The Ultimate Guide to Humantay Lake in Cusco, Peru
Humantay Lake Important Details:
- Address: Humantay Lake, Cusco, Peru.(Google Maps)
- Hours of Operation: The lake is accessible year-round, but it’s recommended to start the hike early in the morning to avoid afternoon rainstorms.
- Cost of Entrance: There is no official entrance fee to visit Humantay Lake, but it’s customary to make a small donation to support the upkeep of the trail and the surrounding area.
- Recommended Time to spend at Humantay Lake: It’s recommended to spend at least 1-2 hours once at the lake to fully appreciate the stunning scenery and take in the peaceful surroundings. The hike to Humantay Lake takes 3-4 hours to complete in general.
- How to Arrive at Humantay Lake: The most common way to arrive at Humantay Lake is to take a bus from Cusco to Mollepata and then hire a taxi from Mollepata to Soraypampa, which is the starting point of the hike. From Soraypampa, it’s a 3-hour hike to the lake.
- Distance from Cusco, Peru: Humantay Lake is located approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Cusco.
- Ideal Month(s) To Visit Humantay Lake: The best time to visit Humantay Lake is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. However, it’s possible to visit year-round as long as you’re prepared for the weather conditions.
Humantay Lake in Cusco, Peru is a pristine glacial lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains, glacial waterfalls, and lush vegetation. Its natural beauty makes it one of the most popular hikes in Peru. Our ultimate guide will explain everything you need to know about Humantay Lake.
Best Time to Visit Humantay Lake:
Humantay Lake is open to visitors year-round, but the best time to visit is from April to October when the weather is dry and sunny. April to October has the highest probability of clear skies and unobstructed views of the lake and surrounding mountains. However, if you want to see the lake when it’s full, visit during the rainy season from November to March when the lake’s water is at its highest level.
How to Get to Humantay Lake:
Humantay Lake is located about 100 kilometers from Cusco, and there are several ways to get there:
- Join a guided tour: The easiest and most convenient way to reach Humantay Lake is by joining a guided tour. Many tour operators in Cusco offer day trips to the Humantay Lake, which includes: transportation, a guide, and meals.
- Take a bus: You can take a bus from Cusco to Mollepata, which is the nearest town to Humantay Lake. From Mollepata, you can hire a taxi or join a tour to the lake.
- Hiking / Trekking: If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike to Humantay Lake from Mollepata. The round trip trek takes about 6 hours and is suitable for intermediate / experienced hikers.
How to take the bus and do the hike to Humantay Lake without a guide:
- Take a bus from Cusco to Mollepata. Buses depart daily from Cusco’s bus terminal and the journey takes approximately 3 hours.
- In Mollepata, hire a taxi to Soraypampa, which is the starting point of the Humantay Lake hike. The taxi ride takes around 45 minutes.
- Once you arrive in Soraypampa, begin the trek to Humantay Lake. The hike takes around 3 hours each way and covers a distance of approximately 7 kilometers. The trails has well-marked signs.
- Once you reach Humantay Lake, you can enjoy the beauitufl glacial lake and the surrounding scenery. The lake is protected, so please pack out all your trash and respect the natural environment. There is no official entrance fee to visit Humantay Lake, but it’s customary to make a small donation to support the upkeep of the trail and the surrounding area.
- After spending time at the lake, begin the hike back to Soraypampa.
- Once you reach Soraypampa, hire a taxi back to Mollepata and then take a bus back to Cusco.
The hike to Humantay Lake is a challenging but rewarding trek through some of the most stunning scenery in the Cusco region. The trail starts in the small town of Soraypampa, which is located at an altitude of approximately 3,900 meters (12,800 feet) above sea level. From there, the trail climbs steadily upwards, gaining approximately 600 meters (1,970 feet) in elevation.
The total distance of the hike is approximately 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) round trip, and it typically takes around 3-4 hours to complete. The trail is well-marked, but it’s important to be prepared for the altitude and terrain. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and warm clothing, as temperatures can drop quickly at higher elevations.
The hike to Humantay Lake is considered to be moderately difficult. It’s suitable for most visitors with a reasonable level of fitness. Remember hiking to Humantay Lake without a guide can be challenging, so carry appropriate gear and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety.
What to do at Humantay Lake:
Humantay Lake is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the Cusco region of Peru. The lake is a popular destination for hikers, photographers, and nature lovers. It has crystal-clear turquoise waters and is surrounded by soaring snow-capped mountains and verdant valleys.
One of the most popular activities at Humantay Lake is hiking. The trek to the lake is challenging, but it’s worth the effort. The trail itself has incredible scenery, including alpine meadows, mountainous peaks, and plenty of streams. Once you reach the lake, you can relax on the lake shore, have a picnic, and capture the beautiful surroundings.
Another popular activity to do near Humantay Lake is camping. While it’s not permitted to camp at the base of Humantay Lake, there are several campsites located near the lake. In this region of Peru the stars are very visible and camping is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the nature. Most visitors choose to camp at Humantay Lake as part of a multi-day trek through the region, such as the Salkantay Trek or the Inca Trail on the way to Machu Picchu.
Humantay Lake Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need a permit to visit Humantay Lake?
No, you don’t need a permit to visit Humantay Lake. However, if you’re planning to trek to the lake, you might want to consider hiring a guide.
Is it safe to visit Humantay Lake?
Yes, it’s safe to visit Humantay Lake as long as you follow the safety guidelines and listen to your guide’s instructions.
Can I camp at Humantay Lake?
No, camping is not allowed at Humantay Lake. However, there are several camping sites in Mollepata where you can stay overnight.