Humantay Lagoon: Tips on how to get there from Cusco


In the majestic land of Cusco, the Humantay Lagoon emerges as a natural treasure, captivating visitors with its serene beauty and breathtaking views. As a highlight among tourist destinations, this lagoon stands as the third most popular attraction in Cusco, surpassed only by the imposing Machu Picchu and the 7 Colors Mountain.

The Humantay Lagoon

Humantay Lagoon in Cusco
Humantay Lagoon

What is the Humantay Lagoon and why is it popular?

The Humantay Lagoon takes its name from the imposing snow-capped mountain that embraces it, offering a visual symphony of turquoise waters and white snows of the Salkantay. Its popularity is based on the unique combination of its natural environment and the historical connection that the Andean people have maintained with it since Inca times.

Where is it located? At what altitude is it?

Located in the Andes Mountains, near the snow-capped Salkantay, the lagoon rests at an impressive altitude of 4,200 meters above sea level. This treasure of nature awaits to be discovered after a 120 kilometer journey from the city of Cusco, taking you through the picturesque villages of Limatambo and Mollepata.

How to get there

The road to the lagoon starts from Cusco, crossing 120 kilometers of natural beauty. Upon reaching the community of Soraypampa, a 2-kilometer uphill hike leads to the lagoon. For those who prefer comfort, various tour packages offer transportation, breakfast and lunch from Mollepata.

What is the temperature at the lagoon?

The climate in the Humantay lagoon is cool, ranging between 10ºC and 0ºC. The snowmelt water from the snow-capped mountains adds an extra touch of freshness. Be prepared for two distinct seasons: the dry season, cooler, and the rainy season, where the rains can surprise you.

Comparative Details with the 7 Colores Mountain

Rainbow Mountain

Difference between Humantay Lagoon and 7 Colors Mountain

CharacteristicsHumantay Lagoon7 Colors Mountain
Distance from Cusco124 km140 km
Altitude4,200 masl5,200 masl
ClimateFrom 5ºC to 12ºCFrom 3ºC to 10ºC
LandscapesSnow-capped mountains and lagoonsColorful snow-capped mountains
Hiking2 km moderate-high6 km high
Horseback optionYesYes
Horse price90 soles aprox.90 soles aprox.
Entrance fee10 soles10 soles
Tour price40 to 120 USD approx.40 to 120 USD approx.
AdvantagesView all year roundSecond most visited
DisadvantagesShort but steep hikeVisibility affected by snow

Preparations and Common Questions about Humantay Lagoon

Lagoa Humantay
Humantay Lagoon in Cusco

Can I go to the lagoon on my own?

Yes, it is possible, but the trip from Cusco to Soraypampa can be complicated. We recommend opting for a tour package that includes transportation, breakfast and lunch in Mollepata for a safer and more comfortable experience.

How much is the entrance fee to the Humantay Lagoon?

In Mollepata, you pay the entrance fee to the Soraypampa camp. The cost is 10 soles for foreign tourists and 5 soles for Peruvian tourists. Be sure to check if your tour package includes this entrance fee.

How long does the trek last?

The final part of the trek is a 2 km hike from Soraypampa to the lagoon, which can take between 1 and 2 hours, depending on the physical condition of the visitor.

How to rent a horse? How much does it cost?

Locals in Soraypampa offer horse rental services at the beginning of the hike to the Humantay Lagoon. The rental covers only the uphill stretch and costs approximately 90 Peruvian soles, negotiable.

What type of clothing to bring?

The cold climate of the Humantay Lagoon requires coats, gloves and chullos. However, we recommend wearing light clothing during the hike, as perspiration is inevitable. A rain poncho is essential, as rainfall can occur at any time.

Which tour agency to travel with?

In Cusco, several agencies offer the day tour to the Humantay Lagoon. Be sure to select one that meets all your expectations, including transportation, breakfast, lunch and tour guide. An online booking option is also available.

Can I get a tour once in Cusco?

Yes, unlike other more in-demand tours, such as the Inca Trail or Machu Picchu, tours to Humantay Lagoon are always available in Cusco, offering flexibility to travelers.

More Practical Information about the Humantay Lagoon

Humantay Lake

When is it advisable to go?

The best time to visit the lagoon is during the dry season, from April to October, when there is less chance of rain. During these months, the snow-capped mountains are at their best, offering majestic white landscapes.

Can I camp near the lagoon?

It is not possible to camp next to the lagoon, but it is allowed in the camping area of Soraypampa, 2 kilometers away. Be prepared for the intense cold with coats, hot water and a suitable sleeping mat.

Can I go with children?

Although the hike can be challenging, it is possible to bring children to the lagoon. It is recommended to rent horses to facilitate the ascent, as the altitude and weather can cause discomfort to the little ones. It is not advisable to bring babies.

Can I swim in the lagoon?

At present, swimming in the icy waters of the Humantay Lagoon is not permitted, but it is a unique and memorable experience.

Humantay Lagoon stands as a natural jewel, inviting you to discover its serene grandeur. Planning your trip in advance, choosing the right time and selecting the best travel agency will guarantee an unforgettable experience in this magical corner of Cusco. Embark on this adventure and let the Humantay Lagoon envelop you with its unparalleled beauty!

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