Abra Huayraccasa

The Wild Road to Abra Huayraccasa

Abra Huayraccasa is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5.059m (16.597ft) above the sea level, located in Peru. It's one of the highest mountain roads of the country. The road to the summit is paved, pretty narrow and steep. It can be extremely dangerous after rains or snowfalls.

Located in the Huancavelica region of Peru, the road to the summit (called 003A) starts at the city of Huanchocopla, at an elevation of 4.000 m. After some hard slopes, in a busy road with trucks, comes the Caudalosa Chica, a little town, built next to a mine, just before the summit. Many sources claim this pass in central Peru has an altitude of 5,059m, and that it is the highest road pass in the Americas, depending on your definition of ‘road’. GPS and Google Earth readings show it to be under 5,000m however, and there are certainly a number of other motorable passes in the Andes which are higher. The turn off to the pass is from the top of Abra Chonta.

Although it can be a reasonably easy drive in favourable conditions it also has the potential to be a very difficult track and at times impassable after wet weather. According to several GPS informations, the summit could be at an elevation of 4.983m above the sea level. This pass was often claimed as the highest in the Americas, but it's nowhere near being that. Over the pass there’s a sign but no longer makes the claim, though it still does have the 5,059m altitude on it...

The road is winding, in some places only wide enough for one vehicle, and in many places bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. The temperature falls down to minus 30 degrees centigrade during winter. The views of the surrounding mountainous terrain are amazing. The road, which is mainly dirt surface, has also been classified as one of the world’s most dangerous roads and must therefore not be attempted by any but the most experienced of drivers, as it is full of deep potholes, dizzying hairpin bends and surrounded by continuous sheer drops.


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