Espinar to Caylloma

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.

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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. 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
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. 9.0kms to the tiny village of Cucho Capilla. Climb for 9.2kms from Cucho Capilla to a high point at 4,830m. 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.
96.9km Abra Achallaque (4,962m – GPS02).
20.4km Descend 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.
Difficulty 3/4
How much we had to push on this route 2kms (bad surface)

GPS Point Description Lat/Long/Altitude
GPS01 Abra Jachaña 14.8702 S, 71.7970 W, 4,702m.
GPS02 Abra Achallaque 15.0683 S, 71.7978 W, 4,962m.

View Espinar – Caylloma in a larger map
Nearby routes:        Chivay to Espinar                 Caylloma to Quiñota

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