Humantay Lake
Peru | Trip Ideas

Humantay Lake – an amazing one day trip from Cusco Peru

I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

Humantay Lake is one of the natural wonders to see in Cusco, accessible by a short hike in a magnificent frame between llamas, alpacas, hills, and streams!

Before, Humantay Lake was visited only by those who made the trek to Salkantay, today you can go there in one day trip from Cusco, as well as the Rainbow Mountain and Palccoyo.

To help you organize your visit, I have gathered in this guide all the information about the trek to Laguna Humantay.

You’ll find details on how to get there on your own or on an organized tour, but also what you need to know about the altitude and my tips on how to enjoy it.

So, how to visit Laguna Humantay?

How to reach Humantay

Humantay Lake is about an hour’s walk from the community of Soraypampa, which is located northeast of Cusco. 

Here is how to go there from Cusco:

  • In Cusco, take a bus from Arcopata terminal to Mollepata (1h40–2h, 15 soles).
  • From Mollepata, take a cab to Soraypampa (45 min-1 h, 70 soles one way; the price can be divided if there are other passengers)
  • From Soraypampa, it will be necessary to walk at least 1h30 to arrive at Humantay

If you go by your own means, it can be difficult to find a means of transportation on the way back. 

The ideal is to fix the return with the same cab (paying at the end).

Another option is to sleep in Soraypampa or Mollepata and return to Cusco the next day. Prices vary between 25 and 50 soles per night.

Cusco Peru

With a one day trip to Humantay Lake

The biggest advantage of taking an organized tour at Humantay is that you don’t have to worry about transportation since it includes pick up from your hotel in Cusco!

This is the ideal option if you have little time and want to make sure you can make the round trip in one day.

I recommend this inexpensive excursion to Humantay that includes breakfast, lunch and entrance to the lake. Book easily here.

This day trip to Humantay Lake is the best way to soak in the area’s scenery,which includes everything from the beautiful lake to the snow-capped mountains.

Between 4 and 4:30 a.m., your professional guide will pick you up from your Cuzco apartment, and after a 2-hour drive, you will arrive in Mollepata and have breakfast.

Make the hour-long trip to Soraypampa after breakfast. When you reach the plateau, you will see the stunning Apu Salkantay (6230 meters above sea level) and Humantay (5250 meters above sea level.) After briefly preparing your backpack, set out on a 2-hour hike to Humantay Lake.

The road to Humantay Lake is steep, but because your group is small, your guide will give you plenty of time to walk it. Then, admire the views of Lake Humantay and consider climbing up to the lake to see the entire panorama.

Then comes the easy part of the hike. You’ll arrive in Soraypampa in an hour. After that, you’ll ride a private vehicle back to Mollepata, where lunch is waiting for you. You will return to Cuzco after lunch, getting there between 5 and 6 o’clock near the Plaza de Armas.

At what altitude is Humantay located?

  • The hike from Humantay starts at 3875 m (Soraypampa).
  • The resting place at the halfway point is at 4125 m.
  • The Humantay Lake is located at 4180 m of altitude.
  • The mirror of the lake is at 4200 m of altitude.

How difficult is the hike to Humantay Lake?

It is necessary to be in good physical condition because walking for 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours while passing from 3870 m to 4200 m altitude represents a significant effort! 

But the hike itself is not technical.

For the first half hour, the path is flat, and then it’s a steady climb to the lake.

Travel light; it will be much easier!

It is also possible to rent a horse (70-80 soles) to avoid walking and simply enjoy the ride. This is only possible for the outward journey. You will have to walk back.

Laguna Humantay

Will I feel the effect of altitude?

It is impossible to know in advance how we will react to altitude because it is not related to age or physical condition.

Some people feel the symptoms strongly (generally: headaches, nausea), others almost not at all.

But before undertaking a hike at this altitude, it is very important to spend 2 to 3 days in Cusco to allow the body to acclimatize.

How much does it cost to enter Humantay?

The entrance to the lake costs 10 soles.

Is it possible to camp on site?

Yes, there is land to pitch a tent on.

It can get very cold at night, so dress warmly and have the proper equipment!

When to go to Laguna Humantay?

The best time to go to Humantay is from May to November because it is the dry season: the sky is clear, the weather is nice, and the landscape is beautiful. Don’t forget your camera!

Laguna Humantay

Can we swim in Lake Humantay?

No, you can’t bath there because it’s a source of water for the surrounding communities.

You can drink it if you have a filter, but otherwise I don’t recommend it because there can be a risk of indigestion.

What should I bring?

  • Warm clothes 
  • A good sun cream, sunglasses, and a hat are essential because the sun is powerful at this altitude! 
  • There is enough water (it is cheaper in Cusco than in Mollepata) and some snacks. 
  • Good hiking shoes

What can you see in Humantay?

The path is as beautiful as the destination, as you will pass through a beautiful Andean landscape of hills, high mountains, and water sources for llamas, alpacas, and vicunas.

The climb is not easy, but the reward is a fantastic view of the turquoise lagoon that contrasts with the snow of the glaciers.

Around the lake you will see small stone towers: these are the apachetas, in homage to the lake and the mountains, considered sacred by the local communities.

People also come here to make offerings to the Pachamama, often with three coca leaves, a set called Kintu that represents the three worlds of Inca mythology.

Where to stay in Cusco? 

Here are some hotels in Cusco that offer very good value for money, for different budgets.

Purchase travel insurance

As you know, it is extremely important to be insured before leaving on a trip. A small problem can very quickly turn into a big problem, with irreversible consequences in terms of health and/or money! 

It is therefore very important to choose a reactive travel insurance, available 24 hours a day, with good guarantees and an affordable price.

My final tips for visiting Humantay Lake

  • Go early in the morning to make sure you can catch the bus back to Cusco and to avoid disrupting the ducks’ return to the lake in the afternoon. 
  • Don’t forget to bring cash as cards are not accepted (souvenirs, food, cab, bus, etc.). 
  • Mollepata is the last place where it is possible to eat (7-10 soles for breakfast) or buy provisions.

Did you know….
When you buy something after clicking on one of my links, I get a small commission. However, you continue to pay the same amount!

A day trip to Humantay Lake Peru

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *