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


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

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 11yrs!
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 - A community of houses on a hillside on the way to Cusco from Abancay.
A community of houses on a hillside on the way to Cusco from Abancay.
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 - Man plays Mexican guitar in band at Abancay.
Man plays Mexican guitar in band at 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 - Jose Carlos Mariategui wrote the Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality, monument in Abancay.
Jose Carlos Mariategui wrote the Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality, monument in 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 - White man and woman statues in Parque Centenario in Abancay.
White man and woman statues in Parque Centenario 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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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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Abancay, Peru - An Easy-Going Town 4hrs From Cusco. 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!

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