Peru travel blog by Mark Berman -
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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
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.
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.
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.
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
of Peru. Heading back towards the central city, another park and monument to military hero Francisco Bolognesi Cervantes (1816-1880).
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.