Puquio, Peru


Route Abancay, Peru – Puquio, Peru (3S)
Distance 308Km
Travel Time 7hours
Road Conditions Great tarmack, Tarantulas crossing
Weather Good, cold with drizzle & hail on high pass
Terrain Gorgeous river gorge, high mountain pass
Food and Petrol Abancay, Chalhuanca, Puquio
Accommodation Hostal Los Andes, Puquio

The road from Abancay to Puquio is… Godly. Can’t find a better way to describe it.


The road descends from Abancay and passes by a few pretty villages. It follows a river through a tall gorge with vertical cliffs, the rocks hues of green, red, grey and brown. The base of the gorge is full of life. You can feel it, you can smell it, you can see it.


Tarantulas cross the road frequently. There are wasps flying around in there which must come from prehistory, because they’re about the size of a grown man’s middle finger. The sound of the water and the plants and the wind and the water; the colour of the mountains and the river and the vegetation; you just know this place is extremely special. One of Mother Nature’s safe havens or something.


It doesn’t go on forever of course. As you exit the gorge you can see the zig zag of the road heading steeply up a mountain side ahead of you. This turns out to be a mountain pass easily around 4000m in altitude.



A couple of KTM riders overtake us on our way out of the gorge and we’re wondering where we might catch up with them. The bike doesn’t seem to want to drag us up this hill with any enthusiasm and I notice an uncomfortable clacking sound developing in the engine. Is it tensioner time again? Must be nearing 5000Km since its last change in Sucre, Bolivia.



Outside of Abancay, in the village of Chalhuanca, we happen upon a village bull fight…



People are surprised to see us there but some of them are very keen to strike up a conversation.

Puquio seems a bit frightening at first because on the outskirts it looks run down and out in nowhere. However once we get to the centre it looks better and we see a few signs for places to spend the night, and they don’t look too shabby. Hostal Los Andes is central, has secure parking, has good rooms and at 40PEN per double is inexpensive. Around the plaza area, as you walk downhill, there are a wealth of shops selling any sort of hardware you might seek and a number of small local restaurants too.



Just about three streets down from the plaza we stop into a food place, I think it was called Valeria (there are others around), and try a Caldo de Gallina. This is a large bowl of chicken broth with a boiled egg and vegetables inside. They serve it up with a large dish of like and chopped chives or spring onion on the table so you just squeeze and and chuck that in and it makes for a fantastic meal indeed.


It turns out that there’s some sort of festivity going on in Puquio tonight too, though we don’t know the occasion. Some fellas are out on the street, parading in colourful costume, festive yet formal.


Walking through Puquio, we do feel that we are definitely strangers here, but people seem friendly. We have a couple of beers in a small, high-ceiling place run by an old couple, and it reminds me of some of the most rustic Austrian farmyard taverns I’ve seen the inside of. It resembles a stable with its old step ladder leading steeply up into the roof. Transported back a couple of hundred years. This couple sleeps cold here in winter I’d say.

We’re knackered. It’s been a long day’s ride through high territory. We’re still in our bike clothing of course and we stink and need to see some water and get some rest. The KTMs are also parked at the same guest house but they seem to be asleep already. Their number plates look Brazilian. Maybe catch them tomorrow.