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Abancay

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Abancay is in the department of Apurimac, Peru in a valley over the Pachachaca river. The population is 58,000, and with an altitude of 2,378 m.

Abancay is part of Peru's Southern Sierra.

Understand[edit]

The Tourist Office is now (2014) in a place where no one will find it unless they know; there are no signs on the street but you will find it inside the Universidad Unamba at the far end of Avenida Las Arenas just past the little park called Plaza Micaela Bastidas which is opposite the tall Saywa Hotel; hours, M-F until about 4 pm, closed weekends. You can also get good information and better maps at the Tourist Office in the Main Bus Station. If you are looking for guided tours and information in English you should visit Pachacamac Tours in Jr. Cusco Nr. 425 two blocks uphill from the Plaza de Armas.

Get in[edit]

All buses on the Lima-Nazca-Cuzco line pass through Abancay. You can choose between many different bus companies, that you'll all find at the 'Terminal Terrestre' The road is well paved.

There are daily buses from and to Andahuaylas, one of the closest airports . This journey takes 3 and a half to 4 hours on an semipaved road. Another airport is in Cusco, a 4 and a half to 5 hour drive on a bus or a 3 and a half to 4 hour drive in a "colectivo" (taxi car)

Get around[edit]

Distances are short, so walking is your best options for getting around. If you need a taxi, don't pay more than 3 Soles (0,80 US$) in the city.

See[edit][add listing]

  • AMPAY (mountain and tree species) protected area (sanctuary). Taxi from city to Ampay's entrance (Entrada de Ampay) costs about 15 soles. From there you can reach Angasqocha laguna in 1.5-2 hours walking. On the way back from Ampay, you can walk back to the city, it takes about 2-3 hours and is quite scenic when going through the village-like outskirts. Watch out for dogs, though most of them are fine.
  • Hacienda Illanya Small museum for a free afternoon. Entrance is free. You can get there with combi bus lines 1 or 2 for 1.5 soles. Combis run every 10 minutes. The combi takes you right to the hacienda (the last stop). Closed on weekends, but still worth the 15 min trip for the scenery on a sunny day.
  • Mirador Taraccasa Nice viewpoint. There are two possible hikes up there: one along the street to Cusco, another starting at the east end of the city (Av Condebamba) along lots of farms. Each one is about 2 hours to walk. You can also take combi #4 (1.5 soles) in the city center along Av. Bàrcenas(e.g.,at Av. Nuñez in front of the 'Corte Suprema'). It will take you right to the entrance of the park which has a small zoo as well as the mirador (lookout). Entrance to the park costs s/0.5. You might have to walk out to the main gate to catch the combi back. Combis run every 10 minutes.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Swimming in natural water pool
  • Cock fights
  • Take a hike. Mountains (foothills) rise abruptly from the North and South end of town, allowing you to be in a beautiful setting with stunning views very quickly. From the center of town, walk downhill and cross the river. Head for the radio tower up on the hill (south). From here, a large wide trail that's cut into the side of the mountains proceeds west along the side of the folded ridges. A lovely walk that goes on for miles. Nice at sunset. Bring a flashlight in case it gets dark as you're coming back - it's a steep drop-off the side of the trail.  edit
  • Another possibility for hiking is to visit the Lagunas Angasqocha and Usphaqocha (grand, upper) The start of the hike is just a few minutes by car away.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Avenida Arenas, which turns into Arequipa, is the main drag through town. You can find all manner of restaurants and bars along this strip. Also a market for picking up fruits and vegetables. There are also a couple of supermarkets along this street. Paralleling this street one block further uphill is another avenue with a fair amount of shops and restaurants, including a vegetarian one. Also on the streets, try anticucho de corazon (beef heart skewer)grilled on the spot by street vendors: a tender and delicious local meat specialty; makes a great snack.

  • Chifa Gran Muralla, Av. Arenas, 179. noon-23. Good Chinese food. Standard menu items come with chicken soup and each dish has either fried rice (chaufa) or noodles (tallerin) for a low price. It is worth the extra cost to order "a la carta": the food is more authentic; e.g., shrimp with garlic sauce (two dozen medium shrimp and Chinese vegetables, $5). You can order a side order of white or fried rice ($1). You can ask the hostess for special requests or substitutions. Popular and crowded but fast service. s/10-20.  edit
  • Chifa Zhong Mi, Av. Diaz Bàrcenas, 219, 32.31.94. 11-22:30. Good Chinese food, especially if you order "a la carta"; e.g., shrimp with vegetables (s/17) a dozen large shrimp and Chinese vegetables in a delicious brown sauce; you can order white rice (s/3)or chaufa (fried rice)to go with it. Very popular, often crowded, but very fast service. s/8-20.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Turistas (old hacienda) Av. Bàrcenas, near Av. Arica. Splurge with hot water and dining-room. Prices start at s/100 (Jan 2014) for a single room with private bath and WIFI.
  • Hotel Paraiso, across from the bus terminal. 30 soles for a single with bano privado. Nice place, television, but lacked hot water despite the claims.
  • Saywa Hotel, 302 Av. Arenas, (083) 32-4876, [1]. A good value for the price. Some rooms are very basic with no view. Real, strong hot water showers, cable TV, and a fast connection of WiFi. Rooms on the front have fantastic views overlooking the park and mountains behind. Price includes breakfast. Price for a single room is normally 60 Soles per night (Jan 2014), but can be talked down.  edit
  • Kavaxio Hotel, 302 Av. Diaz Barcenas 1112 (near Parce El Olivo). Very comfortable and big rooms, with TV and Internet, but quite expensive. (75soles for a double room with own bath) The single room with shared bath is cheaper, but the shared bathroom includes no hot water!  edit
  • Hotel El Dorado, Av. Las Arenas,131c (Right next to the tall Hotel Saywa), 083-32.20.05. checkin: anytime; checkout: noon. Good and safe. Do not be put off by the unpretentious entrance; this is a large two-storey hotel with rooms in the back arranged around a lovely garden. Rooms of equal quality to the slightly more expensive Saywa hotel next door. Some rooms have views of the mountains. Strong WIFI in most rooms; modem located in the lobby and just above the garden. (2014) s/50 for one or two people(double bed) with private bath, small cable TV, very hot water. Upgraded double with large flat-screen TV, s/70. Lower rates for longer stays. s/50-90.  edit
  • Grand Hotel, Arenas. nice big hotel with reliable Wifi, hot water, clean rooms and good TVs. Rooms are 40 Soles for a double with shared bathroom and 50 Soles with private bathroom.  edit


Get out[edit]

You can visit the Canyon of Apurimac (Cañon de Apurimac) and cross it on a hanging bridge. Take a bus towards Cuzco and exit after ca. 1h at the village of Curuahuasi. Then go to Cachora - you can rent mules,horses and guides (canyon depth approx. 1000 m - one of the deepest in the world)

If you have 3 days, you can climb the canyon at the other side and visit the recently discovered and only 30% excavated ruins of an Inca city (Choquequirao). Guides are easily found via the tourist office in Abancay.

From Abancay to Puquio the bus costs 40 soles and the first one of the day leaves at 12 noon (Palamino). The views and country along this route are great, but it is windy.

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