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Abancay

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South America : Peru : Southern Sierra : 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

The Tourist Office is next to the Plaza de Armas.

Get in

All buses on the Lima-Nazca-Cuzco line pass through Abancay. The road is well paved.

There are daily buses from and to Andahuaylas, one of the closest airports . This journey takes 5 to 6 h hours on an unpaved road. The closest 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

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

  • AMPAY (mountain and tree species) protected area (sanctuary)

Do

  • 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.

Eat

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.

Sleep

  • El Dorado, Av. Arenas, good and safe, ca. US$ 5.
  • Hotel Turistas (old hacienda),splurge with hot water and dining-room.
  • Hotel Paraiso, across from the bus terminal. 30 soles for a matrimonial 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. Nice rooms with 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 50 Soles per night, but can be talked down to 40 Soles.

Get out

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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