Espinar/Yauri – Tahuapalca – Jachaña – Abra Achallaque – Caylloma
The main road from Espinar to Caylloma through the Tres Cañones is beautiful and would be well worth cycling, however the route described here is a smaller route we cycled via Jachaña. This route is not marked on any maps we found, maybe because for 30kms on the way to Jachaña the road deteriorates to such an extent that it is not possible for 4 wheeled vehicles to follow it. Motorbikes can however, and it is possible by cycle with a bit of pushing on the sections where the surface is worst.
After Jachaña the road is being improved and maybe in a few years the climb to the 4,962m Abra Achallaque and the lovely descent down a valley to Caylloma will be used by more traffic.
|Total dist.||Stage dist.||Description|
|0km||Espinar (3,950m). Town with facilities, including accommodation and ATM.|
|18.2km||Leave Espinar via ‘7 Esquinas’ on Calle Caylloma. Flat for 16.7kms to the village of Machupuente where there is a colonial bridge over the Apurimac. Cross the new bridge and turn L. In 1.5kms come to a junction.|
|18.2km||Junction (3,990m). Straight for main road to Suykutambo and Caylloma, we went R to Tarcuyoc.|
|22.2km||Pass through Tarcuyoc then stick to the main road up valley which goes through some small settlements.|
|40.4km||Tahuapalca (4,140m). Small village with friendly residents. Ask the way to Jachaña.|
|15.8km||Go through Tahuapalca and 0.2kms from the main square turn R (signposted Jachaña and Vicuñas) and begin climbing on motorbike tracks. These used to be a 4×4 track but now it’s in such bad condition that 4-wheeled vehicles can’t use it. Surface is often bad, track is often steep for the first 3kms before flattening off. At a junction on a left-hand bend 6.5kms from Tahuapalca stay L on the motorbike tracks. Stick to the main track after this.|
|56.2km||Abra Jachaña (4,702m – GPS01). Pass marked by a derelict building and a big pile of stones.|
|13.5km||Stick to the main tracks (don’t go L) just after the pass, and descend into a bowl. There are a few (inhabited?) buildings around. Cross a small stream then climb again to a high point overlooking Jachaña. Descend to the river (4,480m) by Jachaña then join the main road (turn L) 1.5kms before Jachaña. Surface much better than on motorbike tracks.|
|69.7km||Jachaña (4,500m). Village with shops. The main road heading N goes to Callera (?) and Santo Tomas, going S goes to Caylloma.|
|27.2km||Go through Jachaña towards Caylloma. Road isn’t very good and there are some streams to push through on the 9.0kms to the tiny village of Cucho Capilla. Climb for 9.2kms from Cucho Capilla to a high point at 4,830m. The road improves at about 4,700m and is then fine all the way to Caylloma. Descend from the high point towards a lake, then begin climbing again. Go through an inhabited settlement at 4,800m on the way to the pass. There are a few short, steep sections, but mostly not too difficult a climb.|
|96.9km||Abra Achallaque (4,962m – GPS02).|
|20.4km||Great descent to Caylloma – first on switchbacks, then following a valley. Lots of roadwork was being carried out on both sides of the pass to widen the road, so this may become a more major route in future.|
|117.3km||Caylloma (4,350m). Large village with accommodation options, restaurants and shops.|
|Time taken – 2 days and amount climbed – 1,860m||4 hours: Espinar – Tahuapalca (450m climb).
4 hours: Tahuapalca – Jachaña (710m climb).
5 hours: Jachaña – Caylloma (700m climb).
|Traffic||Some until turn-off to Tarcuyoc. Little from there to Tahuapalca. Nothing from Tahuapalca to Jachaña. A couple of vehicles an hour from Jachaña to Caylloma.|
|When we cycled||Mid October 2010.|
|How much we had to push on this route||2kms (bad surface)|
|GPS01||Abra Jachaña||14.8702 S, 71.7970 W, 4,702m.|
|GPS02||Abra Achallaque||15.0683 S, 71.7978 W, 4,962m.|
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