Humantay Lake — An Amazing Day Trip from Cusco Peru

Humantay Lake is easily one of the best day trips you can take from Cusco Peru. It’s one of the most gorgeous places I have ever been! If you’re planning a trip to Peru, don’t miss this hidden gem!

Humantay Lake

How To Get To Humantay Lake

It’s very easy to visit Humantay (pronounced Uman-Tie) Lake from Cusco Peru. If you want to go with a tour, there are an abundance of tour agencies offering day trips from Cusco. You don’t need to book in advance, you can just stop by the tour office the day before you want to go. It’s much cheaper to book in Cusco than to try to book online in advance. Most of the tour agencies are located in the main square (Plaza De Armas) and the tours cost about 80 soles ($24 USD).

Humantay Lake

Best Tour to Humantay Lake

If you decide to go with a group to Humantay Lake, I recommend Conde Travel Adventures. Their office is on Portal Espinar, one block over from the Plaza De Armas. Our guide was great and the food was delicious! Breakfast and lunch is included.

Humantay Lake

Hire a Taxi and Go On Your Own

If you don’t want to go with a group, you can also hire a taxi and go on your own. I went with a group, and while overall I had a good experience, if I could do it again, I would definitely hire a taxi so I could go on my own schedule!

Humantay Lake

Why Go On Your Own?

The group tours leave around 4 AM. This is not the most pleasant way to start the day. The hike is a bit challenging, so you definitely want to be well-rested. With a taxi, you can sleep in a bit and start at a more reasonable hour. The 3-hour drive will also be way more comfortable in a private taxi than a bus.

You can also skip the crowds. All the tours leave Cusco at the same time (very early in the morning) so they all get to the lake at the same time. You can leave a bit later and have the lake all to yourself when they leave!

Humantay Lake

How To Hire A Taxi from Cusco

Read my Rainbow Mountain Peru post for more tips on hiring a taxi and going on your own. The experience will be very similar, just different locations.

Read More: How to Hike Rainbow Mountain in Peru.

Humantay Lake

How Much Does a Taxi to Humantay Lake Cost?

With a little negotiation, you should be able to hire a taxi for the day for around 250 soles ($75 USD). They will take you to Humantay Lake, wait for you while you do the hike, then bring you back to Cusco when you’re done. This will not include the 10 soles ($3) entry fee (per person) to the national park where the hike starts.

In contrast, a group tour to Humantay Lake is 80 soles ($25 USD) per person (also does not include the 10 sole entry fee). So if you are 2 people or more, it’s not that much more expensive to go on your own, and it will be much more comfortable! You can have Humantay Lake all to yourself and stay up there as long as you want.

Humantay Lake

When to Go to Humantay Lake

It’s about a 3-hour drive from Cusco to the Humantay Lake trailhead. The hike takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on your level. The groups start leaving the lake around noon. By 12:30, I had the lake all to myself.

If you leave Cusco around 7 AM, you’ll probably get to the lake while there are still people there (which is good, I always like having other people on the trail just in case) but you’ll definitely have plenty of alone time at the lake also.

Humantay Lake

About the Humantay Lake Hike


The hike is steeper than the hike to Rainbow Mountain, but it’s shorter. From the trailhead (by the restrooms) it took me about 45 minutes to get to the lake. I didn’t go very fast, but I didn’t stop for any breaks either. I just took it slow and steady. It’s uphill the entire way, like walking up stairs for 45 minutes straight. The trail is steep and a bit slippery in places. I wore these waterproof hiking shoes.

Humantay Lake Altitude:

The hike starts at 12,700 feet and the lake is at 13,900 feet.

The above picture is the view from the top, almost to the lake. See the tiny blue dots down at the bottom of the hill? That’s where the trail starts.

Humantay Lake

Where does the Humantay Lake hike start?

The picture above is about where your taxi driver will drop you off. This is as far as cars can go. Here is the approximate {GPS Location} for the Humantay Lake parking lot.

Humantay Lake

From here you’ll need to walk 5-10 minutes to the trailhead. You’ll follow the dirt path, then cross a wooden bridge over the creek above.

Humantay Lake

On your left you’ll see the glacier and the trail up the mountain.

Humantay Lake

You’ll see some buildings on your left with some restrooms and a small counter to buy snacks. Walk between the buildings (bathrooms on your right) towards the glacier. You’ll have to go through a gate — it kind of looks like someone’s private property. On the other side is the start of the trail.

Here is the {GPS location} for the Humantay Lake trailhead. From here it took me about 45 minutes to the top.

Tips for Hiking Humantay Lake

Humantay Lake

Bring your own food & snacks

The good thing about the tours is they do include breakfast and lunch. If you go on your own, you’ll have to bring your own food. If you leave later, you can have breakfast at your hotel. But definitely bring something with you to eat right before you start the hike. It’s a 3 hour drive, and the hike is strenuous. You don’t want to get hungry on the hike and get a headache.

Bring a picnic lunch

I honestly cannot imagine a more perfect background for a picnic than Humantay Lake. Just don’t forget to take everything back with you!

Don’t forget water!

Drinking lots of water will help with the altitude at Humantay Lake. I recommend bringing at least 1 liter per person on the hike with you, and have a extra bottle to leave in the car for when you get back.

Wear sunscreen and pack layers

You sunburn much quicker at higher altitude.

Bring cash & toilet paper

You’ll need to pay 10 soles for the entry fee for the hike. Plus a few coins in case you need to use a bathroom. The only bathrooms are at the beginning of the hike. Be sure to bring toilet paper!!

Humantay Lake Video

Watch the video above to see a panoramic view of the lake. This is what it’s like to have the lake all to yourself!

Like this post? Save it on Pinterest!

Humantay Lake

Humantay Lake

Humantay Lake

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163 Responses
  1. Emily

    Great info! I am actually looking to get a ride here and start the Salkantay trek solo. Did you do this by yourself or with another person? And did you hire your taxi ahead of time? If so I would love the info or do you think I can just have someone at my hotel hire one for me? I’m an avid hiker and will be fine once I get there, I just have to know how to get there safely by myself!

  2. sophia gutierrez

    Hi Amanda,

    Great info. Thank you so much for this. What time do you recommend wrapping up and heading back to Cusco. Also, i would love the driver’s information.

    Thank you!

  3. Liz

    Awesome post! Was anyone able to get driver’s info? I am about to (finally) make it to Peru and would love to have a reliable driver!

  4. Kevin

    Hello Amanda, would be amazing if you could send the drivers info, I never thought about taking a taxi before reading your blog. Would much rather that if possible. Thanks!

  5. Anh

    Can I ask where do you pay for the hike? Is it at the trail head or will there be people that will stop you along the way so you can pay? Thanks.

  6. Daniela Mendoza

    Amanda!!! This is absolutely lovely!!! Thank you for all of your hard work and for putting this beautiful blog together. I would love to know the name and info of the driver as I will be going in 3 weeks and will
    Be hiring him for both rainbow and Lake Humantay! Thank you for all of your kind help!

  7. Carmen

    Hi Amanda, could you please share the name of the driver? We are planning a trip this May and we are considering going with a taxi instead of an organized tour. We are a family of 4. Was wondering if we were to go on our own if there were places to eat on the way, or we will have to pack lunch with us.
    Thanks for your very informative blog!

  8. Raquel

    Hi Amanda, thank you so much for this tip! Would you be able to please email me your driver’s info? My girlfriend and I are going next week and would love to follow your schedule for Humantay Lake and Rainbow Mountain. Thanks so much!

  9. Mimi

    Hello – this was so helpful! I’m going there in about a month – could you please share your driver’s contact? Thank you so much!

  10. Jessica

    Do you think kids could make the hike? Did you see kids on the trail? We live in Cusco with 3 girls 3,5,7. They love adventure and have hiked some hard level trails in North Carolina.

  11. Alyssa Rubio

    Hi Amanda, Thank you for such a detailed post. I was wondering if I could also get the drivers info. Love the idea of going on our own schedule. I look forward to hearing from you!

  12. Elvie

    Hi Amanda i”m planning to have a trip in Peru ,i came across your post very informative ,can you share the name and number of the driver you use please.

  13. Elizabeth

    I’m so happy that I found this post! I really want to do this hike, but I would love to not share the lake with large groups of people. Thank you so much for all of this information. My trip to Peru is cancelled this summer, but it will happen next year! Can you please also send me your driver’s information? I would really appreciate it.

  14. Bala B

    Hello…Wonderful posts and very useful information for someone planning a trip to Peru. Would appreciate if you can send me the driver information on private transport option in Ollantaytambo, Cusco and Sacred valley. Also, which website did you book your air travel within Peru ( Lima to Cusco and back? )

    1. Amanda

      I flew with Avianca from Cusco to Lima. I will email your our driver’s info, but he is just a regular taxi driver in Cusco, it it not a fancy private transport :) If you want something a little more luxury, I would book tours with the JW Marriott Hotel in Cusco. Have a great trip! :)

  15. Lindsay

    Hello!  We are planning a trip in May.  Are you able to provide the driver’s name as well?  Thank you for all the insight!  Looking forward to getting there!!

  16. Catherine

    Thank you so much for such an informative article. You have us really excited about this experience. We will be there in May. I hate to ask because you have so generously shared the information with soooo many people, but can I have the name of that driver too? it would be nice to have someone I know is reliable because I can’t imagine if someone dropped us off and then left us up there! ;)

  17. Nico Serapins

    Hey Amada,

    thanks for the great article. We would appreciate the the taxi driver’s info as well.
    Thanks a lot and have a great day.


  18. Hannah Otto

    Hey! Me again LOL your posts are SOO informative so thank you! We have someone in our group arriving to Peru at 9 am the day we want to try and do this? We are trying to leave at 10 am and drive there ourselves. (Get there at 1/1:30) Do you think this will be too late for going? It is our only day we can fit this in if the weather is nice.

    1. Amanda

      It should be fine, but you might be driving back in the dark, so just drive very carefully! The roads are narrow, steep, and curvy. Have a great trip!

  19. KERI

    Thanks Amanda! This is exactly the info i was looking for! I wouldn’t love to hear hire your driver, do you have his information?

    Thank you!

  20. Harry

    Hi, thanks for great article about your trip. We have been thinking about guided tour for $140 with booking in advance but now it’s better to go solo. Can you please let me know driver contact? We are going to Cusco for three days so we are planning one day for aclimatization in town, 2nd day to lake but still not sure about 3rd day,what would you recommend?thank you :)

  21. Helene

    I’ve been looking everywhere for a post like this, thank you!!! If you could please send me the details about the driver that would be awesome!

  22. Ola

    Hi, I thought the only way to visit Humanity Lake is to buy an organised tour, because it’s hard to get there by bus. I like your idea with taxi, could you send my also teh driver’s info?
    Thank you for your really helpful posts about Peru :)

  23. Rona amichai

    I love reading your blogs. They are so clear, concise and interesting to read and jam packed with useful information. Thanks. My husband and I will be in Cusco September 23 for five days and I love your idea of taking a taxi to humantay and rainbow mountain. I’m also considering Pisac, tambomachay and moray to moras. What are you thoughts about those places?  And, could I also have your driver’s information?  I do promise not to fight with the others over his service. 

    1. Amanda

      Hi Rona!
      Thank you so much for your kind comment! We did not go to Tambomachay, but we loved Humantay, Rainbow Mountain, Pisac, Maras and Moray. I will email you our driver’s info. Have a great trip!! :) 

  24. Dina Heit

    Hi! We are in Cusco now and are thinking of doing Lake Humantay with private taxi. Can you provide me with the info?? Thanks! Does he speak English?

    1. Amanda

      Yes, I will email you! He does not speak English, but he is very reliable. We communicated through WhatsApp and used Google Translate.

  25. Abbey

    Hi Amanda,

    Please give us the taxi driver’s info as well. We’re traveling to Peru in September and would love to be able to go to Humantay Lake. Question, were there any locals with horses when you were there when morning group left? Just wondering in case we need/ want to ride a horse up the trail. Thank you!

    1. Amanda

      Hi Abbey! Yes, there were definitely horses available, although I didn’t see anyone taking one. I will email you our driver’s info. Have a great trip! :)

  26. Claudia

    Hey Amanda!

    Could you please give us the info for your taxi driver? Thanks for this helpful post! Also, what time of year did you go?

  27. Melissa Lewis

    Yaaay thanks for this !! I was feeling like I wouldn’t be able able to swing this but after reading this I know it’s totally do able!! Can you share me your taxi info pretty please?

  28. Cynthia Hernandez

    Hi Amanda,
    So happy I came across this post, super helpful! I will be traveling to Peru next week. Would you mind sharing your drivers details? Thank you.

    1. Josie Taylor Chapman

      HI Amanda, Thanks so much for your post. Is the cost for the taxi updated? It says you posted this Febuary 2019. Also I would also like the drivers information please ?

    2. Amanda

      Hi Josie! I will email you his info! I haven’t had anyone write back and tell me he has changed his prices. If you hire him, let me know how it turns out!! :) Have a great trip! :)

  29. Lauren

    Hello – I will be travelling to Peru in September / October, and love the idea of hiring a taxi driver for the trip, so that it can be quicker than a 12 hour day (as I would be doing this on the last day of my trip, when I need to be back a bit earlier than 5pm to catch my flight). Do you know of any companies that return to Cusco by 4pm or earlier for this day trip? Or would my best bet be catching a taxi and doing this on my own that way to ensure I can return in time? I will be a solo female traveler for this day trip!

  30. Daniella

    Thanks so much, this post was awesome and very helpful. Would you mind sharing your drivers details with me also? 

    Thank you!

  31. Marlene

    Great post! I’ll be going in a month. Can you please send me the taxi driver contact information to my email? Appreciate it!

  32. Nayantara Nelson

    This was so helpful and informative! You answered questions I didn’t even know to ask. I don’t know much about you guys but I hope you get paid for the amazing work you do!! 

    1. Amanda

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment!! It’s comments like these that make me want to keep doing it!! :) xoxo

  33. Christina

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Humantay Lake! I’m going to Peru in a month and love the idea of getting a driver to avoid having to go so early in the morning with all the other tours! Could you provide your driver’s information or how to find a reliable driver in Cusco?

    1. Nayantara Nelson

      Hello, I am also going to Peru in about a month and plan on doing this hike especially! I land in Lima and  will travel around the Cusco Region between August 13th-20th. I always try to connect with fellow travelers and try to get to know people over social media. Occasionally I find great people online which makes meeting up, sharing cars, splitting travel costs, etc. really fun. I’m 23, female from Colorado. I’m meeting up with my father (fluent Spanish speaker) who is already in Peru and great at finding local drivers and getting the best recommendations from his Peruvian friends. Hit me up on Instagram @whitherwolf if not to plan something than maybe to just share our experiences! 

  34. Katie Collin

    This is such a helpful post! I’m heading to Peru in less than two weeks, and I’ve been trying to find another solution to how ungodly early all of the tours to Humantay Lake and Rainbow Mountain leave, so this is a much better idea! Could you also email me your driver’s info so we can see if he’s available? Thanks so much. :)

  35. Laura Peterson

    Hello -thank you so much for your post!  Also, can you also send me the taxi information? I had one other question – I heard there were horses that can also take you up to the lake?  Did you see that as an option?  I am worried about altitude but don’t want to miss out so would love that as an option.  Thank you!

    1. Amanda

      Hi Laura! Yes, there are horses you can hire that will take you up to the lake. I will email you our driver’s info. Have a great trip!! :)

  36. Divya

    Hi Amanda! Great post with great tips. I’m planning my Peru trip in September this year and came across your blog. Beautiful pictures. While in Cusco, I would like to do day trips on my own, is it possible for you to send the taxi driver’s number?:) thank you!

  37. Alyson Fix

    Hi! What time of year did you hike? Can you email me the taxi driver’s info? Love the idea of staying later without all the crowds! Did you guys do any trips to the rainforest? Looking into it and there is so much out there! Thanks love your page!!

    1. Amanda

      Hi Alyson! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! We were there at the beginning of April. We didn’t go to the rainforest in Peru! I will email you our driver’s info. Have a great trip!! :)

  38. Rebekah MacLaren

    Hi, we will be traveling in August and want to do Humantay Lake and Rainbow Mountain. Can you email the taxi driver you used for both? 

  39. Michael Abramzon

    Thank you for a great post. Very informative and helpful. We are going to try to do the self guided hike as well. The lake looks beautiful.
    I have 2 questions; re the hike path trail itself, does it circle the lake or up and down? Also, like others, please send the taxi info if possible :)
    Thank you!

    1. Akshitha

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for this information. It would be super helpful if you can email me the taxi details.

      Thank you.

  40. Rhett Hammil

    Thank you so much for the information. My wife and I leave for Peru next week and plan on doing some day trips from Cusco. We plan on doing both Lake Humantay and Rainbow Mountain. Would you mind sending the taxi information for both hikes. We want to try to do it all on our own and would love to have something to start with. Thank you!

  41. Louise

    Hi there, thanks for the useful information. Any chance you could email me the taxi drivers details, i am planning on going next weekend!


    My partner and I are going to be there mid-July. We are close to 60, but in good physical shape. Do you think it will be too strenuous? I also like the idea of going at my own pace. Also, one of the tours I saw ended in Soraypampa. Is that where the tour starts?

    1. Amanda

      As long as you go at your own pace, take your time, and take plenty of water, I think you’ll be fine! :) I think the Humantay Lake hike starts in Salkantay. But there is a link to the exact GPS location of the start of the hike in the post. Have a great trip! :)

  43. Lindsey

    LOVE this! Thank you so much for providing all things info. It helps a ton! ; Could please send the taxi info as well! :)

  44. Krish

    Hi Amanda,

    This is very useful post with great pictures. Thank you for this. Can you please send me taxi drivers details? It would be really helpful. Thank you for the help.


  45. Tommy Wosnaski

    On your photos there are a lot of people so I don’t quite understand why you say that leaving later is the best option? I did the tour myself and we started in Cusco at 4 am, and it was the best choice ever!

    1. Amanda

      I went with a group, but I stayed until everyone else left until I was the only one up there. If could do it again (and I wasn’t traveling alone) I’d definitely hire a private taxi because it’s not that much more expensive and I would prefer not to get up at 3 AM!

  46. Martina

    Hello Amanda,
    thank you for your inspirational post. My boyfriend and I really want to visit the Humantay lake now! We’re planning on travelling to Peru in October or November and we’re not sure if the weather will be good enough for the hike. When did you visit the Humantay lake?

  47. Matthew D

    Thank you for the information. Just to give you an update as we just came back from Peru. We actually followed your directions and it was beautiful there although we had a cloudy and rainy day. I will say that you can no longer follow these instructions and hope to be the only one at the lake. As a tour guide told us and we subsequently experienced, the lake has become much more popular. When we arrived, leaving at the time you left, we arrived at the hike at the same time as 3 small buses of people arrived. Many more people are not only going during that early time you mentioned but throughout the day now. Even after we were leaving the hike, people were going up although it did lighten up with the number of people going up in the afternoon. I think the big issue is that there a a few ecolodges there that people staying there can go later in the day.

    Also, I would describe this hike as moderate to hard. It is pretty vertical. You must be in really great shape to not have to stop for a little. Literally ever one of the 20-30 people doing the hike at the time we did had to stop a few times. Kudos to you for not having to stop. That being said, it is a somewhat short hike. And to give others a taste of the difficulty rating of the hike, locals walk up and down the mountain with mules asking multiple times if you want to rent their mules after seeing how tired you are. Most didn’t partake, but a few did even up using the mules (sadly).

    Thank you for the info none-the-less. We had a great time.

    1. Joy

      I agree with this being moderate to difficult, with it leaning more on the difficult side. Even if you are in good shape, the altitude begins at around 12,750 and ends at around 14,000 feet, which makes it very difficult to breathe as you climb the constant, steep incline to the lake.

  48. Blanche

    Thank you for the informational post. You mention one could book the trip while in Cusco. Any idea how many days ahead of time to do so to avoid these tours selling out? My concern is getting to Cusco only to find out that the 3-4 days we are there, no openings will be available with the recommended tour agencies. If you would be willing to share the contact details of the taxi driver too, that would be great.

    1. Amanda

      Hi Blanche! I will email you his info! I don’t think you have to worry about the tours selling out. There are always companies offering tours, it’s their main industry in Cusco! :) If for some reason the specific one I mention in this post is sold on out on a specific day, I’m sure they will have availabilities on the other days you will be there, or they can recommend another company. Or you can ask at your hotel for recommendations. Or you can always find a taxi driver who will take you! Don’t worry about them selling out. Have a great trip!

  49. Bethany

    My husband and I are taking a trip to Cusco this coming May!  We are going to hire a taxi and do it this way, based off of all the info you gave :) can you email the taxis info? Thank you so much!

  50. CJ

    Great post! Now I can’t wait to experience Cusco! There are four of us traveling at the beginning of August and I would love to get the contact information for your driver. Do you think hiking shoes are a must, or will tennis shoes work? If you had to choose between Humantay or Rainbow, which would you do? Thanks for any advice!

    1. Matthew D

      My girlfriend and I just did the Humantay hike. You can see my reply above. Beautiful. We didn’t do the Rainbow hike so others can comment on that from experience. The one think we heard from a few locals is that the colors on the Rainbow hike aren’t nearly as vibrant as you see on pictures and isn’t as nice. They said that the pictures are photoshoped to be more vibrant. After hearing that, we were happy we did Humantay over Rainbow. That being said, I cannot confirm that info on Rainbow.

    2. Amanda

      Yes, most of the photos you see of Rainbow Mountain are photoshopped so the colors are more vibrant, however, it is still very colorful in real life, especially if you’re lucky and get a sunny day!!

    3. Amanda

      Hi CJ! It depends on what you want to see! They’re both similar hikes but different landscapes. I will email you his info! Have a great trip! :)

    4. Joy

      I would definitely suggest hiking shoes over just tennis shoes. There was a girl ahead of me on the hike down who was slipping and sliding on the way down in her tennis shoes (the trail wasn’t wet but it is rocky and steep so can be difficult walking down if you don’t have good traction). Also, I would recommend Palccoyo over Vinicunca (aka Rainbow Mountain). It is a much shorter and easier hike and is not as crowded but you still get the rainbow color mountain effect (Google to get more info on Palccoyo). My friends and I hired a private driver to take us to Palccoyo but there are multiple tour companies in Cusco who also offer tours.

  51. steven white

    Hi Amanda, 

    Loved reading your post on how to do this trip to the lake, do you have the contact details of the taxi service you used. 


  52. Gary

    Hi, thanks for all this information. Were hiring a car and are staying in Ollantaytambo closer to the lake. Did the road up to the parking lot seem doable to drive ourselves?

    1. Amanda

      Hi Gary! Yes, I think you could drive it yourself, as long as you’re careful. Have a great trip!

  53. Jesse

    Hey Amanda,
    great to see your write up on Humantay Lake as i am planning to visit but not sure if its a tough hike and want to book a private tour so that we can go easy at our own pace. is taking a private taxi reliable and safe? can they speak some English? if u have a recommended taxi driver details that u can share will be great. i will also check out the Conde Travel that u recommended.

    1. Amanda

      Hi Jesse! I don’t think it is a super tough hike. I did a tour and I didn’t feel rushed at all! But if your group is 2 people or more, it’s not that much more expensive to hire a taxi and the day will be much more relaxing! I will email you our driver’s info! Have a great trip!

  54. Nandita

    This is a very useful post on Humantay lake.! The pics are simply gorgeous. We are visiting Peru in June and are researching day trips from Cusco. Taking a taxi sounds like a much better option since we would get more time at the lake. Would you be able to share the driver’s contact info?

  55. Jasmine

    Hi Amanda,

    Thanks so much for writing your experience to Humantay Lake! I’m traveling with one other female and we’re both interested in taking a taxi to the lake. May we also have your driver’s info? It makes us feel better going with a recommendation.

    Thank you!

  56. Mariel B.

    Wow! Thank you for the helpful guide. I am staying in Ollantaytambo and my hotel could arrange a taxi to take us to Lake Humantay then back to Cusco but they are charging $130 for 4 people, do you think its a reasonable price? I was thinking of just hiring your driver if you don’t mind sharing his info? Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Amanda

      Hi Mariel! Thanks so much for your comment! Since you are starting in Ollantaytambo the price might be a bit higher. Our driver picked us up and dropped us off in Cusco for 250 soles (abouot $75 US dollars). I’m sure he would come to Ollantaytambo to get you, but he might charge more. Anyway, I’m happy to email you his information and you can ask him! :) Have a great trip!

  57. Karen

    Hi! Your posts have been a great resource to me for my upcoming Peru trip! I’m also loving the idea of doing Rainbow Mountain and Humantay via taxi – sounds much more liberating and relaxing! I noted a couple of other people asked if you could pass along your driver’s info; would you mind passing along to me as well? And seeing as you were also there on the cusp of the rainy season (I’ll be there at the end of March), we were hoping to do MP, Rainbow & Humantay across 3 days but wait until a couple of days before to decide which to when, based on weather. Sounds like that’s safe enough for Rainbow & Humantay but maybe too dangerous to hold off on MP tickets? I’ve been checking every day and there’s still over 100 tix left for MP mountain (which we are planning to do) but I’m nervous about train times being available. Were trains sold out when you were there?
    Thanks for your feedback, your blog is so helpful!

    1. Amanda

      Hi Karen! Yes, I will send you our driver’s info! :) Good question about the train…. MP did not seem close to being sold out (it didn’t seem that crowded), but I think I remember the train being fairly full… Of course I was only in one car, but I think every seat in my car was full… Do you have enough time to plan 2 days at MP? I was worried just like you, so I bought the afternoon tickets for one day, spent the night there, and morning tickets for the next day. It worked out perfect! So that way if we had bad weather one day, we had one more day just in case. Hope this helps!! Good luck!!

  58. Katherine

    Hey Amanda, thank you for this awesome post, actually all of your Peru posts have been hugely helpful! I want to do this hike, but I have a bit of a fear of heights (I’m fine climbing up, but I get nervous about steep drop offs). How does this hike fare for someone in my position?

    1. Amanda

      Hi Katherine! I don’t remember there being any narrow paths or steep drop offs!

      Most of the trail is like the 3rd picture from the bottom. Can you see the trail off in the distance? The trail is going up, but the ground on either side of the trail is the same level, so no drop offs.

      Now look at the 7th picture from the top (under Hiring a Taxi). This is a short part at the end of the trail, near the lake. I think this is the “worst” that it gets, and it’s definitely not like this for the majority of the hike.

      You arrive to the lake at “lake level” where most of my pictures were taken. But you can see a few pictures of the lake that I took from above. After you arrive to the lake there are optional paths up the mountain for a view from above. These you probably won’t want to do! But the best view of the lake is from lake level, so you don’t need to go up any higher for the “best view”! :)

      Hope this helps! :)

  59. Farika

    Hi, Amanda & Kevin, do you speak Spanish? It maybe easier to negotiate taxi ? I don’t speak Spanish but learning now. Thank you for this post

  60. christy lewis

    Fantastic post. We’re taking 7 of us in May to Peru. Spending our money for tours to , Amazon, Machu pichu and Lake Titicaca. So saving where we can. I like your idea of just hiring a taxi to do the day trips. Our son lived in Cusco area for 2 years, so is comfortable getting around. Have you heard of vans that can take 7 passengers to the various sites – Lake Humantay, Quillabamba jungle and Rainbow Mountain?


  61. Tim Kroeger

    Hey, thanks for the great article.

    We actually also want to go there on our own tomorrow.

    Do you have any tips where we can find a reliable driver?



  62. Tori

    Amanda, would you recommend going with the taxi option for female solo travelers? I have traveled solo several times, but try to avoid places that are super remote for safety reasons (read – no one can hear you scream!). Were there any sketchy people out and about on or near the trails? Are there rangers?

    1. Amanda

      I was a female solo traveler for this hike and I went with a tour company just because of the price. Hiring a taxi was $75 and going with a group is $25. If you have 2 people to share the cost of the taxi (you’d be paying $50 for the tour anyway) I definitely think the taxi is worth it!!

      However, if you don’t mind paying the entire price of the taxi alone, then yes, I think I would’ve felt comfortable doing this hike alone. It’s not too challenging or difficult, there’s only one trail so you won’t get lost. There are lots of other tourists and tour guides on the trail. I didn’t stay with my group — I was the first one up and the last one down — and several tour guides from other companies checked on me to make sure I was okay.

      Like I said in the post, if I were to go alone, I think I’d plan to get in the morning so people are still there when I started the hike, then stay up at the lake alone after the big groups left. Just make sure you tell your taxi driver when you’ll be back down so he knows when to expect you. It takes about 1 hour to get up and a bit less to come down.

  63. Stephanie

    Thanks for this great post about Humantay lake! We are going in early August where I know that the average low is around 32º F at night. Is there any way to know about whether snow is covering the trails or would impact the view? We’re trying to decide between doing Humantay or Rainbow mountain, and whether we could pull off three-jam packed days in a row of MP, Humantay then Rainbow Mountain or if that would be too exhausting. I would really appreciate your feedback! 

    1. Amanda

      If you think you can fit it all in, I would definitely try!! :) Three drastically different and breathtakingly gorgeous landscapes! It would definitely be worth it. You can rest when you get home! :) Humantay Lake is not really challenging, just 1 hour :)

      As far as the weather, I would just keep checking and ask around at the tour companies… They go every day so they should know what the weather conditions are. :)

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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