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Humantay Lake

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12 Hours

Activity Type

Small Group

Group Size

16 people




The Lake Humanity day hike is a lovely trail to a spectacular turquoise lake at the base of the glacial peak, Humantay Mountain. Normally seen on the Salkantay to Machu Picchu Trek this lake is accessible as a day hike if you don’t have the time or inclination to do a multi-day trek.

The Hiking Humantay Lake is a small group shared guide activity and operates with a minimum of 2 travelers and maximum group sizes of 16 travelers. Solo Traveler booking accepted. For a private guided tour please contact us.


  • Enjoy the stunning peaks of Salkantay and Humantay on a day trip from Cusco
  • Visit the turquoise Colored Humantay Lake under lovely snow-capped mountains
  • Hike along part of the Salkantay route.
  • Witness spectacular mountain scenery of snowcapped peaks and glacial lagoons.

What you will do

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Day 1: Cusco - Humantay Lake - Cusco
Day 1: Cusco - Humantay Lake - Cusco
You will leave Cusco early in the morning heading to Soraypampa, starting point of your trek. On the way, you will cross the city of Limatambo -located at 2100 m.a.s.l.- an important access point to the city of Cusco during the time of the Inca Empire. There you will find the archaeological remains of Tarawasi, a place that served as a resting point for those heading to Chinchaysuyo. Then, you will continue your journey along the right bank of the Apurimac River until you reach Soraypampa, making a quick stop for breakfast at a local restaurant. From this point, you will start your trek up the mountain towards the Humantay Lagoon. Upon arrival, you will appreciate the stunning scenery of this wonderful place and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. Before leaving, you will have time to take pictures around the lagoon. At the end of the visit, you will walk back to Soraypampa, where the transport will be waiting for you to take you back to your hotel. Along the route you will stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

Total walking distance: 5 km
Minimum height: 3930m / 12,849 ft
Maximum height: 4230m (13,878 ft)
Total trekking time: 3 hours


  • Transport
  • English/Spanish speaking professional guide
  • Pre-trek briefing
  • First Aid Kit
  • Lunch
  • Tips and other personal expenses
  • Any extras not mentioned in the program

Activity Location


What is Humantay Lake?
Humantay means Head of the Gods, this is possibly due to being located on the slopes that overlook the Alta jungle.
The Humantay Lake is the most beautiful lake in Cusco, and without a doubt it surprises us more every day, it is a turquoise lake and is in the middle of the Andes mountains.
The Humantay lagoon is formed as a product of the snowmelt of Humantay, part of the Salkantay mountain.
What differentiates the Humantay Lagoon from other lagoons is the natural color it has because, as it does not have much marine flora in its waters, it has an indescribable color in words, but understandable to the eye.
It forms a unique landscape, where travelers seek to capture the ideal moment with their cameras capturing a wonderful and magical landscape at the same time.
Humantay Lake Hike difficulty
The trek to Humantay Lake starts at Soraypampa, the traditional trailhead for the Salkantay trek. It is a 1.5h hike uphill.

The first half of the hike is fairly moderate, but the trail gets steeper during the second half. This can be a strenuous hike for many and you definitely need to come prepared.

Preparation includes being properly acclimatized to the altitude. Laguna Humantay is located at 4230m (13,878 ft) which is much higher than Cusco. In order to avoid the effects of altitude sickness and make your hike more enjoyable, be sure to spend at least 2 days acclimatizing prior to going on the tour.

Although the Humantay trek is short, this is not an easy day tour or a walk in the park. The return trip is down the same path that you hiked up, and the steepness can be hard on the knees. If you have knee trouble, this may not be a good day hike for you.
How prices are based?
Prices are "from" per person based on a minimum of two travelers.
Limited seat / spaces available.
What is the best time of year to do the Humantay Lake tour?
The best months of the year to plan your Humantay Lake day trip are the dry winter months from May to August. It is likely to feel quite cold as you set out in the morning, but the largely rain-free, sunny days are excellent for hiking.
December through March is the rainy season in Peru and hiking up to laguna Humantay is not recommended for safety reasons. The trail can be slippery and there is a risk of rockslides. In addition, there can be large amounts of snow at higher altitudes.

It is possible to take the Humantay tour during the shoulder season (April, September, October), but it depends on the weather and the actual conditions of the trail at the time. We reserve the right to cancel or modify any trek or tour booked during the rainy season if conditions make the trail unsafe.
What are the average hours of trekking?
The hike up to laguna Humantay takes about 1 ½ hours, on average. Total walking time, including hiking up to the lake and back down, takes about 3 to 3 ½ hours for most people. Exact walking times depend on the relative fitness and speed of everyone in the group.
What permits are required?
No permits are required for your Humantay Lake trek. Entry fees to the Inca ruins at Tarawasi on the way to Humantay are included in the price of your tour.
Is it possible to customize the Humantay Lake Tour?
Our Humantay Lake tour is a day trip from Cusco. Depending on the rest of your travel plans, you may customize your tour with a pick-up and/or drop off in the Sacred Valley, for an additional fee.
You can also customize your Humantay Lake day trip by adding on one or more of our other Cusco day tours to complete your experience visiting Cusco.
What do you carry during the trek?
All you need to carry with you on your hike to Laguna Humantay is a light day pack. In your day pack, you should carry things like your water bottle, some extra layers, camera, sun hat, gloves, beanie, sunscreen and insect repellent.
Which trek is harder to Humantay Lake or Rainbow Mountain?
Humantay is shorter than Rainbow Mountain, but this is a steep hike, while Rainbow Mountain is a longer hike.
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Organized by

Nicolas Samuel

Member Since 2021

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