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Abancay, Peru - An Easy-Going Town 4hrs From Cusco

Peru travel blog by Mark Berman - August 2011   » View Photoset (41 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
I enjoyed a couple of days in Abancay just walking around the city, it's a nice place and I was lucky to be here during a small festival for the local
Peru Photo - Turquoise river waters and rocky hills between Abancay and Cusco.
Turquoise river waters and rocky hills between Abancay and Cusco.
college. Abancay is known as the "valley of the white lilies" by the indigenous Quechua community. To me, Abancay felt and looked similar to Caraz, a place I had visited a few weeks earlier. I had arrived in Abancay by minivan, a 4hr ride from Andahuaylas, although the road is unsealed, it had been a comfortable and scenic trip in the mountains through small communities and alongside the river towards the end as we neared Abancay.

Plaza Micaela Bastidas

I found a hotel in the center of town near Plaza Micaela Bastidas, there is a monument to her and a water feature. She lived from 1745-1781 and was an important figure in the fight for independence, she was born in Abancay. The plaza also has a pair of colorful murals, flower gardens and is near shops including a couple of small supermarkets. A 5 minute walk away is the main plaza, the Plaza de Armas.

Plaza de Armas and Cathedral

The Plaza de Armas is a beautiful square with tall palm trees for shade and gardens.
Peru Photo - An open kiosk for sitting in the center of Plaza de Armas in Abancay.
An open kiosk for sitting in the center of Plaza de Armas in Abancay.
There is an open kiosk feature in the middle where you can sit. Standing prominently on one side of the plaza is the big mustard yellow colored cathedral - Parroquia "El Sagrario". On the lower side of the plaza is another mural showing various stories of the local indigenous people.

Centenario Park

Down from the Plaza de Armas is a park - Parque Centenario, the mountains behind it make a nice backdrop. The park has a few trees, plenty of seating and a small bunch of white naked statues representing the seasons, verano - summer, otono - autumn. Near Plaza Micaela Bastidas where I had begun, I found a small church - Velatorio Virgen del Carmen.
Peru Photo - Brown hill with crop fields between Andahuaylas and Abancay.
Brown hill with crop fields between Andahuaylas and Abancay.
One of Abancays famous local dishes is stuffed guinea pig, known of as 'cuy relleno'. Here is the Abancay government website for tourism, it's in Spanish.

Parks with Monuments

From here I walked for a while along Lima Street and found another park - Parque Santa Rosa, a small park with a shrine-type monument. I sat down for a while and chatted to a man sitting beside me. Across the road outside the police station is a monument to Mariano Santos Mateos, a national hero from various wars. I had seen another park up the road from the bus terminal from the day before and went to find it. It has a monument to Jose Carlos Mariategui (1894-1930), a writer and journalist, his most important work is "Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality". I am unsure of his connection to Abancay. I walked towards the markets - Mercado de las Americas. I came to another park with a monument to Andres Avelino Caceres (1836-1923), 3 times a former President
Peru Photo - Church Velatorio Virgen del Carmen in Abancay.
Church Velatorio Virgen del Carmen in Abancay.
of Peru. Heading back towards the central city, another park and monument to military hero Francisco Bolognesi Cervantes (1816-1880).

Around Abancay

Other attractions in and around Abancay include the arqueological site of Saywite - 45mins from Abancay by bus, Ampay Sanctuary - 15mins, Pachachaca Bridge - 16kms from the city and Tarmburco where Micaela Bastidas was born. Adventure sports such as canoeing and river rafting can also be arranged.

Bus 4hrs 15mins to Cusco

That afternoon and night in and around Plaza Micaela Bastidas were street parades, bands, dancing and fireworks. From Abancay I headed for my third time to Cusco, 4hrs 15mins by bus in the mountains, beside the river and through nice countryside.

     

View all photos in the Abancay Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Abancay (Peru) to:


Map location: Abancay, Peru. An easy-going town just over 4hrs from Cusco in the mountains, a nice place to stop for a night or two to break the journey!
 A : Andahuaylas - Peru 53 kms 53 kms straight distance | 2hrs 52mins 2hrs 52mins by car (146 kms) | 3hrs 26mins 3hrs 26mins by bus (146 kms) (146 kms)
 B : Cusco - Peru 97 kms 97 kms straight distance | 4hrs 4mins 4hrs 4mins by car (188 kms) | 4hrs 52mins 4hrs 52mins by bus (188 kms) (188 kms)
 C : Ayacucho - Peru 154 kms 154 kms straight distance | 7hrs 40mins 7hrs 40mins by car (386 kms) | 9hrs 12mins 9hrs 12mins by bus (386 kms) (386 kms)
 D : Nazca - Peru 258 kms 258 kms straight distance | 8hrs 3mins 8hrs 3mins by car (466 kms) | 9hrs 39mins 9hrs 39mins by bus (466 kms) (466 kms)
 E : Arequipa - Peru 339 kms 339 kms straight distance | 10hrs 10hrs by car (562 kms) | 12hrs 12hrs by bus (562 kms) (562 kms)
 F : Puno / Juliaca - Peru 394 kms 394 kms straight distance | 10hrs 3mins 10hrs 3mins by car (573 kms) | 12hrs 3mins 12hrs 3mins by bus (573 kms) (573 kms)
 G : Huacachina / Ica - Peru 314 kms 314 kms straight distance | 10hrs 17mins 10hrs 17mins by car (610 kms) | 12hrs 20mins 12hrs 20mins by bus (610 kms) (610 kms)
 H : Nazca to Pisco - Peru 334 kms 334 kms straight distance | 11hrs 10mins 11hrs 10mins by car (652 kms) | 13hrs 24mins 13hrs 24mins by bus (652 kms) (652 kms)
 I : Camana - Peru 332 kms 332 kms straight distance | 11hrs 11hrs by car (658 kms) | 13hrs 12mins 13hrs 12mins by bus (658 kms) (658 kms)
 J : Huancayo - Peru 308 kms 308 kms straight distance | 13hrs 13mins 13hrs 13mins by car (661 kms) | 15hrs 51mins 15hrs 51mins by bus (661 kms) (661 kms)
 K : Pisco, Islas Ballestas & Paracas - Peru 358 kms 358 kms straight distance | 11hrs 22mins 11hrs 22mins by car (686 kms) | 13hrs 38mins 13hrs 38mins by bus (686 kms) (686 kms)
 L : Chiclayo to Piura - Peru 351 kms 351 kms straight distance | 11hrs 51mins 11hrs 51mins by car (713 kms) | 14hrs 13mins 14hrs 13mins by bus (713 kms) (713 kms)
 M : Moquegua to Desaguadero - Peru 446 kms 446 kms straight distance | 12hrs 44mins 12hrs 44mins by car (775 kms) | 15hrs 16mins 15hrs 16mins by bus (775 kms) (775 kms)
 N : Lima - Peru 485 kms 485 kms straight distance | 14hrs 34mins 14hrs 34mins by car (915 kms) | 17hrs 28mins 17hrs 28mins by bus (915 kms) (915 kms)
 O : Machu Picchu - Peru 64 kms 64 kms straight distance
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Abancay, Peru:

Hospedaje Misti, Abancay, Peru - Large Photo
Hospedaje Misti, Abancay, Peru (August 2011 - 2 nights) - One of the better priced places in Abancay that I found in the center. Wooden floors and a nice room with tv and private bathroom. Close to shops, plazas and supermarkets. Nice staff. Recommended.

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