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The immense mountains of Peru keep innumerable precious stones in their basins: blue, turquoise, green, yellow, and red lagoons. Among all of them, one of the most dazzling jewels that’s located in the Cusco region stands out: The Humantay Lake. Its emerald waters and the imposing presence of the glacier come together in dazzling harmony at more than 4,200 masl / 13,780 fasl. No photograph can do justice to this impressive natural wonder. So don’t miss the opportunity to meet her when you visit Cusco.
Humantay Lake is one of the many hidden gems of Peru’s highland region. There’s one destination, in particular, that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It’s an impressive lake at the foot of an immense mass of snow. Surprise yourself with the Humantay Lake after an exciting uphill hike. Feel the shocking presence of two sacred mountains covered in white, the Apu Salkantay and the Apu Humantay.
Enter a paradise world where perpetual snows melt and suddenly takes on an impressive turquoise coloration.
Our adventure begins very early. We’ll pick you up at 4:00 a.m. and we’ll go in our private transport for 2 hours to the beautiful town of Mollepata. There we’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast. Take advantage of the first light of the morning to take photos of the mountains.
After having filled our stomachs, we’ll go in our private transport to Soraypampa (3,900 masl / 12,795 fasl) where you’ll already feel the powerful presence of the glaciers. Be impressed by their haunting snow faces that defy any force or evil. After listening to brief instructions from your guide, we’ll begin our 2-hour ascent to the fantastic Humantay Lagoon. Remember that you’ll face very stony terrain, so using a cane always helps. Take your time, walk slowly, get some rest, and try to drink plenty of fluids. Please, don’t carry plastic on the route and in no case leave your trash on the trail.
After the effort, the reward is huge. Hidden among the undulations, the impressive Humantay Lagoon gradually appears. This beautiful turquoise body of water originates from the same snows that cover the mountain. Walk around and make the effort to climb a little further up the surrounding rocky slopes. The higher you are, the more turquoise the water will look.
You’ll be so close to the immense glacier that its presence will shake your soul and perhaps at that moment you understand why the mountains are sacred in the Andean culture. Therefore, our guide will perform a simple ritual of permission and thanks using coca leaves.
We’ll take 1.5 hours to descend again to Soraypampa where we’ll enjoy a buffet lunch. Then we’ll board our private transportation and head back to the city of Cusco. You’ll arrive at the doors of your hotel at approximately 5:00 p.m.
Note: Remember that to fully enjoy this walk you must be well acclimatized. That’s why we recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 2 days in advance to avoid altitude sickness. It’s important that you avoid alcoholic beverages and cigarettes the first few days. In addition you must constantly hydrate yourself.
Altitude sickness symptoms include shortness of breath or extreme agitation, severe headaches, vomiting, and even diarrhoea. Nobody wants to feel like this in the middle of the mountain!
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about Humantay Lake in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the (Peru Hike) offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike Company can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
Here are some other options that will suit your needs
Booked hike with my 18-year old son via Peru Hike out of Cusco. This is ~3hr drive from Cusco, about an hour of which is on a bumpy dirt roady through the mountains. Our expectations were somewhat low given the amount of cloud cover during most of the hike up the mountain, however the clouds cleared within 10 minutes of arriving at the lake. Hike is fairly steep at times and includes a lot of climbing over rocks. Overall not too bad if taken at the right pace (we had a great guide, David, from Peru Hike). Once there and the clouds cleared, the view blew away anything we had seen in the pics – at first the lake became visible then the mountains/glaciers. Scenic stream crossings on the way up (over 13K feet). Definitely climb up to the left where there is a great viewing spot from the top of the ridge – both of the lake as well as a beautiful valley far below and behind the lake. Look for eagles and horses running in the valley. We did/saw a lot during our 10 days of excursions in the region, but this may have been our favorite due to the reward at the end of the climb. Definitely worth the hike – highly recommend.