The Apurimac region is little explored. The capital of Abancay (population: 100,000, Altitude: 2378 meters) has little to offer other than a rest in between the trip from Cuzco and Ayacucho and a base for excursions into the surrounding countryside. Santuario Nacional Ampay, home to Ampay mountain (5228 meters) and excellent birding and camping is 10 km to the northwest of town. Also, treks to Choquequirao, river rafting, biking, and numerous other outdoor adventures can be arranged. The town has also become, in recent years, notorious for narco-trafficking. So be cautious.
Getting To Abancay
By Bus There is a brand new terminal at the south end of town (2km from the center). All companies now have their offices there. To Andahuaylas (5 hours); Cuzco (187 km, 5 hours); Lima via Nazca (18-20 hours). For Ayacucho it is best to change buses in Andahuaylas.
Hotels in Abancay
- Gran Hotel – Arenas 196, 321-144. Some rooms with private hot water baths, some with TVs. Old and worn, but does the job.
- Hostal El Dorado – Arenas 131, 322-005. Some rooms with private hot water baths and TVs. Nothing to email home to mom about.
- Hoteles y Turismo Abancay – Barcenas 500, 321-017. www.apu-rimak.com/hoturs/index.html. Rooms have wood floors and country style furnishings, cable, and private hot water baths. Suites have Jacuzzis. First level rooms are slightly more expensive. Nice gardens and a large conference area. Includes continental breakfast. Also a restaurant, bar, and Internet access.
- El Encanto de Oro – Arenas 120, 322-525. Bright, clean, rooms have private baths with hot water, cable, and telephones. Also, a location in Andahuaylas.
Where to Eat in Abancay
- Restaurant La Delicia -Barcenas 216. Large mostly vegetarian menu. One of the best places in town with a huge menu featuring hundreds of combinations. Meat dishes too.
- La Leña – In the small plaza near the market, has parrilladas, chicken, and a nice bar. Rustic, Texas like saloon atmosphere.
- Cebicheria Boulevard – At the small park with statue of the Indian woman in broken chains. Patio tables that afford nice views of what Abancay has to offer. You can decide for yourself what exactly that is.
- Café Volga – Barceneras 102. Pizzas, omelets, ice cream, tequeños. Small but modern.
- Restauarant Vegetereano – Barceneras 213. Small café with sandwiches, juices, and natural food products.
- Chifa Shanghai – Arenas 198. Popular chifa with a McDonald’s like atmosphere. Recommended.
Tour Companies in Abancay
- Apu-rimak Tours and Travel – Sousa and Apurimac. This region is one of the most scenic and under explored in Peru. In Abancay, this is the only tour company. Arranges river rafting in Pachachaca, treks to Choquequirao (anywhere from 2-5 days), city tours, scenic trips to Cuzco, horseback riding, mountain biking, and climbing Apu Ampay. Can also arrange volunteer work in Apurimac.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.