Humantay Lagoon: A Natural Treasure in Cusco Region

19 de February de 2024

Humantay Lagoon stands as one of the most breathtaking natural treasures in the Cusco region. Nestled in the Vilcabamba mountain range at an altitude of around 4200 meters, this turquoise gem offers visitors a dreamlike landscape surrounded by imposing mountains and glaciers. Renowned for its scenic beauty and cultural significance, Humantay Lagoon is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and travelers seeking authentic experiences in the Peruvian Andes.

What is Humantay Lagoon?

Humantay Lagoon is a glacial lake located in the Anta province, Mollepata. Formed by the melting of the Humantay snowcapped mountain, this natural wonder stands out for its turquoise waters, a result of mineral sedimentation from the surrounding mountains. Considered a sacred place by local inhabitants, Humantay Lagoon is also a significant tourist attraction, offering the opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy unique landscapes in the world.

History of Humantay Lagoon

The history of Humantay Lagoon dates back thousands of years, with a tale of two brothers embarking on an adventure to unknown lands in search of food to end the famine plaguing their people.

Ausangate journeyed southward, where he managed to find food and send it to Cusco for the sustenance of his people. On the other hand, Salkantay headed north and also found food, as well as falling in love with the goddess Veronica. However, this romance did not have a happy ending, as both brothers had to return to the city of Cusco to face the drought affecting their people. For this reason, they transformed into snowcapped mountains.

The sadness and tears of the Apu Salkantay gave rise to the beautiful Humantay Lagoon, with its turquoise waters, surrounded by majestic mountains and snowcapped peaks. Today, Humantay Lagoon continues to be a symbol of the natural and cultural richness of the Cusco region, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Location of Humantay Lagoon

Humantay Lagoon is located in the Anta province, in the Mollepata district, within the department of Cusco. Situated in the Vilcabamba mountain range, at an altitude of approximately 4200 meters above sea level, surrounded by imposing snowcapped peaks and Andean landscapes, the lagoon offers a unique natural environment that captivates those who visit it.

Plan your Trip to Humantay Lagoon

Before embarking on your adventure to Humantay Lagoon, it is important to plan adequately to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, from choosing the right season to preparing the necessary equipment, every detail counts to fully enjoy this spectacular destination.

Learn more about how to plan your trip to Humantay Lagoon and discover everything you need to know to live an unforgettable experience in this magical corner of the Peruvian Andes:

How to Get to Humantay Lagoon

To reach Humantay Lagoon, you can do so by private transportation, organized tours, or independent hikes, depending on which you prefer.

On your own: To reach Humantay Lagoon on your own, one option is to take a bus from the city of Cusco to Mollepata, and from there take taxis that go to Soraypampa, from where you can walk to the lagoon.

The bus journey from Cusco to Mollepata usually takes approximately 3 hours and can be taken from the bus terminal at Arcopata. Once in Mollepata, you can take a taxi to Soraypampa, the starting point of the hike to the lagoon. From Soraypampa, the estimated hiking time to Humantay Lagoon is approximately 1 and a half to 2 hours, following a well-marked trail that crosses high mountain landscapes.

Travel with a travel agency: The most convenient option to reach Humantay Lagoon with a travel agency is to hire an organized tour that includes transportation from Cusco to Soraypampa, the starting point of the hike to the lagoon. These tours usually include transportation in comfortable and safe vehicles, specialized guides who accompany travelers throughout the excursion, and other additional services such as tickets and meals.

Hiring a tour with a travel agency ensures a more comfortable and safer experience, as they take care of all the logistical details and provide assistance in case of any eventuality during the trip. In addition, local guides can provide additional information about the history, flora, and fauna of the region, enriching the experience of visitors.

How to Get to Soraypampa?

To get to Soraypampa from the city of Cusco, there are various transportation options available to travelers. One of the most common ways is through organized tours that include transportation from Cusco to Soraypampa, as well as specialized guides who accompany visitors during the hike to Humantay Lagoon.

Another option is to use public transportation departing from the Arcopata terminal to Mollepata, once here you have to take a taxi that takes you to Soraypampa. Regardless of the chosen means of transportation, it is important to take into account the weather conditions and altitude to ensure a safe and comfortable journey.

Best Time to Visit Humantay Lagoon

The best time to visit Humantay Lagoon is during the dry season, which runs from May to September, when the chances of rain are lower and the weather is more stable. During these months, the days are usually sunny, and the temperatures are warmer, making the hike easier and allowing you to fully enjoy the landscapes.

However, Humantay Lagoon is a stunning destination throughout the year, and each season offers unique experiences to visitors. During the rainy season, from November to March, the landscapes become greener and more lush, while in the dry season, from April to October, the days are clearer, and the nights are colder.

What to Bring on Your Humantay Adventure? Recommendations

To make the most of your adventure to Humantay Lagoon, it is important to bring along the appropriate items that allow you to be comfortable and safe during the hike. Some of the essential items to include in your luggage are:

  • Warm, waterproof, and comfortable clothing
  • Trekking shoes
  • Hat, gloves, sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Water bottle, energy snacks
  • Camera
  • And a lightweight backpack to carry your belongings.

Additionally, it is important to be prepared for the altitude, so it is recommended to rest and acclimatize in the city of Cusco before embarking on the hike to the lagoon.

All About Humantay Lagoon

Humantay Lagoon is much more than just a tourist destination: it is a natural sanctuary that harbors a great diversity of flora and fauna, as well as a rich history and culture that make it a unique place in the world. From its glacial formation to its importance for local communities, Humantay Lagoon offers an unforgettable experience for everyone.

Altitude and Location of Humantay Lagoon

Humantay Lagoon is located at an altitude of approximately 4200 meters in the Vilcabamba mountain range, in the Anta province, Cusco region.

Climate and Temperature: Preparing for the Visit

The climate at Humantay Lagoon is typical of the high mountain region, with cold temperatures for most of the year and sudden weather fluctuations. During the day, temperatures usually range between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius, while at night they can drop to 0 degrees Celsius or even lower, especially during the dry season.

It is important to be prepared for sudden temperature changes and adverse weather conditions, so it is recommended to wear warm, waterproof clothing suitable for high mountain climates. Additionally, it is important to protect yourself from the sun.

The Incredible Fauna and Flora of Humantay

Humantay Lagoon is home to a great diversity of flora and fauna, adapted to the harsh climatic conditions of the high mountains.

Among the most prominent fauna species are birds such as the Andean condor, puna partridge, and Andean goose, vicuna, taruca, and viscacha, horses, cows, and sheep.

As for the flora, the lagoon is surrounded by grasslands, ichu, and high mountain plants, as well as a wide variety of wildflowers that adorn the landscapes with their colors and aromas.

Secrets and Legends of Humantay Lagoon

Humantay Lagoon is shrouded in a series of secrets and legends that make it a mysterious and fascinating place in the Cusco region.

Where Does Humantay Lagoon Get its Turquoise Color From?

Humantay Lagoon emerges as a result of the melting of the Salkantay Glacier, which is part of the majestic Vilcabamba Mountain Range.

What captures the attention of visitors to this spectacular lagoon is its surprising natural color, due to the scarcity of aquatic flora in its waters, and the exposure of loose minerals. The lagoon exhibits a crystalline turquoise hue, framed by the white peaks of the Salkantay Glacier, giving it a unique beauty.

Humantay Lagoon: A Glimpse into Local Beliefs

For the local communities of the Cusco region, Humantay Lagoon is much more than just a tourist destination: it is a sacred and magical place that houses the energy of the gods and the wisdom of the ancestors. According to Andean beliefs, the lagoon is a point of connection with the spiritual world and a place of healing and purification. For this reason, many people come to the lagoon to make offerings and rituals in honor of the Andean deities, asking for protection, health, and prosperity for themselves and their families.

Tourist Activities and Experiences at Humantay Lagoon

Humantay Lagoon offers a wide variety of tourist activities and experiences for all tastes and adventure levels. You can do everything from hiking and trekking around the lagoon, bird watching, to staying in domes.

Additionally, the lagoon is an ideal place for photography and contemplation, with impressive landscapes that invite reflection and connection with nature. Whatever your choice, a visit to Humantay Lagoon promises to be an unforgettable experience full of adventure, excitement, and natural beauty.

Trekking to Humantay Lagoon: Is Walking Necessary to Visit?

Yes, to visit Humantay Lagoon, it is necessary to hike for approximately 2 hours from the starting point known as Soraypampa. Although the hike can be demanding due to the altitude and terrain slope, no previous trekking experience is required to complete it successfully.

The trail to the lagoon is well-marked and accessible to most people. It is important to take the necessary precautions and respect each one's limits. Those who prefer not to walk can opt to hire a horse service, but it is better to walk, the view is beautiful and unique, however, keep in mind that the horse will only take you to a certain point, and from there you have to walk to reach the same lagoon, discovering high mountain landscapes is an integral part of the visit and worth the effort.

Is Swimming Allowed in Humantay Lagoon?

No, swimming in Humantay Lagoon is not allowed for conservation and safety reasons, besides, this water supplies several nearby communities.

Tour Packages to Humantay Lagoon


Why Choose Our Tours?

Our tours to Humantay Lagoon are designed to offer travelers a unique and memorable experience, with personalized attention, expert guides, and quality services that guarantee a safe and comfortable visit. We have years of experience in organizing tourist tours in the Cusco region, Peru, and work closely with local communities to promote sustainable and responsible tourism.

Our tours include comfortable and safe transportation, bilingual specialized guides, we cover tickets according to the site to visit and other additional services to ensure an unforgettable experience for our visitors. Choose our tours and discover the beauty and magic of Humantay Lagoon with the guarantee of quality and professionalism that distinguishes us at Illapa Andean Cultures.

Practical Tips for Visitors

Before visiting Humantay Lagoon, it is important to consider some practical tips that will help you make the most of your experience and ensure your safety and well-being during the visit.

  • It is important to acclimatize before embarking on the hike.
  • Bring warm and suitable clothing for high mountain weather.
  • Bring enough water to stay hydrated.
  • Protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and a hat.
  • Respect the rules and regulations established to protect the lagoon and its natural environment.
  • It is also important to carry a lightweight backpack with the essential items for the hike, such as water, snacks, a first aid kit, and other personal belongings.Follow the guides' instructions at all times.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a safe, comfortable, and memorable visit to Humantay Lagoon and take with you unforgettable memories of this wonderful destination.

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