Pomapata — Paradise of the Andes

General information about Pomapata

The lovely village of Pomapata is located about 6 hours of hiking from Chiquian in the Province called Bolognesi of Peru's department Ancash. Surrounded by a healthy and scenic landscape, the visitor will be most impressed by the hospitality of its people. Since a short time a small bus runs to Quero, covering more than half the distance from Chiquian, leaving you a hike of maybe 2 to 3 hours up a lush valley with rich perfumes and exciting smells.
In case you want to stay for an extended period of time, you should arrange transportation by mules from Chiquian. This service is available basically by most of the campesinos, however you might contact Julia Jacha (at Jr. Tarapaca 414 in Chiquian) or Don Vides Gonzalo several weeks before you plan to go there.

Compared to Chiquián, Pomapata is a tiny remote settlement of 500 brave and friendly souls, so far without electric current. Since a few weeks (May 2006) the power lines are built, but the village is still without connection to the grid. Back in May 2004 the friendly folks of Luxtreks installed solar panels on each hut and provided maintenance free LED lightnign to the buildings' main rooms. This saves the villagers the cost for candles and/or batteries for their torches, and is a very laudable deed. Even after two years in service most of these devices are still working properly.

No paved road leads to the approximately 120 adobe huts, so transportation is recommended by foot or mules and horses. Main agricultural products are its famous potatoes, some mais, and milk(-products). The elevation of the pueblo is around 3.350 m and the fields are reaching up to 4.000 meters. Rains are frequent in the season starting in November and ending around April.

Since Llamac is accessible by mud road, some Huayhuash trekkers prefer to take the route bypassing the disgusting minery camps above Llamac (esp. the Mina Pallca and its poisonous offwaters). They head for Quero and either make it via Mahuay to Quartelhuayn or they go up to Pomapata and the Quebrada Condor and then across the pass to the East - which is be the more scenic route -, descending straight towards Quartelhayn. The Mahuay way is easier to find and much easier to do with a heavy and bulky backpack.

Accomodation and Food
There is neither hotel nor restaurant in Pomapata, and tourism is basically non-existent. You should bring presents (salt, warm clothes, farming equipment, tooth-brushes, maps, school booklets etc.) to the campesinos and their children and be prepared to stay in one of their adobe huts. This works best if you are open-minded and friendly towards them, respect their way of life, their culture, their personalities.
PLEASE do not bring sweeties for the kids, nor for the adults! Better bring notebooks and pencils, tooth brushes and tooth paste and maybe some sewing material, or instant soups from Knorr or Maggi. The indigenous people are not accustomed to eat artificially sweetened food and it quickly will ruin their teeth. Pomapata commands no dentist either.
Thermal spring 'Conoc'
Thermal spring Conoc From the plaza you follow the trail descending steeply down to the creek. Cross the bridge and go left. Follow the creek up into valley, through some very scenic gorge-like canyon. Pass some fields and follow further upstream. After a good half hour you reach a basin with hot water (see left), where you can take a rest inside. Please do not wash yourself inside the hot water, but cleanse yourself at the nearby creek first. Then relax and be happy to have found the place you ever dreamed of...

most recent update: 31. December 2007
copyleft by r.zahner