Departamento de Arequipa, Peru
From the north the gradients on the way to this remote pass are so gentle that you find yourself up at nearly 5,000m almost without realizing you’ve been climbing. The road often isn’t in very good condition though, which makes it a bit more effort than it otherwise would be. Views of Coropuna are excellent and the mountain is a constant companion on the climb and for part of the descent. The 1,700m descent to Viraco is on a real bike-breaker of a surface – very rocky and bumpy, but after that it improves for the long descent to Aplao.
Crossing this pass in the opposite direction would be extremely hard work, especially if you were not acclimatized beforehand. To get from Aplao to the pass involves struggling up a climb of nearly 5 vertical kilometres.
|Name of Pass||Abra Viraco|
|Where||Between junction with Cotahuasi/Chuquibamba road (37kms) and Viraco (40kms)|
|GPS Co-ords||15.5396 S, 72.4911 W|
|Amount climbed||720m (all on ripio) from junction on Cotahuasi/Chuquibamba road, in 4 ½ hours|
View Abra Viraco – 4,940m in a larger map