Humantay lake is located north of Cusco, just behind the legendary snow mountain Apu Salkantay, which rises to over 6,000 metres and is one of the most powerful mountain gods of the Incas. This is a one-day hiking to visit the beautiful turquoise lake at the base of the glacial mountain of Humantay, located in the Vilcabamba mountain range. This is nature at its most spectacular, as a special algae in the lake, combined with the reflection of the surrounding greenery, the blue sky and the splendor of the Andean sun mix to create a deep shade of turquoise blue that is very rare indeed
Our professional tour guide We will pick you up at 4:00 AM from your hotel in Cusco. The drive itself is most interesting as we have amazing views of the mountains as we drive along, also passing through a few indigenous villages and cornfields en route to the trailhead. Temperature during the first hours of our Humantay lake tour is cold (5 to 9°C ) that why you need to bring one extra warm sweater, jacket, hat and gloves. These will keep you comfortable during this driving time to Mollepata.
After 2 hours driving we will arrive at Mollepata where we will stop for breakfast and get last things you forgot to buy in Cusco like water and snacks.
After breakfast there is 1 more hour by car to Soraypampa. Once we arrive at this high mountain plateau we will be able to see the beautiful mountains Apu Salkantay (6230 meters above sea level) and Humantay (5250 meters above sea level). After a short time to prepare and gather our day packs, we start the 1 hour trek to Humantay Lake (about 3 km.) The way up to Humantay Lake is steep however our group is small and our guide will let you take your time to enjoy and arrive without pressure.
After enjoying our first view of Humantay Lake there is a optional small climb above the lake to the right or left where you can enjoy a panoramic view.
Next we have the easy part of our trek. We go downhill to Soraypampa for another hour. Then we will take our private transportation back to Mollepata where a local lunch will be waiting for us. Once we finish lunch we will go back to Cusco.
We will arrive at Cusco between 17:00 to 18:00 hrs.
Sandwiched between the Salkantay Peak and the Humantay Mountain, this magnificent mountain lagoon is located 120 kilometers from Cusco, which makes it the perfect day trip into the mountains. The closest village to the Humantay lake is the village of Soraypampa, where you will have time to grab a bite to eat and have a quick break before you begin the ascent. Soraypampa is also where you will also eat lunch after you descend from the hill.
One day tours and treks to Humantay Lake all begin in Cusco. Breakfast is enjoyed in a village along the way, before arriving at the campsite and at the base of the trail. It is then that the 1.5 to 2-hour walk to the lake begins. The walk adds 350 meters on to your existing height of 3850 meters, taking you to the staggering height of 4,200 meters above sea level. Once you arrive you can bask in the glory of your high-altitude achievements, take some photos and even take a little paddle (if you’re brave enough to face the glacial pool temperatures) before returning down the slope and back to Cusco for the evening.
The lake is runoff from the huge glacier that you see above the water. Minerals within the glacier are released into the water as it melts, which give the water its characteristic emerald color. All around Peru you can find beautifully colored mountainous lakes ranging from the brilliant greens of the Humantay Lake to incredible crystal blues. The shade of the colors can also be dependant on the time of year, the temperature, and the weather.
It’s possible for those who struggle to rent a horse to take them some of the ways up the mountain, however closer to the peak you will find that the terrain is not suitable for a horse, so you will need to get off and walk. The hill is steep and the terrain can be uneven, so be careful. It is a good idea to zig-zag up the mountain. This makes the walk longer, but the sleep inclines much more bearable and easier on your legs.
Once you arrive at the lake you can leave an offering for the Pachamama (the Inca Mother Earth), usually in the form of coca leaves. Alternatively, you can make an ‘el hito de Piedras’, a small stack of rocks made as an offering to the mountain. You can hike around the edges if you have the time, giving you 360° views of this incredible scene. It’s worth noting that if you plan to do a tour you won’t have time to hike around the outside of the lake, so if it’s something that you would want to do, it’s best to travel alone. You can make it part of the way around with the timing of a tour, but not the whole way around, so plan ahead and take a private tour or go it alone if that is what you would like to do.
A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite.