Thanks to Salva Rodriguez for the information on this route. Tales from a decade long round the world cycle can be found at his Un Viaje de Cuento website.
Water is only scarce between Orcopampa and Abra Ares, and supplies can be bought every couple of days.
|Dist (km)||Altitude (m)||Decription|
|0||2710||Cotahuasi. Accommodation, restaurants, shops, no ATM. Climb to pass – camping is tricky.|
|43||4700||Abra de Viscos.|
|62||4310||L to Viraco and Orcopampa. Straight is the main way to Chuquibamba. There are good camp spots on the pampa that lies to the N of Coropuna, including by streams after the small settlement of Mauco Llacta.|
|96||4860||Junction. Go L for Orcopampa. (R goes to Abra Viraco and Aplao.) Descend on rocky surface to a large river. After the switchbacks on the descent, there is a small pampa with houses, by a small river. After this there is nowhere to camp for an hour or so of riding. The route follows a large river to Orcopampa – this comes straight from a gold mine, so it’s not recommended for drinking.|
|149||3800||Orcopampa. Accommodation (the community hostel is best), restaurants, shops. Leaving town on road to Caylloma, it is flat and good for 10km, then comes a steep, corrugated and sandy climb. Plenty of mine traffic. Climb to ~4750m before descending slightly and climbing again, on corrugations, to the junction with the Caylloma – Arcata road. From Orcopampa to Abra Ares water is scarce, and the small rivers which are in this area may have no water in dry season.|
|~185||4760||Join Caylloma-Arcata road.|
|208||4600||Tolconi, small village with accommodation and shops.|
|255||4350||Caylloma – village with accommodation, restaurants, shops. Take ‘main’ route to Espinar, via Abra Bajada and Suykutambo (rather than the alternative route via Abra Achallaque). From Caylloma, descend on a slightly corrugated and stony surface, to a messy river crossing. The first 5km of climbing to Abra Bajada is tough, but then the surface becomes good for the rest of the climb.|
|~280||4500||Abra Bajada. Surface is still quite good on the descent, then becomes excellent after the village of Suykutambo.|
|Distance (of which paved)||331km (15km)|
|Time taken||6 days (2 1/2 Cotahuasi – Orcopampa, 2 Orcopampa – Caylloma, 1 1/2 Caylloma – Espinar)|
|Best time to cycle||May – September|
|When this information is from||September 2013|