking/camera equipment.
    • Health/travel insurance (We can help you purchase the best travel insurance according to your needs).
    • Telephone, personal expenses, tips, etc., and any other service not mentioned in the “INCLUDED” section.

Plan a photography trip to the Peruvian Andes

Upcoming Huayhuash Photo Tours 



Angelica Fuchs
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The logistics and preparation were very good and well organized. We had a wonderful team of local guides and helpers, and the food was absolutely amazing. First time I ate so well in the mountains.
Sridhar Pursai
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Dan and Ascen had put together a great web of everything we needed - a team of Mountain Guides, arrieros, cooks, crew, logistics, plans, transportation, food, and everything in between to make this one of the most enjoyable trips of my life.
Michel Samson
Read More
What a magnificent trip! From the organization of the acclimatization hikes, to the sublime scenery (day and night) of the Huayhuash mountains.

What will I learn during this Peru Photo Tour?

This Peruvian Andes photo tour is mainly focused on landscape and astrophotography, and shooting mountains and high alpine scenes.

What you learn during the workshop will vary according to your goals and skills. Your instructors are professional photographers with extensive experience who will help you take your photography to the next level.

This tour is technically demanding, considering the environment and the type of scenes that we’ll be shooting, so we do recommend having a good photography knowledge base to make the most of the experience.

During the tour you’ll have the opportunity to learn:

    • Creating powerful compositions that tell a story and engage the viewer.
    • Building a connection between your photography and your vision.
    • Becoming a master of light: learn how to enhance it and keep it under control.
    • Advanced landscape techniques like bracketing, focus stacking, or focal length blending.
    • Advanced night photography techniques like stacking and tracking.
    • Advanced drone photography like aerial panoramas, vertoramas, and bracketing.

Some of the post-processing techniques that you can learn with the included tutorials are:

    • Basics of Lightroom and Photoshop.
    • Preparing your images in Lightroom/Adobe Camera Raw.
    • Stitching of panoramas using different software like Lightroom or PTGui Pro.
    • Reducing the noise in your images with Denoise AI.
    • Sharpening your photos with Sharpen AI.
    • All types of Blendings (exposure, focal length, focus, etc.).
    • Light shaping and Dodge & Burn in your landscape & night images.
    • Post-processing of moody and atmospheric landscapes.
    • Advanced Milky Way post-processing techniques.

Your instructors on this Peruvian Andes photo tour

Mikel Iraeta will be the tour leader during this Peru photo tour and he’ll help you capture the best possible images during the trip.

Mikel is a landscape photographer based in the Basque Country, in Northern Spain. He has extensive experience in mountain photography in areas such as the Pyrenees, Picos de Europa, Canadian Rockies, the Dolomites, and, most importantly, Huayhuash and the PEruvian Andes. His experience on the ground will be crucial to make sure you are at the right spot to enjoy the best light conditions.

However, his dedication to photography does not end when the lights turn off. He is also a passionate night photographer. He will ensure you make the best use of your equipment to capture the Milky Way in some of the best locations in the world for that purpose: the Huayhuash mountain range. He will provide useful photography tips based on his background and experience on the field and help you capture beautiful night images whether that implies simple single shot images or star-tracked panoramas.

Prince Berkoh will be the tour co-leader throughout this Peru photography workshop, and he will make sure that you get the best photography results and experience out of this tour. He will help you with your photography, technique, and composition in all your landscape images.

Prince is an experienced photo tour leader with experience leading tours in multiple internatioanl destinations across the world such as Patagonia, Iceland, Lofoten, the Faroe Islands, etc, and he knows how to help you capture the best possible images.

He loves teaching others about photography and has led numerous workshops and presentations on night photography over the years.

With Prince, you’ll learn how to best capture the landscape in Cordillera Blanca, from the basics to advanced techniques like bracketing, focus stacking, and panoramas.

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What to bring on a Peruvian Andes Photo Trek?

    • DSLR/mirrorless camera and a sturdy light tripod.
    • A quality all-round zoom lens like a 24-105 mm.
    • A wide-angle lens, such as a 14-24 mm lens.
    • A camera bag to transport all your equipment.
    • A headlamp for the night shoots.

These are some optional items: (weight is an important consideration for the hikes)

    • A medium zoom lens, such as a 24-70 mm lens.
    • A telephoto lens, like a 100-400 mm lens.
    • A CPL (circular polarizer filter).

Other optional items if you are focused on advanced MW photography are:

    • A star-tracker.
    • A laser for doing polar alignment.

*I also recommend a light and fast prime lens for Milky Way photography. Some of the best lenses in this range are:

    • 20 mm f/1.8
    • 24 mm f/1.4
    • 35 mm f/1.4

This prime can also be a substitute for your wide-angle zoom for daytime images.

What do you need for a photography tour in the Peruvian Andes


We are taking this Peru photo trek during the dry season, also known as the “Andean summer.” This time of year typically has stable weather, with only one or two days of bad weather per week and sometimes even weeks of perfect weather.

The average temperature in the high mountains above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) at this time of year is 68°F (20ºC) in the middle of the day and drops to around 32°F (0ºC) at night and in the early mornings. This is also the time of year with very little wind.

However, we will be hiking around very high mountains, and the weather in this type of environment can be unpredictable, so there could be rain, hail, snow, or strong winds during parts of the trek.

For this reason, you should come prepared and wear the right clothing and trekking gear. Below is our list of recommendations for this Huayhuash photo trek:

    • A system of top layers to wear (base layer, fleece, windproof layer, shell).
    • A system of bottom layers to wear (hiking pants, fleece pants for the cold nights, overpants for the rain).
    • A good pair of breathable boots to keep your feet warm and protect your ankles while hiking.
    • Light sneakers or sandals so you can change your shoes after the trek.
    • Warm and breathable socks.
    • A wool hat, neck gaiter, and gloves.
    • A day backpack (30/40 Lt).
    • Light water bottle.
    • A small, light towel.

Some optional items that are highly recommended are:

    • Hiking poles.
    • A cap or sun hat.
    • Sunglasses.
    • Lip balm.
    • An external power bank.
    • A portable solar charger.
    • An oxygen saturation monitor.

You will receive a list with everything that you need and we recommendwith links and examples before the trip.

Hiking equipment for a photography tour in Andes


The currency in Peru is the Peruvian Sol (PEN). In many places in Lima and Huaraz, you can pay with credit or debit card, but there are still many businesses that only take cash.

We recommend getting “soles” in your home country, or withdrawing some once you are in Peru. You can always purchase a small amount at Jorge Chavez International Airport to tide you over until you get to an ATM.


People from most countries in the Americas, Europe, Eastern Asia, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand don’t need a tourist visa to visit Peru for trips that are shorter than 183 days.

Please check if you need a visa to visit Peru if you live outside those areas. We can help you with this process.


The accommodation on this Peruvian Andes photo tour is single occupancy throughout the entire trip:

    • In Huaraz, you’ll have a private room and bathroom. We’ll be staying in a hotel that’s very close to the Plaza de Armas and the main attractions and restaurants in town.
    • During the Huayhuash trek, you’ll have a private tent, which will be set up every day by the local team. We will camp at the official campsites, where you can take in amazing views ofthe most photogenic mountains.

Hiking in Peru with a guide


All meals are included during our Huayhuash photo trek and they’ll be prepared and served to us in a group dining tent.

We’ll have a local team of experts with us, including a cook and a kitchen assistant that will prepare all our meals.

    • Breakfast options will include a mix of hot drinks, omelettes, pancakes, cereals, fruits, toast, and jams.
    • Lunch will be eaten during breaks from the hikes and will include salad, pasta, potatoes, tuna, trout, chicken, beef, vegetables, and fruits.
    • Dinner will be the main meal of the day to recover after the hikes, and the cook will prepare a variety of local and international dishes.

Apart from the main meals, you can also have hot drinks, dried fruits, and snacks at any time of the day.

We can cater to all dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and many other options.

Eating during a long hike in Peru


Transportation is included during the photo tour. We will travel in a comfortable bus for the long trips, and we’ll use a small bus for the day hikes and the hike to Laguna 69.


During this Peruvian Andes photo tour, we will be hiking almost every day an average of 4 to 6 miles, with a 2,000-foot elevation gain on average, and at an altitude of over 13,000 feet. If you join this photo tour, you have to be mentally and physically prepared for this kind of adventure.

Being physically fit is extremely important to be able to complete all the hikes on this tour; however, you don’t need to have extensive experience hiking at high altitudes since we’ll take the necessary steps toward proper acclimatization to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.

You can find a summary of all the hikes of this Peruvian Andes photo tour in the following table.


Elevation Gain

Distance (round trip)

Estimated Duration (roun trip)


Laguna Wilcacocha

1,883 feet (573 meters)

3.9 miles (6.2 kilometers)

2.5 hours

1st acclimatization hike. Reaching a max altitude of 12,220 feet (3,725 meters)

Laguna Churup

2,142 feet (652 meters)

3.6 miles (5.8 kilometers)

4.5 hours

2nd acclimatization hike. Reaching a max altitude of 14,600 feet (4,450 meters)

Laguna 69

2,762 feet (841 meters)

8.6 miles (13.8 kilometers)

5 hours

3rd acclimatization hike. Reaching a max altitude of 15,092 feet (4,600 meters)

Quartelhuain to Laguna Mitucocha

1,680 feet (512 meters)

5.6 miles (9 kilometers)

5 hours

Max altitude reached: 15,350 feet (4,680 meters). Laguna mitucocha through Punta Pass

Mitucocha to Laguna Carhuacocha

1,240 feet (378 meters)

6.8 miles (11 kilometers)

6 hours

Max altitude reached: 15,150 feet (4,620 meters). Laguna Carhuacocha through Carhuac Pass.

Laguna Carhuacocha to Mirador Tres Lagunas

1,738 feet (529 meters)

8.2 miles (13.9 kilometers)

6 hours

Max altitude reached: 14,747 feet (4,495 meters)

Carhuacocha to Huayhuash Camp

2,296 feet (700 meters)

8.6 miles (14 kilometers)

8 hours

Max altitude reached: 15,750 feet (4,800 meters)

Huayhuash to Elefante Camp

2,362 feet (720 meters)

5.1 miles (8.2 kilometers)

8 hours

Max altitude reached: 16,732 feet (5,100 meters)

Elefante to San Antonio Pass

1,673 feet (510 meters)

2.7 miles (4.5 kilometers)

6 hours

Max altitude reached: 15,750 feet (4,800 meters)

Elefante to Huayllapa

200 feet (60 meters)

8.2 miles (13.2 kilometers) one way

5 hours. One way

Max altitude reached: 13,976 feet (4,260 meters)

We recommend being in good physical shape to enjoy this experience


We are very close to the equator, and the hours of light don’t change much throughout the year, so we’ll get 12 hours of light from about 06:00 AM to 06:00 PM. We will plan all the hikes and photography sessions according to the hours of light and Milky Way visibility.

If there is no late Milky Way session, we will wake up early around 06:00 AM. Our local team will have breakfast ready for us, so we can enjoy it and start our hike. We won’t have to worry about setting up camp, since that will also be done by the local team.

We will hike for about 4 hours in the morning, doing multiple photography stops according to the landscapes and light. After this, we will take a break and have lunch outdoors with a scenic view.

After the break, we will continue our hike. Some days are shorter or longer than others, but we’ll hike an average of 3-4 hours after the lunch break, stopping again for multiple photo opportunities.

Once we arrive at our destination, camp will be already set up so we can rest and have some dinner. If there are good conditions for astro, we’ll do an early Milky Way session after dinner before going to bed and recharging our batteries for the following day.

The night photography sessions will vary according to the weather conditions and locations. There are usually 10+ hours of Milky Way visibility at this time of year, but our galaxy is too high to see for most of the night. The best time for Milky Way photography in the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year is right after sunset and before sunrise, when the Milky Way arch is rising or setting. Some locations are better for a rising Milky Way, while others are better for a setting Milky Way, which is how we will determine our shoots.

Group tous in Huayhuash, Peru

What expenses should you consider for this Peruvian Andes Photo Tour?


You should book your flight to Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM).

The price of round-trip flights to Lima from the US is approximately $500-600 USD, and from Europe, it’s $600-700 USD.

We recommend reading this article if you want to find the best flights to Lima Airport from your current location.


Meals in Lima and Huaraz are not included, except for breakfast. Most days, we will have breakfast at the hotel and a lunch/dinner in one of the local restaurants.

During the day, we will eat snacks and picnic to maximize our time during the acclimatization hikes.

Groceries and restaurants are cheap in Peru, and you can expect to spend about $15-$25 USD on food per day.


We will carry a satellite phone on the trek but only for emergencies.

Once we leave Huaraz, there will be no service until we are back 7 days later, so if you want to communicate with the outside world, we recommend carrying a personal satellite phone or GPS device with SMS functions, like a Garmin inReach.

What makes this Peru Photo Tour unique?


you'll be absorbed by the magic of the Peruvian Andes and have an intense experience that is conducive to learning and taking the best images.


Our photo trek is limited to small groups with a ratio of no more than six students per instructor. This is also an important factor for providing the attentive instruction you need during the tour.


We will photograph some hidden gems that we have discovered while exploring in the past that are rarely visited or photographed. This is the only photo trek focused on astrophotography in the entire Andes.


We will discuss your goals before the tour so we can create a dedicated instruction plan for you. It doesn’t matter your age or skills; we will design your plan and provide you with materials before, during, and after the workshop so the learning process is not limited to just the tour.


We have spent years designing national and international photo tours with successful results, helping photographers with everything from the simple task of getting off Auto to the ambitious goal of capturing complex images. Dan’s online courses have also helped more than 400 photographers over the last few years.


Beyond the photography, our photography tours help build strong bonds that last forever. After our trip, you’ll feel like you have been with a group of friends rather than on a standard tour. We are thankful to have plenty of repeat clients who keep traveling and learning with us.

Frequent questions about our Peruvian Andes Photo tour

This tour is technically demanding, considering the environment and the type of scenes that we’ll be shooting, so we do recommend having a good photography knowledge base.

Once you sign up for the trip, we will discuss your skills and goals for this tour, and I’ll organize a teaching plan so you can make the most of this experience. You’ll also receive access to Dan’s Capture the Milky Way course so you can start preparing your astrophotography before the trip.

This is a STRENUOUS photo trek, where we will be hiking at high altitudes and sometimes over rough terrain.

Expect to hike up to 2 or 3 hours every day to the top of a mountain pass that’s over 14,500 feet above sea level (4,500 meters) with your camera gear, water, snacks, etc.

We won’t hike on ridges or avalanche terrain, so there will be no need for climbing, scrambling, or using ropes. The trails can be rocky and slippery at times, so having good balance is recommended.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any previous experience hiking at high elevations.; we have prepared a complete acclimatization plan so we can progressively adapt to the altitude without experiencing altitude sickness. However, you must have some previous experience with hiking and be in exceptional physical shape. We can discuss and recommend training plans to be physically prepared for this trek.

Before signing up for the trip, we’ll also have a call to discuss your background, experience, and goals so we can decide if this is the best experience for you.

There is an age limit to join this photo tour, which is 70 years old.

We do recommend that participants between 45 and 55 years old do a physical examination with a primary care provider (PCP), and we do require a mandatory physical examination if you are over 55 years old.

Non-photographer companions are welcome to join the tour, and they need to book a spot under the same price and conditions as any other participant. (We don’t allow non-participant companions tagging along with the group). We have had plenty of non-photographer companions over the years and all of them enjoyed an amazing experience. As long as they enjoy nature, beautiful landscapes, and are a bit patient with the schedules of a photo tour, joining the trip can be a great experience regardless of the shooting.

The Peruvian Andes offer exceptional opportunities for aerial photography and filming. You’ll be in very remote areas with almost no restrictions and you’ll have the opportunity to charge your drone batteries with our portable power generator.

Dan is an experienced drone pilot and will show you the best aerial photography techniques.

Our Happy Students!

I’ve had the opportunity to work with and help countless photographers over the last years:

Dan and Ascen had put together a great web of everything we needed - a team of Mountain Guides, arrieros, cooks, crew, logistics, plans, transportation, food, and everything in between to make this one of the most enjoyable trips of my life. The 4 days in and around Huaraz were just the right amount of time to acclimatize and get used to the altitude. The food was incredible, and I am a picky person when it comes to food. Jorge's cooking was something I would look forward to everyday. All in all, if you are into astro, hiking, and great company, you cannot go wrong with with this.
Sridhar Pursai
2023 Huayhuash Photo Tour
The logistics and preparation were very good and well organized. We had a wonderful team of local guides and helpers, and the food was absolutely amazing. First time I ate so well in the mountains. We spent 4 days acclimatizing before leaving for the trek, thanks to that, none of our team members had altitude sickness. When it comes to the group, I have to say I couldn't have hoped for a better one. Dan & Ascen being always very positive, and our guide Walter too, the whole team was a mix of fun, motivated, determined, and very talented photographers. We shared so much in 2 weeks that it felt like lifelong friends by the end of the trip. All in all, best travel experience I've lived so far and I cannot wait to come back and to see the team again.
Angelica Fuchs
2023 Huayhuash Photo Tour
What a magnificent trip! From the organization of the acclimatization hikes, to the sublime scenery (day and night) of the Huayhuash mountains. Also the personalized teaching and the natural enthusiasm of Dan and Ascen, the gentle confidence of Walter and Beto our local guides, and the 5-star, 3 to 4-course meals of George, was just perfect. The Capture the Atlas teaching videos are the cherry on top. Thanks again!
Michel Samson
2023 Huayhuash Photo Tour
I recently had the incredible opportunity to join a photography tour of Peru with Capture the Atlas and our talented guide, Dan. From start to finish, my experience was nothing short of fantastic. One of the standout aspects of this tour was the thorough preparation provided by Dan. Before we even set foot in Peru. The tour itself was exceptionally well-planned, with every detail meticulously explained. Communication with the team prior to the tour was excellent, ensuring that we were well-prepared and had all our questions answered. Dan had taken great care in crafting an itinerary that allowed us to experience the best of Peru's photographic opportunities. But what truly made this journey exceptional was the bonds formed with fellow travelers.
Ella G.
2023 Huayhuash Photo Tour
This is the best trip for landscape astrophotographers in the whole region. The tour leader, Dan, is an ideal guide, graciously sharing his very extensive knowledge with all classes of photographers, from beginners to expert. The mountain guides are also outstanding, with expert knowledge of the terrain, and a compassionate attitude. The food was incredible.
Bernard O'Kane
2023 Huayhuash Photo Tour
Iceland workshop reviews Capture the atlas
Dan was a great host on my recent Photo tour of Southern Iceland. He is an excellent photographer and was energetic in his effort to get our group to so many great sites to photograph. I had great comrades along, which made the journey even more enjoyable. Would I make this trip with Capture the Atlas again? In a heartbeat!
Larry Covalciuc
Iceland Photo Tour
Iceland Photo Tour Reviews Capture the Atlas5
Traveled with Dan on the South Iceland tour, September 2021. We had six "photographers" on the tour of varying experience and Dan was exceptional at working with us on our level. He was also accommodating by changing the timing of the itinerary due to the weather and the eruption of the volcano. The tour included, as advertised, some hiking to remote places to capture some unique photos. The weathered dictated times to get out to see the Aurora and sunrises which were all impressive.
Robert Emery
Iceland Photo Tour
Iceland Photo Tour Reviews Capture the Atlas7
Dan & Ascen drove almost 2,000 km’s to bring us to all the locations for photo shoot’s. There was fabulous enthusiasm amongst the group. We witnessed amazing landscapes and seascapes. Dan made it all possible, the “Dancing Northern Lights” would not be missed on this tour. There was a good choice of accommodation & restaurants.
Iris Anderson
Iceland Photo Tour

Join the expedition


This tour is governed by these Terms and Conditions.

The “Cordillera Blanca” and Huayhuash are the most spectacular and photogenic mountain ranges in the Peruvian Andes.

The hikes in this region are considered some of the most beautiful alpine treks in the world for good reason; here, you can see everything from endless mountains to colorful glacial lakes and some of the darkest night skies on our planet.

This is the only tour where you’ll find hiking, intense astrophotography, camaraderie, and unforgettable moments in a breathtaking place like the Andes.

Are you ready for the adventure?!