Humantay Lake Day Trip From Cusco

The Complete Guide

Humantay Lake Day Trip From Cusco

Humantay Lake Day Trip From Cusco

The Complete Guide


Thought Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain were the only worthwhile trips to take while in Cusco Peru?

Well think again!

Although not nearly as popular, Lake Humantay is one of the best kept secrets of Peru offering otherworldly panoramic views that resemble something straight out of your favorite Disney movie.

Don’t believe me yet…

Well keep on reading because in this guide we introduce you to the beauty of this stunning Cusco attraction as well as everything you need to know about taking a Humantay day trip from Cusco.


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What Is The Humantay Lake Altitude?

The Humantay trek starts at around 12,700 feet and the lake sits at 13,900.

While the Humantay Lake altitude is nowhere near as bad as Rainbow Mountain, it is high enough that you should give yourself a few days to get acclimated in Cusco before the hike.

Humantay Lake Day Trip From Cusco

Humantay Lake Difficulty? 

The Humantay trail is pretty much an uphill battle the entire way.

Combine this with the high elevation and you’ve got yourself a pretty exhausting hike.

Humantay lake hike cusco

You will be hiking from 12,700 feet up to 13,900 feet which is no small task.

On another note, I only recommend hiking this trail after you have fully adjusted to the altitude in Cusco, otherwise this little thing called altitude sickness may be joining you along your hike.

With that being said, although this trail is considerably steep, I did find it to be easier than the Rainbow Mountain trail.

Aside from the trail being shorter (1-hour hike), the Humantay Lake altitude is lower than that of Rainbow Mountain, and trust me, this makes a world of difference.

In addition to this, Humantay has some slippery parts to the trail, however it shouldn’t be anything you can’t handle as long as you bring some shoes with a decent grip.

Pro Tip

For anyone who is not capable or willing to hike up the Lake Humantay trail, horses are available at the beginning of the hike for around 80 PEN ($18 USD.)

Humantay Lake Day Trip From Cusco

When To Visit Humantay Lake?

Most of the tours depart Cusco at around 4 a.m and arrive around 7:30 a.m since Humantay Lake is located around 3 hours from Cusco.  Most group tours also stop for breakfast along the way.

If you don’t mind sharing the lake with a couple hundred other tourists then by all means leave at that time.  However, if you would like to see Humantay in more of its natural state without so many other people, then I actually suggest you leave a bit later.

humantay lake tour

I know, I know this is contrary to the whole “early bird gets the worm concept”, however because most of the group tours arrive so early, they are typically leaving the mountain by 12:30 p.m1 p.m.

Therefore, I recommend departing Cusco at 7 a.m8 a.m instead.


This way, once you arrive to the lake, most groups will either already be on their way back down or just about to leave.


All you need is a little bit of patience and you will be rewarded with the stunning beauty of Humantay Lake all to yourself… well mostly.

Chances are there will still be some people there, especially if you are traveling to Cusco during the high season.

Humantay Lake Day Trip From Cusco

How To Get To Humantay Lake From Cusco


Group Humantay Lake Day Trip

As mentioned above, if you don’t care about the crowds and decide to go with one of the organized tours, then the tour departs at around 4 a.m.

Depending on the tour company and arrangements organized during the booking, you will either get picked up from your hostel or meet the group at a central location.

From there you will jump in the minivan of around 15 people and head off on the three-hour journey to Huamantay Lake.

humantay lake peru

The majority of the group trips have breakfast and lunch included in the package. Although I did a private tour instead of the group packages, these are a few of the tours that were recommended to me:

Conde Travel Adventures – $42 USD –  A very nice and affordable day trip option with all basic things included.

Flashpacker Connect – $140 USD – Although Flashpacker Connect is quite expensive considering there are much cheaper options at play, the one thing they do better than any anyone else is get you there first. This also goes for their rainbow Rainbow Mountain Tour. However, it’s up to you if you really want to put a $140 dollar price tag on that.

Humantay lake peru

Private Humantay Lake Day Trip

Since a majority of the group tours leave at 4 a.m, I recommend anyone who wishes to leave at an alternate time, to organize a private taxi that will take them.

The easiest method to organizing a taxi would be to have your hostel/hotel call and schedule it for you. However, though this may be the easiest, it is also the most expensive.

Instead, what I recommend is to speak with the taxi drivers directly or ask a tour agency how much they charge for a private tour.

Expect to pay no more than 300 PEN ($90 USD) total and even this price is negotiable.

Pro Tip

Don’t be afraid to haggle – Most tour agencies and cab drivers will give you a higher price because they assume that all tourists can afford to pay.  Not to mention they are anticipating the haggle.

Instead, get an idea of what the tour should cost and then have a set price of what you are willing to pay.

Additionally, it helps to have any Peruvian or Spanish speaking friends do the talking.  It does a world of wonders for dropping the price.

humantay lake tour

Humantay Lake Entry Fee

If you book with a tour group, then the entry fee is included in the price.

However, if you take a private tour of the lake, then you will have to pay the $10 USD entry.

Although it is considerably pricey by Peru standards, the views of the lake will be well worth it.

humantay lake tour

Final Thoughts On Taking The Humantay Lake Day Trip From Cusco

There is truly no other way to describe Humantay Lake as anything other than utterly impressive.

As I mentioned above, I decided to take the private taxi with a group of four.

The taxi was organized through a tour company for around $20 USD per person.

Truth be told we almost missed our day trip because the night before was spent partying at the Wild Rover for the massive 20th anniversary Hostelworld event, which was quite epic, but that is a whole other story in itself.

The point I am trying to make here is that unlike Rainbow Mountain which requires you to leave by 2 a.m, thankfully with Humantay Lake you don’t have to leave until around 7 a.m. That is of course if you decide to take a private taxi.

Which brings me to my next point.  If anyone who plans on visiting Lake Humantay has a fear of heights, you might want to keep your eyes closed once you pass the ticket gate, cause the drive gets pretty scary from there.

humantay lake peru

Like wheels riding inches from the edge of a massive cliff as your minivan and the minivan in the opposite direction of you try to squeeze past each other along the narrowest of roads.

However, don’t worry cause your near-death experience will be greatly rewarded in the end once you finally witness the magnificence of Humantay Lake.

That is of course if you can survive the climb.

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