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Rainbow Mountain or Humantay Lake – Which one to visit?

Humantay Lake vs Rainbow Mountain

Cusco is becoming ever more popular with tourists due to the fantastic landscapes and many exciting places. When people think of the area, they often think of Inca ruins and archaeological sites, like the world-famous Machu Picchu. However, there are a lot of other exciting places to visit, too. like the Humantay lake and the Rainbow Mountain

Filling in your itinerary with day trips is a great way to visit as many places as possible. If you’re short on time, you might need help deciding on just one or two in particular. Well, we’re here to make that choice a little easier.

Humantay Lake and Rainbow Mountain are two of the hottest destinations and are on many wish lists. To help you decide which one you should visit, we’ve compared them in this article to see which best suits your personal preferences.

Differences of this hikes

Humantay Lake Hike

Rainbow Mountain Hike

Day trip

Day trip

Entrance fee 10 soles (3 USD)

Entrance fee 10 soles (3 USD)

Hike duration 1 hour up and 40 minutes down.

Hike duration 2 hours up and 1 hour down.

Altitude: 4200 m (13,900 ft)

Altitude: 5200 m (17,000 ft)

Amazing views of Salkantay and the Humantay Lake and the Peruvian Andes

Amazing views of Rainbow Mountain, Red Valley (Palccoyo), Ausangate Mountain, and The Peruvian Andes

Difficulty: Moderate

Difficulty: Moderate – Hard

Distance from Cusco: 3 hours and 26 minutes in a car.

Distance from Cusco: 3 hours and 28 minutes in a car.

Humantay Lake:

Resting at about 4300 m and situated on the edge of the Humantay glacier, Humantay Lagoon is simply breathtaking. Especially the green and blue tones of this glacial lake are merely fascinating. Sometimes you are rewarded with a completely different landscape when you venture to another point of view of the chosen place.

We identify the pros and cons of the type of service tourists take because this determines most of the time if your experience visiting Lake Humantay will be the best or not.

humantay lake day tour

The pros of Humantay Lake:

  • If you go in a private group, you will have time to take the best pictures and spend more time seeing and exploring the incredible landscape in the Andes, of course with the help of a professional guide to avoid any accidents.
  • You’re likely to see condors.
  • The road is shorter than Rainbow Mountain.
  • The height (13,900 ft) is lower than Rainbow Mountain (17,000 ft).
  • The route is more accessible.

The cons of Humantay Lake:

  • On the side, if you take the tour on the shared service, you won’t have much time to take pictures or explore your surroundings because you will have to base yourself on the program and schedules of the group.
  • You can rent horses, but they only take you part of the way.
  • There is no signposted path to the lagoon.

Tours to Humantay Lake:

Here we show you the best tours to the Humantay lagoon and its alternatives.

Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain:

The Mountain of 7 colors, also known as Rainbow Mountain, Colorado Mountain, Vinicunca Mountain, or Winicunca Mountain, is located in Cusco and is the second preferred destination after Machu Picchu for every traveler wants to know. The 7-color mountain is well known for its different colors and beautiful landscapes and its impressive view of the Red Valley.

The trek to the Mountain of 7 colors is more complicated than 2 hours and requires good physical condition, but every effort is worth it. However, there is another way, much shorter and less walking. Everything will depend on the travel agency you hire and the excellent condition of the road.

Rainbow Mountain Tour

The pros of Rainbow Mountain:

  • There’s a short route
  • There are daily departures
  • There are horses you can rent for a large part of the way.
  • Like Laguna Humantay, the private service is the best option, as you will have more freedom to walk at your own pace and take pictures from different angles.

The cons of Rainbow Mountain:

  • It’s very cold,
  • There’s a lot of wind
  • It is higher than the Humantay lake, making it difficult to walk.
  • If you take the shared service, you will have to take the rhythm of the others, and you will not be able to take your time to walk or enjoy if you want to stay a little.

Tours to Rainbow Mountain:

Here we show you the best tours to Rainbow Mountain and its alternatives.

Which one to choose: Humantay Lake or Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain?

  • Both tourist destinations need walking.
  • Both have beautiful landscapes and magical colors.
  • Regarding visits: Humantay Lagoon has few daily visitors, and 7 Colors Mountain has a more significant number of daily visitors.
  • Both tourist destinations are more than 4,000 meters above sea level.

The Humantay Lagoon and Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain are two very magical tourist destinations, but for me, without a doubt, I prefer the Humantay Lagoon, and which one would you choose? Leave us your comment below.

About the author

Travel agency for travelers looking for adventure, tradition, culture, good food and everything in PERU.

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