The Humantay Lagoon is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Cusco. Its turquoise waters crowned by the imposing Salkantay snow cap, give it a unique beauty. Since it is surrounded by impressive snow-capped mountains. The Humantay Lagoon is located under the foothills of the Humantay mountain (5450 meters). The turquoise color of the lagoon is due to the presence of green microalgae (Mycrocystis Auruginosa, oscillatory and minerals). Together with the reflection of the sky, the result is that its banks present multicolored tones. turning this place magical and mysterious. It is considered one of the natural wonders of Peru.
According to the residents, the Nevado Humantay is the youngest son of the Apu Salkantay. Therefore, they would be in charge of rationalizing and distributing the water that comes down from their snows to the populations that live on the slopes of these impressive snow-capped mountains. The walk to the Humantay Lagoon will make you feel a sense of peace and tranquility thanks to its natural beauty.
LOCATION OF HUMANTAY LAGOON
The Humantay Lagoon is located in the district of Mollepata of the Province of Anta, to the North East of the Department of Cusco. Near the snowy Salkantay in the Andes Mountains of Cusco, Peru. It is located at 4,200 meters above sea level. The Humantay Lagoon is an hour and a half walk from the Soraypampa Community.
ORIGIN OF THE HUMANTAY LAGOON
The birth of the Humantay Lagoon is closely linked to the Legend of the Ausangate and Salkantay Brothers. According to history, both decided to travel to unknown lands in order to end the drought. The first chose to go south, where he found food that he sent to Cusco. For his part, Salkantay headed north and, like his brother, found provisions, but also something else: love.
However, the romance between Salkantay and the goddess Veronica did not have a happy ending. Since the Apu had to return to Cusco so that its inhabitants did not run out of water. The two brothers were transformed into snow-capped mountains and still provide water to the City of Cusco. But Salkantay’s sadness was so great that Humantay lagoon was born from his tears. And its captivating colors are believed to reflect the authenticity of your feelings.
CUSCO – MOLLEPATA – SORAYPAMPA – HUMANTAY LAGOON – SORAYPAMPA – MOLLEPATA – CUSCO
We pick you up at 4:30 am from your hotel. On the way, we pass Limatambo, a place with a warm climate and an abundance of fruits, and then turn towards Mollepata. Before we get there, we have two stops. First, we visit Marca Wasi, a viewpoint and an archaeological center with Andean Inca terraces and a variety of crops. Second, we make a brief stop at the “Hacienda del Mirador”, owned by former Peruvian President David Samanes Ocampo (1930-1931).
We continue until we reach the town of Mollepata (2,900 m / 9,514 ft). its name is due to the number of plantations of molle (molle Schinus). They serve us American breakfast (eggs to order, homemade breads, natural juices, tea, etc.) in the restaurant “La Casa Salkantay” that offers beautiful views. Then, we continue to Soraypampa while observing changes in the ecosystem. At Soraypampa (3,850 m / 12,631 ft), we perform a small ceremony for the “Apus” (deities of the mountain) before starting the trek.
When we arrive at the Humantay lagoon (4,200m / 13,780ft), we are given free time to appreciate the impressive turquoise lagoon and take some pictures of it. The lagoon is located at the foot of Humantay Mountain (5,473 m / 17,956 ft). After a short rest, we begin to return to Soraypampa where our vehicle awaits us to take us back to Mollepata. There, we are served a Creole-style lunch followed by a weaving demonstration and a guided tour of the “Hacienda Museo” (Hacienda Museum) at Casa Mollepata (the Casa Mollepata). Later, we got into the vehicle again to travel back to Cusco arriving there at approximately 5 pm. The Cusco – Humantay Lagoon trail ends transporting you back to your hotel when you are fired.
Maximum altitude: 4,200 metres/13,780 feet
Minimum altitude: 2,900 metres/9,514 feet
Duration of the trek: 4 hours
Trekking distance: 4 km / 2.5 miles
Weather: Temperate to cold.
CUSCO – LAGOON HUMANTAY 1 DAY
- 4:30 am – a pick-up from your hotel in Cusco.
- 04:45 am – departure to Mollepata.
- Passing through Limatambo.
- Turning towards Mollepata.
- Visit of Marca Wasi, a viewpoint and an archaeological center.
- A short stop at the “Hacienda del Mirador”, a property of David Samanes Ocampo (a former President of Peru in 1930-1931).
- Arrival at the village of Mollepata (2,900 m/9,514 ft).
- American breakfast at “La Casa Salkantay” offering a beautiful view.
- Continuation the ride towards Soraypampa (3,850 m/12,631 ft) – a starting point of the trek to the Humantay Lagoon.
- A small ceremony for “Apus” (mountain deities).
- Trekking towards the lagoon.
- Arrival at the Humantay Lagoon (4,200 m/13,780 ft).
- Time off to be able to observe this turquoise lagoon.
- The return hike to Soraypampa.
- Continuation by a private vehicle to Mollepata.
- Creole lunch in Mollepata.
- Weaving demonstration and a guided visit of “Hacienda Museo” (the Hacienda Museum) at Casa Mollepata (the Mollepata House).
- Transport back to Cusco City.
- 5 pm – arrival to the city and transfer to your hotel.
- End of service of the Cusco.
INCLUDED IN THE HUMANTAY LAGOON
- Pick-up from your hotel in Cusco.
- Private transport to the trailhead at Mollepata and back to Cusco.
- A professional English-speaking Tour Guide.
- Guide Assistant (for groups of over 10 participants).
- A professional Cook experienced in preparing healthy food.
- Meals: 1x American breakfast, 1x buffet lunch in Creole style, hot beverages during main meals, snack – a vegetarian option available upon request.
- First aid kit and a bottle of oxygen.
- Two-way radio.
- Walking sticks.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE HUMANTAY LAGOON
Entrance ticket to the Humantay Lake (10 Soles).
- Beverages (apart of breakfast and lunch).
- Extra horse (which can carry up to 20 kg of your belongings – extra USD 28/day).
- Tips to local staff.
- Pocket money in Soles.
- Accommodation in Cusco.
- Any flight.
- Travel insurance.
WHAT TO BRING
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU FOR THE HUMANTAY LAGOON
- Necessary stuff for a 1-day trek (We recommend a backpack of up to 5 kg of your belongings some of which might be carried by an extra horse.);
- Personal identification document (a copy of ID/Passport);
- Personal medicines (if applicable);
- Small backpack;
- Warm clothes such as a jacket, sweaters, long trousers;
- Rainy coat or poncho (especially, from November to April);
- Trekking shoes;
- Extra batteries and/or power bank (there is no electricity on the trek);
- A peak/hat;
- Sun protection cream;
- Water purification tablets (optional);
- Pocket money in Soles (in any case of emergency or to buy some souvenirs).
The price depends on the number of participants, travel dates and other preferencies. Please inquire about a personalized price.