Cusco undoubtedly does not cease to amaze us because in it are the most curious and unusual landscapes sometimes we can even say almost interplanetary landscapes like the mountain of colors that you can find here that is the mountain of colors.
The Humantay lake is formed as a melting product of a large snowy mountain that in turn forms part of a mountain range called Cordillera de Vilcabamba.
What makes the Humantay Lagoon distinctive is the natural color that it possesses since it does not have much marine flora in its waters. It has an indescribable color in words, but is understandable to the eyes, forming a unique landscape when travelers seek to capture the ideal moment with his cameras that he has so much desire to capture landscapes experiences and moments all this and more make it an ideal place that you must visit if you travel to Cusco Peru.
However, the geographical environment of this lagoon is also unique since it serves as the first camp on the Salkantay trekking.
The height of the Humantay lagoon is reflected in its 4200 meters above sea level.
Located in a natural valley under the shelter of the snow, the Humantay lagoon has its location in the area of Cusco, specifically in the province of Anta.
At your destination, a really impressive panorama will be revealed to you. Shimmering turquoise blue, the mountain lake lies embedded in the landscape in front of partly snow-capped peaks. Depending on the weather, nature is beautifully reflected in the water. Exactly the right moment, not only to take a few wonderful snapshots but also to experience the power and stillness of this overwhelming nature. The lagoon is a sacred place for the natives. You are also invited to address a short prayer to Pachamama (Mother Earth) with your guide.
Between the months of December and April the climate in the Humantay lagoon is temperate with precipitation, while between May and November the climate is cold but with a lot of sunshine during the day.
Early in the morning we will embark you a journey of 2 and a half hours from the city of Cusco to the town of Mollepata, this time is enough to enjoy the Andean landscape and the warm valleys that bring so much harmony. In this town we can enjoy a breakfast, since you will return to the bus to travel to the community of Soraypampa.
Soraypampa is the town from which we will leave in the direction of the Humantay lagoon and the only thing to do is follow a one-way road, it should be said that there is no worry of getting lost since the end of this road is the Humantay lake Salkantay.
The Humantay lake Peru witnessed several events carried out by their own visitors such as requests for hand, payments to the land, ceremonies with Andean masters, throwing coins to create a wish and romantic postcards that are easily virilized in social networks thanks to the unique landscape of this place. For the return to Cusco we will take the same one-way route not without first enjoying a lunch with Novo Andean food as well as the organic products of the area.
The Laguna Humantay is at 4250m altitude and is actually a visual highlight. An extraordinarily beautiful glacial lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks in the middle of the Andes. Even the two-hour hike up is a formative experience! This excursion is particularly suitable for those who unfortunately do not have the time (or strength) to go on trekking tours that last for days. And even if the picture of the Humantay Lake is now known on Instagram, you will have the impression that it wasn't as completely overcrowded as other destinations.
Tours to Humantay Lake always start very early. There are several reasons for this. On the one hand it takes up to 4 hours by minivan/minibus from Cusco to the starting point Soraypampa. It is a very bumpy route through narrow mountain switchbacks and you usually stop in a village to have breakfast in between. On the other hand, you want to be there as early as possible in order to be able to experience the splendor of your destination in peace and quiet. As a rough guide, here is the timing of our tour:
If you have enough time to visit Cusco Peru, we recommend you take the most popular treks to Machu Picchu. Incidentally, a popular alternative hiking route to the Inca Trail with the destination Machu Picchu is the famous Salkantay Trek, which also starts in Soraypampa.
Day 01: Cusco - Soraypampa - Humantay Lake
Day 02: Soraypampa - Salkantay Mountain - Chaullay.
Day 03: Chaullay - Lucmabamba
Day 04: Lucmabamba - Llactapata - Inca Trail - Aguas Calientes village
Day 05: Machu Picchu
The common trek from Soraypampa (approx. 3800m above sea level) to Humantay Lake (approx. 4200m above sea level) can be classified as demanding. However, due to the distance of just over 4km, it is still an excellent start and test for harder or longer treks. With a 400 m difference in altitude over a distance of just 4.3km, the ascent is almost 10% steep. This is really enormous and absolutely not to be underestimated. You should have gotten used to the altitude beforehand, the feeling compared to Cusco does not make an exceptional difference.
The descent is generally much faster and noticeably easier to manage but is accompanied by a noticeably higher mechanical load on the joints. Whether during or afterward, it can be very painful. To prevent or at least minimize this, descend slowly and carefully and concentrate on the steps. In particular, running down quickly is not recommended!
All in all, it can be said that one should not be in completely bad physical condition when hiking to Humantay Lake. Otherwise, the trek is very manageable if you take the time you need (for yourself). There is also the option of being carried up on horseback. Both for sporting reasons and with regard to animal welfare.
The required equipment hardly differs from other comparable hiking tours. Nevertheless, here is a summary of the most important aspects and some special features:
Ideally, you should wear trekking shoes. Especially on this trek there is a lot of unpaved scree and sometimes you have to be very careful not to slip or twist your ankle. As I said, the incline is tough and encourages possible injuries. Therefore, value should be placed on a non-slip sole.
Remember - the tour starts in the very early hours of the morning. Accordingly, it is still dark and damn cold. So put on a wool sweater and a multifunctional jacket to start with. Don't forget gloves and a hat either. Depending on the season, make sure to wear a T-shirt underneath when the sun comes out during the day. Then it can get pretty warm while hiking. Sunglasses and sunscreen should also be within reach in your backpack.
Provisions are essential! Even if the tour is said to be all-inclusive, it is not always accessible. Be sure to take enough water with you. Even if the backpack gets correspondingly heavier, we definitely recommend up to 2 liters per person to avoid dehydration during the day. Everyone reacts differently to exertion at altitude. Furthermore, small snacks such as nuts, bars or fruit can be used to recharge your batteries and to bridge the gap between the included meals. Here applies: Better too much than too little - for your strength and health.
And last but not least, the camera equipment you need should of course be at the start to capture and document the whole experience.
If you want to visit Machu Picchu, we recommend you to book your Machu Picchu tickets in advance, so you will enjoy your Vacation in Machu Picchu without any problem.