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Our Laguna Humantay Tour is a spectacular day trip from Cusco to Humantay Lake, perfect for nature lovers interested in a one day trek in Peru.
Travel to Soraypampa in our private transport and then take a short hike to the gorgeous Laguna Humantay. Stunning views of Salkantay and Humantay mountains complement the journey.
Send us an Enquiry to book your one day trek to Humantay Lake today!
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Our Humantay Lake tour from Cusco involves a hike up to the Laguna Humantay, located at an altitude of 4230m (13,878 ft). Although the heart-pumping uphill hike is sure to warm you up, the high altitude of the lake will keep temperatures cool.
Layering and flexibility are key. You will want to be able to de-layer as you hike up, but once you reach Laguna Humantay, you will need layers to help keep you warm: a fleece, winter hat, mitts and scarf.
If you do have hiking pants (that zip off at the knee) and thermals to wear underneath them, then that is your best option. By the same token, water-resistant trekking boots with a high top are best for any hike in Peru, even a short one like this Humantay Lake day trip.
However, if you aren’t an avid hiker and you aren’t kitted with all the trekking gear, comfortable clothes are a great alternative. Layering is essential, so even if you end up buying a pair of colourful pants in the markets in Cusco, and then putting leggings underneath, you will have the ability to change according to the conditions. For shoes, solid sports shoes or cross trainers will suffice.
Be sure to pack a sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. At such high altitude, the sun’s rays are very intense, and you will burn quickly, even if it is cloudy and overcast.
For more help with what to pack, check out our blog How to Prepare for a Trek in Peru. Also see What to Bring for our comprehensive recommendations on what to pack for your trek.
We offer you the opportunity to personalize your trek and make your experience more comfortable through our Optional Extras and Upgrades. All options are available during the reservation process; please ask your sales consultant for more information.
At Apus Peru, we only work with the region’s best guides. All of our guides are handpicked for their personality, knowledge of the trekking routes and communication skills, and it is no different for our Humantay Lake day trip from Cusco.
In addition to being formally licenced, our guides receive frequent training at Apus Peru that includes topics like mountain rescue and high altitude first aid. Get to know our team!
Apus Peru is one of an elite group of trekking agencies in the Cusco region that put people before profit. Safety is paramount and we have a comprehensive risk assessment policy that covers a very wide range of details from vehicle maintenance to illness and evacuation on the trail.
There are several treks we will not operate in the wet season under any circumstances due to safety considerations.
Want to join our Humantay Lake trek? Ready to confirm a departure date of your own, but interested in having others join you? Then Trekkers Wanted is for you! Our innovative Trekkers Wanted system matches people up who are interested in hiking the same trek, bringing costs down and multiplying the fun for everyone!
Read More about Trekkers Wanted, post your trek or search for confirmed departures!
Our Humantay Lake tour begins at around 5am, picking you up from your hotel in our private transport. We leave behind Peru’s historical capital, Cusco, and make our way towards Soraypampa.
After about an hour and a half of driving, we will arrive at Tarawasi (2675m / 8776 ft) for a short but interesting visit.
Tarawasi is a ceremonial centre that dates to Incan times. One of the most striking features of this archaeological site is the presence of an usnu, a ceremonial structure where ritual offerings would be prepared.
Tarawasi comes from the words tara and wasi, in Quechua. Tara is a type of local tree, and wasi means “house,” so Tarawasi means “the house of the Tara tree”. Tara produces large bean pods that turn orange when ripe. The seeds inside are used as a natural dye, and also have medicinal purposes.
Leaving Tarawasi behind, we continue with our Lago Humantay tour for another hour until we reach Mollepata. Here, we’ll have breakfast, surrounded by imposing mountains and gorgeous landscapes.
From Mollepata we continue one more hour to Soraypampa (3930m / 12,849 ft), where we will begin our Humantay Lake trek. Soraypampa has the extra benefit of being a prime location from which we can appreciate the majestic Salkantay mountain (6270m / 20,571 ft), the second highest mountain in Cusco.
Arriving at Soraypampa, we’ll do our stretches and get ourselves ready for the short hike to Humantay Lake!
Our ascent on the Humantay Lake tour will take about an hour and a half. The first 45 minutes are fairly moderate, but then the trail get steeper during the latter half and as we approach Laguna Humantay.
Finally, we arrive at Humantay Lake in Peru (4230m / 13,878 ft), with plenty of time to enjoy this natural marvel in all its splendour. Humantay Lake is truly a stunning lake, and this day hike is an easy way to take it in.
Enjoy the views in quiet contemplation, or capture that perfect Insta photo. This is a great spot to enjoy your box lunch as well.
On our Humantay Lake tour, we also have the opportunity to explore the area a bit more, hiking uphill for about 15 minutes to reach another viewpoint for even more spectacular views of Laguna Humantay, as well as the stunning Apu Humantay mountain (5480m / 17,979 ft).
After basking in nature’s beauty on this Humantay Lake day trip, we begin our hike back down to Soraypampa, where our day hike began. Here, our private transport will be waiting to take us back to Cusco, where we will arrive at around 7pm.
We rate laguna Humantay as average. (See how we rate all of our treks in the Cusco region!)
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.
Remember all treks in the Cusco region are challenging for most people due to the high altitude and steep mountain trails.
A young person of average fitness who works out several times a week will probably find the Laguna Humantay tour tough but doable. Older people, or those that are not fit, should embark on a fitness training program prior to coming on the tour, in consultation with a medical and fitness professional. What this will entail depends on each person and their own abilities.
We can only advise in general terms: the fitter you are, the easier and more enjoyable the hike is going to be! You want to have fun while on holidays; you shouldn’t set out to suffer.
See our Tip #3 for how to get ready for your trek.
The best way to prepare yourself for the altitude is very easy: spend time at a high-altitude destination like Cusco. Most trek agencies around Cusco say that 2 days is enough. While we generally recommend 3, in the case of the Humantay Lake day trip from Cusco, 2 days is probably fine.
Generally speaking, the more time you can spend acclimatizing, the better. In addition, being kind to your body helps your body deal with the extra pressures that altitude creates. This means, eating healthy, light meals, staying away from alcohol, and drinking lots of water.
Read more about Altitude and How to Acclimatize before starting your trek.
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. Read more about the best time to hike and take note of our wet season trekking policy.
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.
Our Humantay Lake tour is a day trip that starts and ends in Cusco. You will be picked up from and dropped off at your hotel in Cusco. Accommodation is not provided unless separately booked through us.
The day tour includes a delicious boxed lunch, packed in eco-friendly biodegradable boxes or reusable glass containers. It includes water, a piece of fruit, a sandwich and other snacks. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available upon request.
Read more about What to Expect on the Trail, including more about meals and equipment.
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.
For a longer trekking experience, you can also choose our 5 day Salkantay Trek. This popular 5 day trek includes a stop at the stunning Humantay Lake on Day 1, as well as a visit to Machu Picchu on Day 5.
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.
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.
Water is vital on the trek. We will provide filtered water during the drive to the trailhead as well as boiled water for tea. You should take this opportunity to fill up your water bottle. We recommend starting the hike with 2L. You will also have water provided in your boxed lunch.
Don’t forget – You’ll need enough space in your backpack for your boxed lunch, which we’ll provide.
…or Take the Long Way