AndahuaylasSouthern Sierra region of Peru.
Andahuaylas is in the department of Apurímac. The population is
roughly estimated at 25,000. The altitude is about 3,000m above sea level. The surrounding
mountains provide beautiful scenery.
There are daily buses from and to Ayacucho. The journey takes at least 10 hard hours on dust road. The views are impressive and since the bus drives very slowly due to the road conditions, you have enough time to look.
Andahualas is a very long town, spread out along the river. If you're coming from Ayacucho, don't be concerned if it drops people off in what looks like the center of town, and the bus continues beyond. You'll soon reach the bus terminal, which is actually close to the real center of town.
No big problem. Distances are small, just walk. If you need a taxi, don't pay more than 3 Soles ($1 US) in the city. Mototaxis (tuk-tuks) are even cheaper.
Sunday Marketaddress: Along the river at the east end of townSurely one of the largest and most colorful markets in South America. With nearly all of the participants being native Quechua indigenous people, it's a photographer's dream. Every manner of fruit, vegetable, grain, livestock (rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs), housewares, clothing (shoes, jeans, jackets, etc), snake oil potions for treating all manner of ailments. Both sides of the river for about 1/2 km. Sundays only, early morning until around 5PM.
The Laguna de Pacucha, at 3,300m is easy to reach during the day. Take a colectivo (3 Soles) or a taxi. Both leave from the same place at the top of the market (ferria). The colectivos run via the village of Pucucha until the end of the laguna (40 minutes). From here, it's a 30 min walk to the ruins of Sondor from the Chanca era. Lovely landscape and great views of the mountains. If you have enough time, walk back to Pucucha on the other side of the laguna (2.30h). It's a beautiful stroll (all flat) and the villagers are quite friendly.The village gives a good impression of campesinos 's life. But be sure to reach Pucucha before dark, otherwise it's going to be difficult to find a colectivo or taxi back to Andahuaylas.
- Restaurant Sol de Oro, Jr. Juan A Trelles 164, very good Chinese menu (6 Soles, US$ 1.70) also à la carte, good breakfast.
Luxury combis (minivans) leave for Abancay approximately six times a day for 15 Soles. There are several companies operating this trip, all based out of the bus terminal. Don't believe them that it only takes 3 1/2 hours - inevitably there are delays, making the trip 5 hours. Beautiful scenery through a series of hairpin turns and switchbacks.
Daily buses from and to Cusco via Abancay run by several companies, 11h. To Abancay, it's a dust road, from there to Cusco, the recently renovated road is paved and in very good condition. Now the road is paved all the way (Jun 2015).