Humantay Lake

Humantay Lake

If you’re looking for a great day trip from Cusco then Humantay Lake is a must-do. Hidden between the Salkantay peaks and Humantay mountain, the view of this beautiful turqouise lake is a great reward for the uphill trek to reach it.

The lake is situated around 4,200m above sea level and is name after the nearby Humantay mountain. The water’s amazing turquoise colour comes from the surrounding mountains and glaciers. As the ice melts, minerals are released into the water giving it it’s vivid colour.

Humantay Lake Female on Rock
Humantay Lake Glacier

How to get there?

There are two different ways to get to Humantay Lake; the first is to join a day tour and the second is to do it independently

Normally we prefer to travel independently to places instead of joining a tour. However, when we were looking at how to get to Humantay we decided it would be easiest for us to join a tour for this trip.

If you’re looking to get to Humantay by yourself, it’s worth noting that you can only get public transport up to the town Mollepata which is still a long distance from the start of the trail. From this point you have to get a taxi to Soraypampa. The easiest way seems to be to take a taxi from Cusco to Soraypampa. From here you can start the 1-2 hour hike straight up to the lake.

The beauty of doing it yourself is that you don’t have to get up for the early 4am start and if you start a little later in the day you’ll be able to avoid most of the crowds!

Humantay Lake View

We joined a full day all inclusive tour which we found on: Get Your Guide.

It is an early start to the day as the tour company will pick you up from you accomodation in Cusco between 3:30 and 4:15am.Β  A lot of tours will include aΒ  breakfast buffet before the hike, and lunch after before taking you back to Cusco for 6:00pm.

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The Trek

The trek takes about 1hr30 – 2 hours to trek uphill and another 1 hour – 1hr30 to come back down. This will depend on your fitness level and how busy the paths are. We found that trekking uphill was quieter but, coming back down, most tours will leave at the same time so it can get busy on the paths.

There are definitely some steep parts to the hike that will leave you panting and out of breath but overall the hike is relatively short. Keep in mind that the hike starts at 3,800 metres and climbs from there so you should spend a few days acclimatising in Cusco prior to the hike.

What to bring?

You don’t need much with you for this trek. The less you bring the better as the trek is a constant uphill to the lake! Bring a small rucksack with essentials such as water, snacks, money and sunscreen. Make sure to bring layers with you to keep warm. Hiking uphill you’ll get hot but, due to the altitude, it is chilly when you get to the lake.

If you don’t bring anything with you then there is a shop at the start of the trek where you can buy small snacks and drinks.

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