Culminating in a picturesque turquoise blue lake at the base of a glacier, Soraypampa’s trip to Lake Humantay in Cusco is a moderate to high difficulty day hike that is usually organized with tour groups based in Cusco.
After about a mile of relatively flat terrain, the trail begins with a steep, hilly climb. You’ll pass several campsites and a restaurant before a final set of restrooms (accessible for a small fee) and a snack counter. Turn left at this junction and pass a door into the mountain. The hike is not well marked, but the path is quite obvious.
The uphill portion is wide; Hikers have forged several adjacent routes, some of which are shared by horses that are available for rent. The horses only climb halfway, so everyone will have to walk on foot. The terrain itself is relatively easy, but even experienced hikers will struggle if they don’t acclimatize properly.
At the top, most groups take their time to absorb the views. From here, you can walk around the sides of the lake to reach over 14,000 feet. Due to the elevation, it is important to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Insects are not a big problem, but be careful with animal manure, especially at the beginning of the walk.
It is, politically, in the Mollepata district, Anta province, the site of influence of the Choquequirao Regional Conservation Area, 128 km from the city of Cuzco and 18 km from the town of Mollepata. The temperature fluctuates at -6ºC during the cold season and up to 22ºC during the warm season. As it is close to Nevado Salkantay, rains are very common.
There are 6 families with an average of 36 inhabitants in the area. Among some resident families, we can distinguish the Quiñones family (father and son), Huari (4 brothers), Mayhua (3 brothers), Huamán (husband and son), Chipa (father and son) and Espinoza Sotelo (2 brothers).
In the Soraypampa Camp, there is no type of communal or traditional organization. It strictly depends on the organizational and political organization provided by the Mollepata district. Parcels of land are considered, to have those property titles.
A basic water flow infrastructure, sanitary services that include a toilet and a shower, the water consumed is recycled, thanks to the drift SS.HH flow service in a septic tank whose construction was carried out in 2012 by the municipality of the Barrio de Mollepata. As for the electricity in Soraypampa Camp, there is still no access to this service, so use lighters, candles or batteries of lamps.
Soraypampa in Cusco does not have a school, it is only a road whose study of population by age does not exist.
There is no health center in Soraypampa Peru, so the few residents requiring medical services need to move to the district capital. They will do it on foot or by car if one is available.
There is no landline or mobile phone, the only possibility is to go to the Mountain Lodges del Perú hotel in case of emergency.
Agricultural activities that at the beginning the main product that was cultivated potatoes of different varieties, was changed with products from the Santa Teresa Valley Cusco and Mollepata such as corn, cassava, coca and fruit. But now that activity is moving to make way for tourism. The breeding activity is carried out in the extensions of the Soraypampa free zone for use as breeding areas for equine and sheep cattle in a minimal quantity. There is no copy of the Andean camelids (alpacas, llamas) even though the climatic and geographical conditions are appropriate. The farmer’s production is generally used for consumption and the excess is taken to the village of Mollepata and to the Limatambo market during the raising of equines for transport tasks.
Soraypampa as part of the Mollepata – Abra Salkantay – Santa Teresa highway has become a great tourist area. The current road that reaches this place has made Soraypampa in several aspects, the starting point to Machu Picchu, starting the walk from this area, however, it is also possible to see groups of tourists starting the walk from Mollepata to walk approximately 7 hours before arriving Soraypampa. Within the tourist programs that Soraypampa offers we have the Humantay and Salkantay lagoons that are formed when the glaciers melt. Glaciers are also good natural resources that become tourist attractions. Elsewhere, from Abra Salkantay, there are evidences of the 4 day Inca Trail Tour, walls and stairs of great interest to the visitor who loves archaeological tourism, eco and adventure. The Salkantay Trek 5 days / 4 nights is a natural resource that drives mystical tourism.
The weather in Soraypampa is very varied, as it winds through very different terrain at different altitudes. The only place where the weather is a serious concern is Salkantay Pass and nearby areas. Weather in Soraypampa camp may drop below freezing. The other camps are much warmer, due to their proximity to the cloud forest.
From October to March the rainy season occurs. During those months, the days are sunny (19 â„ƒ) and the nights are not so cold (4 â„ƒ) but the frequency of rains increases considerably.
From April to September is the dry season. During those months, the days in Salkantay have a stable climate (18 â„ƒ), but the nights have their lowest temperatures in the year (-10 â„ƒ).
The passage of the ‘Abra Salkantay’ is the section where the cold is much more intense at night; The climate in the Abra can reach -10 â„ƒ.
In the rest of the sections of the walk the climate changes to a tropical environment; as for example in the section towards the town of Aguas Calientes the daytime temperature reaches 26 â„ƒ and at night 12 â„ƒ.
From the city of Cusco to Soraypampa by bus takes about three hours. Depending on your level of fitness and acclimatization, the mountain lasts from one to one and a half hours, not including stops. Most people make arrangements with tour groups in Cusco. Tours generally depart early in the morning from Cusco to Soraypampa by bus and offer breakfast and lunch, making the trip a full-day commitment. Restrooms are accessible at the trailhead, at a restaurant approximately 0.5 miles and, for a fee, before the main climb.
In order to get to this natural wonder you will have to take a car from Cusco to Mollepata, at the Arcopata bus terminal (S / 15.00) for the time of 1 hour and 40 min. Arrived in Mollepata you will have to find a place where you can have breakfast (S / 5.00). After breakfast you have to hire the services of a taxi driver to take you to Soraypampa, the taxi will charge you approximately S / 70.00 and if by chance there are more people who want to go, less will come out. Then you will have to pay the entrance or entrance to Humantay Lake (S / 10.00).
After you arrive in Soraypampa you will have to walk for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the Humantay Lagoon (if you do not want to walk you can rent a horse), the first 30 minutes of walking is semi-flat and the rest is already difficult. up.
You have to consider that you probably will not find mobility to return so I recommend you agree with the taxi driver to wait for you or come to pick you up, there your skills to negotiate prices already come in. If you do not find mobility, there are accommodations that range from 20 to 40 soles, there are also camping areas (bring your tent) where you can stay. If you plan to camp make sure you are very warm since it is very cold at night.
The tour from Soraypampa to Humantay Lake starts in the morning at 4:00 to 4:30 a.m., we will pick you up at your hotel in Cusco and we will begin the trip in tourist transport, we will head northeast of the city of Cusco. On the way we will pass through different towns and hamlets to the town of Limatambo, from this point we will ascend to the town of Mollepata. Place where we will have our breakfast, then we will continue our trip to Soraypampa.
Arriving at Soraypampa, we will begin our trek to Humantay Lake. The walk lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes approx., Arrived at the Humantay Lagoon we will be able to appreciate the beautiful landscape and the imposing view of the Nevado Humantay and Salkantay, after a short rest and taking the photos we will return by the same route to Soraypampa, we will take our mobility and we will return to Mollepata, in this place we will enjoy a delicious lunch, then we will return to the city of Cusco arriving 6:00 pm approx.
The service includes:
Other tours that we recommend are the Classic Inca Trail 4 days / 3 nights or the Choquequirao Tour 4 days / 3 nights.