Quiñota to Abancay

Quiñota – Haquira – Progreso – Chuquibambilla – Lambrama – Abancay

A pleasant route in Apurimac on quiet, though used, ripio roads. This route goes through more populated areas than most of the Peruvian routes described on this website and there are conveniently placed villages and towns along the road meaning you can stay in an hospedaje every night if desired. The road crosses many valleys so there is a good deal of climbing to do, with three 4,000m passes to cross. The gradients aren’t steep though and the surface is good almost all the time. As these roads are in areas that used to be the heartland of the Sendero Luminoso local residents are not used to seeing many foreigners and as a result are extremely friendly.

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Total dist. Stage dist. Description
0km Quiñota (3,540m). Small town with internet, accommodation, shops, restaurants.
10.8km Leave Quiñota on the road to Haquira. Gentle climb on an excellent surface to the pass. Nice views.
10.8km Abra Acopunco (4,042m – GPS01).
27.7km Beautiful descent for 9.8kms to the village of Llac-Hua (3,540m). Further 5.8km descent to the river and Puente Calicanto (3,190m). Nice gentle 12.1km climb to Haquira. Surface all good.
38.5km Haquira (3,700m). Small town with internet, accommodation, shops, restaurants. Impressive colonial ‘rock jail’ and beautiful old church in the plaza.
7.0km Leave Haquira on the road to Progreso. Gentle climb on excellent surface to the pass.
45.5km Abra Huancacalla (3,980m – GPS02).
13.3km Descend to Challhuahuacho. There was lots of road work going on when we passed so the surface was bad but this will probably change, as will the distance as we had to take lots of desvios.
58.8km Challhuahuacho (3,730m). Large village with shops, restaurants (and maybe accommodation – we didn’t ask).
30.1km Continue through Challhua on the road to Progreso. Slow climb with the odd descent. Pass through a small village after 15.1kms, then get to the start of zigzags after a further 10.3kms. Climb gently for 4.7kms more to the pass. Surface mostly good.
88.9km Abra Progreso (4,452m – GPS03).
13.0km Descend to Progreso. Very good surface.
101.9km Junction at start of Progreso (3,890m). Go R for town (accommodation, restaurants, good internet, shops) or L over a small bridge to continue to Chuquibambilla.
25.2km Mostly descent for 17.9kms to the village of Casanca. Then a further 7.3kms of beautiful descent into a quebrada.
127.1km Cross the Rio Taramayo on a bridge (3,320m).
10.9km Gentle climb for 7.1kms to the village of Curasco (shops, restaurant), then climb 3.8kms more to a pass. Road deteriorates after Curasco, but is still not too bad.
138.0km Abra Curasco (3,740m – GPS04).
25.5km Quite flat for 8.1kms, then begin proper descent on a bumpy road. 4.2kms after beginning to descend, pass through the village of Ayrihuanca (3,530m, and which later on TV we saw has a famous old church), then descend on switchbacks for 13.2kms to Vilcabamba. Still bumpy but not too bad a surface.
163.5km Vilcabamba (2,770m). Village with shops, accommodation and restaurants.
17.0km Reasonably gentle climb up river valley to Chuquibambilla.
180.5km Chuquibambilla (3,360m). Town with internet, shops, accommodation and restaurants.
28.0km Climb through town then continue up up up. Gentle gradients, surface ok. Pass a small reservoir at 4,550m, just before the zigzags begin.
208.5km Abra Llullita (4,658m – GPS05).
38.7km Descend 50m by a lake, then climb up to nearly the same height as the pass, 3.1kms from the pass. Then all descent to Lambrama.
247.2km Lambrama (3,145m). Large village with accommodation, restaurants, shops, internet.
37.7km All descent to main road, apart from a 100m climb as you near the tarmac.
284.9km Join main Nazca-Abancay highway (1,810m – GPS06). Go R for Abancay. (If coming from Abancay, the turn-off is just after a petrol station, and is signposted ‘Grau’).
16.3km Descend to 1,750m then an easy and uninteresting 675m climb to Abancay.
301.2km Abancay (2,420m). City with all facilities.
Time taken – 4 days and amount climbed – 5,520m 4 hours: Quiñota – Haquira (950m climb).
6 hours: Haquira – Progreso (1,100m climb).
7 hours: Progreso – Chuquibambilla (1,270m climb).
6 hours: Chuquibambilla – Lambrama (1,370m climb).
4 hours: Lambrama – Abancay (830m climb).
Traffic A few an hour from Quiñota to Progreso. A little more from there to Chuquibambilla, Lambrama and the paving. Lots on the main highway.
When we cycled Early November 2010.
Difficulty 3
How much we had to push on this route Not at all

GPS Point Description Lat/Long/Altitude
GPS01 Abra Acopunco 14.2617 S, 72.1352 W, 4,042m.
GPS02 Abra Huancacalla 14.1807 S, 72.2099 W, 3,980m.
GPS03 Abra Progreso 14.1173 S, 72.4362 W, 4,452m.
GPS04 Abra Curasco 14.0723 S, 72.5774 W, 3,740m.
GPS05 Abra Llullita 14.0086 S, 72.7982 W, 4,658m.
GPS06 Join paved highway 13.6885 S, 72.9146 W, 1,810m.

View Quiñota – Abancay in a larger map
Nearby routes:        Caylloma to Quiñota                 Abancay to Cotahuasi

2 Responses to “Quiñota to Abancay”

  1. Marion and Virgilew 08/09/2014 at 21:40 # Reply

    We’ve cycled this road one week ago and the following section are now paved :
    -Quiñota to Chuquibambilla
    – Challhuahuacho to Quiñota

    Challhuahuacho has changed a lot and in few years since there is huge investment from a mine company in this town. It’s now a town with all the facility, and a big market on sunday.

    This road remain nice and with few trafic.
    Enjoy your ride !

    • Alberto and Lucy 24/10/2014 at 15:52 # Reply


      We rode this route (N to S) in September-October 2014. A great, pretty quiet but not too challenging route, a good option if you have no need to go into Cusco. A few more updates to add:

      – Marion and Virgile above mean that the road is paved from the turnoff with the Abancay-Nazca road to Chuquibambilla, and then Chalhuahuacho to Quiñota. Actually for us there were roadworks after Chalhua (going N to S) so the paving started about 10km after Chalhua, that is to say, to the South of Chalhua.
      – If, like us, you are coming from Andahuaylas/the 3S you need to turn towards Abancay (L) when you reach the junction with the Abancay-Nazca road, and then the turnoff signed for Grau is a sharp R after a few kms.

      A couple of extra notes on facilities in towns and villages (going down the route sheet, S to N):
      – village of Llac-Hua: shops, signs for accommodation (we didn’t ask if they were actually in operation)
      – Chalhuahuacho, like Marion and Virgile say, now has all facilities – including at least 1 ATM (there were about three but only one was working when we were there).
      – The small village mentioned 15.1km from Chalhua (we think it’s called Ponccacca) has a shop
      – Ayhriuanca: shops (which will prepare food for you with warning), signs for restaurants (they all seemed shut when we were there), signs for accommodation (didn’t ask if they were in operation)

      Thanks! Ride safe!

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