Humantay Lake, the turquoise Andean mirror that you should visit

Humantay Lake 1

The Humantay lake is one of the most demanded full day hiking tours in Cusco along Rainbow Mountain's Tour or the One Day Inca Trail Tour. This particular Andean setting is located in the Vilcabamba mountain range, at the foot of the Humantay mountain which is also on the route of the tour called Salkantay trek toMachu Picchu.

It is an unique landscapade that culminates at the fascinating lake located at 13800 FASL and is the second highest lagoon in Cusco. Its origin is based in the descending glaciers of Salkantay and has a beautiful emerald and turquoise color.

Humantay Lagoon is one of the natural wonders of Cusco, accessible by a short hike in a beautiful setting among llamas, alpacas, hills and streams.

While Humantay used to be visited only by those undertaking the Salkantay Trek, nowadays it can be reached on a day trip from Cusco, similar to the Rainbow Mountain and Palccoyo Mountain.

To help organize a visit, this guide has gathered all the information about the hike to Humantay Lagoon. It includes details on how to go independently or with a tour group, as well as what is needed regarding the altitude and tips to make the most of the location.

The guide will cover the starting point of the hike and the route towards the vividly turquoise lagoon surrounded by rocky peaks - a stunning natural scene. It will describe the experience of the trail, including distance, duration and difficulty level.

Information on tour options versus doing it independently will be provided, outlining costs, transports and what is included. Altitude advice will detail how to prepare and acclimatize. Additional tips may cover recommended gear, food/water, photography and any other insightful details to fully experience Humantay Lagoon.

To get to the lagoon you can hire the Humantay Trek Full Day, or if you are on your own, you must travel from Cusco to the town of Soraypampa.

Incan Aqueduct, way to Soraypampa

Soraypampa is located at 3900 masl (12800 ft) and is also the starting point for the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. From here you can see the snowy peaks of Salkantay and Humantay.

You can also make the route from Challacancha, about 3 hours before Soraypampa by the Inca Canal that still exists, on the way you can see multicolored landscapes, and cultivation areas of local people. There is no shortage of llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, sheep, and a variety of plants such as ichu and native trees.

Arriving in Soraypampa, you can spend the night in a variety of specially built bungalows. At night you can see the sky full of stars. Otherwise you can continue with the walk towards the Humantay lagoon.

Soraypampa - Humantay Lake

After walking for one to two hours you will arrive at the beautiful lagoon, its beauty is similar to the Peruvian lagoons of Llanganuco, Parón and Palcacocha that are located in the Cordillera Blanca in Ancash.

Entry into the lagoon is prohibited, due to protection measures to conserve the glaciers. The return by the steep road can be dangerous, we recommend to be careful

Recommendations to visit this place

Check the itinerary and Inclusion

  • Review the tour itinerary to ensure it aligns with your preferences and interests.

  • Make sure to verify all the information that is given for this or other tours to avoid inconveniences with the tour operator that will be helping you to reach your desired destination.

Consider Altitude Acclimatization

  • We'll never get tired of pointing out the importance of acclimatizing at least a couple of days before a tour that will be physically demanding, if needed you can relay on drinking coca tea which could be helpful if you're suffering the common symptoms related to altitude sickness.

  • If you wish, you can check the guidelines that are vastly shared about the preventions you can follow to avoid altitude sickness, however, what is key for us as for our experience is hidratation and avoiding of physically demanding activities (this may be a lesser problem depending of the altitude of the place where visitors come from but guidelines are usually a must if you're coming from a place that's at sea level).

Pack Appropriately

  • Pack layers of clothing suitable for fluctuating weather conditions, including warm layers for chilly mornings and evenings.

  • Wear sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support and consider bringing hiking poles for added stability on the trail.

Communicate Dietary Needs

  • Inform the tour operator of any dietary preferences or restrictions you may have, such as vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options.

  • Confirm that meals provided during the tour will accommodate your dietary needs safely and satisfactorily.

Also, if you have any other concerns or doubts, contact us to let us know what type of arrangement you may need for your visit to Humantay's Lake.



Humantay Lake Trek Full Day Tour

Embark on a full-day adventure from Cusco to Humantay Lake, surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes. Enjoy a scenic 2-hour drive through picturesque towns, with stops for breakfast and exploration. Begin the 1.5-hour uphill hike from Soraypampa to reach Humantay Lake, where you'll be captivated by snowcapped mountains and diverse flora and fauna.

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