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90 kilometers from the City of Cusco and one hour from Yucay is Mollepata, one of the districts of the Anta province. Before arriving at this destination, the towns of Anta, Ancahuasi and Limatambo are toured, territory where the Incas had to fight against the fierce Chancas who were fighting for the supreme power but who, finally, were defeated at the hands of who would forge the fate of the Empire. Inca: Pachacuteq.

The Peruvian District of Mollepata is one of the 9 districts of the Anta Province, located in the Department of Cusco, under the administration of the Cuzco regional government.


Mollepata Perú is a decent sized Peruvian mountain town. A few hours by car from Cusco, it is the starting point for backpackers who take the path to Nevado Salkantay.

Etymology of Mollepata Perú

The word “Mollepata” comes from two Quechua voices: “molle”, name of a tree, and “pata” means eminence, height. Etymologically, Mollepata means, predominantly populated part of molles, Molle that comes to make the name of a tree with a twisted and cracked stem, small and evergreen leaves, greenish flowers and hanging clusters of reddish fruits, this tree abounded in the place.

Location of Mollepata in Perú

Mollepata is located in the western part of the Anta province.

The territorial extension of the Mollepata district is 822.65 km2, stretching from the white river to Acobamba in the west; from the Salkantay, Nevado Humantay and Kishuar mountains in the north, to the Apurímac river in the south.

Territory of Mollepata Perú

Area of the municipality of Mollepata: 35,600 hectares / 356.00 km² (137.45 sq mi)

Altitude of the municipality of Mollepata: 2,846 meters of altitude

Geographical coordinates:

  • Latitude: -13.5086
  • Longitude: -72.5275
  • Latitude: 13 ° 30 ’31’ ‘South
  • Longitude: 72 ° 31 ’39’ ‘West
  • Time zone: UTC -5: 00 (America / Lima)

Demography of Mollepata Perú

  • Population: 2,600 inhabitants
  • Population density of the municipality of Mollepata: 7.3 inhab./km² (18.9 pop / sq mi)

Neighboring municipalities to Mollepata

  • Limatambo: 9.7 km
  • Curahuasi: 18.6 km
  • Ancahuasi: 25.3 km
  • Zurite: 30 km
  • San Pedro de Cachora: 30.9 km
  • Cotabambas: 32.4 km
  • Chinchaypujio: 34.6 km
  • Huarocondo: 36.2 km
  • Coyllurqui: 38 km
  • Tamburco: 39.5 km
  • Machu Picchu: 39.5 km
  • Ollantaytambo: 39.9 km
  • Abancay: 40.6 km
  • Anta: 41.2 km
  • Santa Teresa: 42.7 km
  • Huanipaca: 44 km
  • Maras: 44.7 km
  • Pucyura: 45.2 km


The capital is the town of Mollepata, located at 2 976 masl, it is located 90 km. from the imperial city of Cusco.

Communication routes of Mollepata Perú

Mollepata has a branch that emerges from the Cusco – Lima highway and this highway was built by Marcahuasi landowner David Samanez Ocampo, with the support of peasant labor and without any subsidy from the State. Currently the access to the road is paved.

Climate of Mollepata Perú

The climate of Mollepata in Cusco is varied, from the most frigid in the snow-capped mountains, temperate in the central part and warm on the banks of the Apurímac river.

Historical Review of Mollepata Perú

The town has Inca origin, there is a considerable presence of archaeological monumental remains. Also there are terraces and paths in various places. According to the opinion of many historians, Mollepata in the time of the Incas was a properly organized place, in whose town a system of administration and control was installed for the settlers who had to work on the various ecological floors, call them the puna, yunga , etc.

Since the invasion of the Spanish, the colony (16th, 17th and 18th centuries) in Mollepata, there have been well-defined radical social changes. At the forefront of these social classes were the Spanish and their descendants who became the new owners of the lands. The indigenous people were marginalized and cornered in poverty but always striving to get ahead.

In the republican era, feudalism persisted, consisting of making the peasant work, in exchange for the shelter given to him on the haciendas. This lasted until the enactment of the Agrarian Reform law (1968-1970).

Officially, the Mollepata district was created on April 29, 1929 through Law 6623 given in the government of President Augusto Leguía.

Mollepata, like many places in Peru, felt convulsed by the Agrarian Reform launched by the Government of General Juan Velasco Alvarado. The community members and peasants invaded the local haciendas and formed the cooperatives that later failed and had to parcel out the haciendas’ lands.

Politically, Mollepata since colonial times, was a dependent territory of the destinations of the Limatambo District, for having been considered as one of the most annexes. The Mollepatins did not like this situation, because it put them in a situation of submission and dependency; their most expensive desire was to be free and sovereign in their determinations, that is why they fought for their detritalization.

After 10 years, 5 months and 12 days of titanic administration, Law No. 6623 was finally given, drawn up in Congress and promulgated by the Executive on April 29, 1929, declaring Mollepata as a District of the Anta Province.

Today territorially it includes the partialities of: Abuela, Accobamba, Ayrancca, Huayrurani, Ccotomarca, Mallau, Bellavista, Tantay, Antabamba, Huamanpata, Auquiorcco, La Estrella, Marcahuasi, Huaychi, Tillca, Parobamba, Marcahuaylla, Cisal and Soray.

Economic Activities of Mollepata Perú

The main economic activity of the Mollepata district is: agriculture, livestock and tourism. Due to the variety of the climate, it has products that correspond to the three climates such as sugar cane, a wide variety of cereals, fruit trees, legumes and vegetables.

Gastronomy of Mollepata Perú

Its typical dishes are tamales, scrambled potatoes with guinea pig, slipped wheat with a skin, dry giblets, shambar with ham or carashpo, cashallurto, shinde of broad beans, dirty river, scrambled eggs, chumos stew, huachapon potatoes with cachiyacu, beef jerky with eggs, cayhuas cream, stewed Ñuña pushpos; All these meals are accompanied with a field, nuñas, corn, potatoes, geese, beans and / or mashuas. Its desserts are Chiclayo mazamorreado de ocas or warmed corn, dulce de ocas, morrote, sweet wheat peeled with chancaca and sango. Their drinks are chicha de jora, lodge, gro or calentito, mixed.

Culture in Mollepata Perú

Mollepata tiene una profunda fe cristiana, realiza su festividad principal en el mes de septiembre, en honor al patrón del pueblo San Jerónimo, cuyos milagros han hecho crecer la fe sus creyentes. Cuenta con alumbrado público, servicios de agua y alcantarillado; vías carrosables por Santiago de Chuco y Pallasca, tiene una posta médica y una institución educativa con los niveles de inicial, primaria y secundaria. Los servicios de transporte desde Chimbote son dos veces por semana y desde Trujillo de modo igual, de Angasmarca y Santiago de Chuco, hay movilidad todos los días. El estado de la carretera es deficiente, sin embargo, el viaje se produce sin mayores contratiempos.

Las siembras se realizan alrededor de noviembre a diciembre y las cosechas se efectúan entre mayo y junio, se siembra una vez por año, sin embargo, las cosechas se almacenan y están disponibles para todo el año.

Mollepata ha producido distinguidos personajes, profesionales de éxito, también ha dado literatos, quienes pese a su calidad artística su obra no es lo suficientemente difundida.

Molle (Schinus molle): Familia: Anacardiaceae. Árboles y arbustos leñosos, siempre verdes, con canales resiníferos en la corteza. Hojas alternas, simples o compuestas, a veces bastante polimorfas en una misma especie. Fruto en drupa de color rojizo y pequeño tamaño. Comprende unas 30 especies nativas de Sudamérica, es una planta con actividad antifúngica y antimicrobiana principalmente en las hojas, tiene importancia etnobotánica, pues se la ha utilizado en el control de plagas agrícolas en varias localidades del Perú.

  • Pata: Terraza (traducción de mayor aceptación)
  • Pata en quechua significa: Andén, peldaño, poyo. Borde, margen. Adverbio: Arriba, encima.
  • Patxa en aymara significa: Arriba, encima, en lo alto. Encima de o sobre.

Culture and customs

Mollepata has a deep Christian faith, it celebrates its main festival in September, in honor of the patron saint of the San Jerónimo people, whose miracles have made their believers grow in faith. It has public lighting, water and sewerage services; Carrosables roads through Santiago de Chuco and Pallasca, has a medical post and an educational institution with the levels of initial, primary and secondary.

Transportation services from Chimbote are twice a week and from Trujillo, from Angasmarca and Santiago de Chuco, there is mobility every day. The state of the road is poor, however, the trip occurs without major setbacks.

The sowings take place around November to December and the harvests take place between May and June, sowing once a year, however, the harvests are stored and available throughout the year.

Mollepata has produced distinguished characters, successful professionals, and has also given writers, who despite their artistic quality, their work is not widespread enough.

Tourism in Mollepata

Mollepata is a tourist destination that the traveler can choose, especially if they have an interest in rural tourism, long walks, and the sighting of beautiful natural settings, but also if they want to know some of the remains that pre-Hispanic cultures left for immortalize.


The archaeological resource that the traveler can find on his visit to Mollepata, is known by the name of Choquequirao. Choquequirao would have been during the Inca period, an important citadel and fortress, which stood out for having been the last point of resistance of the Incas that populated Vilcabamba.

Regarding adventure tourism, the Mollepata district has been positioned, in recent years, as the starting point of different trekking routes that lead to both Nevado Salkantay and Machu Picchu. The trekking routes that start in Mollepata can take between 4 and 11 days and allow you to get to know different tourist resources in the Cusco region.

If you want to know this beautiful and peaceful district, especially during its main celebrations, the traveler is recommended to go to it on dates such as September 14, when the town pays homage to the Lord of Exaltation in the midst of both liturgical events as traditional.

Best trails near Mollepata, Cusco, Peru

Explore the most popular trails near Mollepata with carefully selected route maps, driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The main tourist attractions in Mollepata Cusco are:

Choqe Churku or Choquechurco.

The name Choquechurco probably comes from the words Aymara CHOQUE, which means Gold and CHURCO, which in Quechua term means to place, locate, pigeonhole, deposit, guide, use, locate, etc. Consequently Etymologically speaking CHOQUECHURCO was the place “where the gold was placed”.

It is located in the buffer zone of the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, in the sector called Markahuaylla, in the upper part known as Huancanapata about 10 km, from the town of Mollepata at 3,200 masl. in a space covered by totally intricate vegetation that has been affected by the finely carved walls and walls over time.

Choquechurco has two embankments, which were possibly places for ceremonial acts; A few meters away, Inca walls can be seen almost buckling under the pressure of the native trees.

Its development would have been registered in the late horizon, during the governments of the Inca Pachacuteq, Tupac Yupanqui or Huayna Capac. It is characterized by the style of polished stone, well assembled dry and solid in nature. In shockechurco the details are finely carved limestone, polygonal walls, trapezoidal walls that exceed one meter with 80 cm, the most surprising thing about this enclosure is the presence of a limestone rock of a dimension of about 5 meters in diameter where a frame of 2 meters with 20 cm width and 2 meters with 40 cm height, with some cornices to possibly hold gold and silver plates directed to the Sun God salient, it could be an agricultural calendar or place where signs and provisions were imparted that today they are a mystery.

From that place, the entire landscape of the snow-capped mountains can be viewed with complete amplitude: Ampay, Socllaccassa, Salkantay, Umantay, Limatambo Valley, Sauceda, Abra de Huillki, Pampaconga, Pivil, Chonta and Cotabambas in Apurimac. For these characteristics it was probably one of dominion, position, administration during the Inca empire.

The Church of Mollepata.

The church of Mollepata is modern, built perhaps on an Inca huaca, as was the custom of the Spanish, to replace a native place of worship with a Catholic one. It is located on the western side of the main town square; There, the most venerated image is Señor Manuel de Exaltación de la Santa Cruz, a beautiful sculpture carved in wood.

Tillka or Tilca.

It is the name of a pointed hill with a conical shape, it is located four kilometers west of the town of Mollepata, it was a signal station, an observation point for the surrounding territories, and an astronomical observatory, therefore it was a sacred place, that is huaca. At the top there is a cross and very few traces on the surface, with respect to the incan. On the flank of the hill there are five old platforms, and towards the Choquechurco side, four, all in poor condition.

Markawasi or Marcahuasi.

It is a town, it was very important and a great Inca seat, today it offers several archaeological groups, beautiful Inca walls. What stands out the most is the following:

A beautiful old wall with twelve niches, on which a shed has been built that serves as housing for some peasants, it seems to us that it is the internal face, a back wall, which today deprived of the other walls, remains with the face towards the open field. The building must have been one of the best, perhaps if it was an Inca palace.

The terraces make up a set, they are on the eastern side of Marcahuasi, they have all the virtues of other identical sets built by the Incas, say arrangement, location, height of the walls, good land on the embankments and aqueducts.

The Qoriwayrachina or Corihuayrachina hill is part of Marcahuasi, it is towards the side of the main valley, it is an amazing archaeological repository, with fractional ceramic on the surface

(ancient sherds), ruined low walls.

At all times Marcahuasi was an important agricultural center, due to the fertility of its lands and its good climate. Garcilaso de la Vega says that on January 21, 1560, while traveling from Cusco to Lima, and then continuing to Spain, he passed through an estate called “Marcahuaci” nine leagues from Cusco, owned by Pedro López de Cazalla, a native of Llerena and a neighbor of Cusco, there he found the estate “loaded with beautiful grapes.” There it was made for the first grape wine, in what corresponds to the Cusco region.


Choquequirao (from Aymara chuqi, gold, and from Quechua k’iraw, cradle, that is to say: “cradle of gold”), is an Inca city located between the foothills of the snowy Salcantay, in southern Peru. The Choquequirao archaeological remains are made up of buildings and terraces distributed on different levels, from the lowest Sunch’u Pata level to the highest truncated summit, which was leveled and fenced with stones to form a platform with an approximate area of 150 square meter.

Choquequirao (sometimes also referred to as Choqequirau or Choquekiraw) is known as the “sacred sister” of Machu Picchu for its structural and architectural resemblance to it. Recently, being partially excavated, it has sparked the interest of the Peruvian government to further recover the complex and make it a more accessible alternative for tourists interested in learning more about Inca culture.

It was one of the entrance doors to the Vilcabamba region, that is, the administrative, political, social and economic nucleus of the Empire. Thus, with regard to its urban conception, the symbolic patterns of the imperial capital itself were followed, that is, the places of worship of the Sun, the earth, the ancestors, the water and other divinities. In addition, there were also royal residences, houses of administrators and artisans, large dormitory buildings also called kallancas, agricultural platforms of the Inca and the town, and warehouses. In this way, we find a ceremonial area that has about 700 meters, with a gap between the main square and the highest parts of up to 65 meters

It was from this building that the Incas of the Manco dynasty were able to resist the Spanish invasion for about 36 years, in fact, it was never possible to expel them from this city that only recently has gained its identity from the tangled jungles of Peru.

To get to this magical city you must follow the Choquequirao Tour 4 days / 3 nights.

The star

It is a farm located to the southwest, below and very close to the town of Mollepata; Going up by car along the road that leads to Mollepata, La Estrella is on the left side and in the last sections of the road. The estate has a house-hacienda with an unbeatable location, like a pulpit hanging over the area, it is an exceptional viewpoint; the building is a beautiful architectural complex, with gardens, orchards, all expresses elegance and lordship, it was the residence of don David Samanez Ocampo.

Plains of Soraypampa in Mollepata

Soraypampa is to the north of Mollepata, at 3950 masl. During the Inca period it was a ceremonial space for the Huaca Salkantay. Today the snow-capped mountains of Umantay and Salkantay are observed in the landscape environment of Soraypampa in Mollepata. Due to the location of Soraypampa in Mollepata, it is an appropriate camping area, used by groups of tourists who make the route to Santa Teresa, Choquequirao and Machu Picchu.

The moonstone

Another must-see is the Quillarumiyoc archaeological complex, located 20 minutes from Mollepata and whose meaning, of popular origin, is founded on the figure carved in a rock of approximately seven meters: “The stone of the moon” or ” The moon carved in the stone ”. When you arrive at the complex, the first thing you notice is body agitation: Quillarumiyoc is at 3,400 meters above sea level. Still, the tour of the place is impressive.

Although there is still little historical evidence of the origin of this complex, it is known that Quillarumiyoc was a very important religious ceremonial center in the Pampa de Anta, on the way to Chinchaysuyo, where Andean priests worshiped their gods, according to observation, to the study and analysis of the stars. “This is part of the tourist circuit and the area itself has a mystical interpretation because it has a set of carved rocks, caves, ceremonial places like the Usno, a circular platform that served to see the movement of the stars,” says Patrick Hermoza, local tourist guide, whose agency has developed a mystical tourism circuit given the ceremonial importance of Quillarumiyoc.

The complex also includes cultivation and irrigation system areas, which makes this archaeological zone a technological, artistic and religious manifestation of ancestral cultures that expressed their worldview in every aspect of their existence.

How to get from Cusco to Mollepata?

How to get from Cusco to Mollepata in your own vehicle

From Cusco to Mollepata it is 88 kilometers on the 3S highway (paved). In this detour, you leave the main road and ascend for 10.5 kilometers along a route in good condition. If you are driving, consider an hour and 45 minutes approximately.

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu through Mollepata

The Mollepata Inca Trail begins in the ancient city Mollepata at an altitude of m. 2,800 that an alternative way begins from Mollepata to Santa Teresa. It is 5 hours drive from Cusco along the road to Abancay to get here. We get sooner in this little town to start the first day of the track early enough. Today is a long walk through the Cordillera Vilcabamba.

The streets are not paved. Some stores are located in this small town to buy fresh bread or things that you might have forgotten. Our guide Carlos was waiting for us at the Plaza de Armas. He arranged 7 horses and a donkey to bring our stuff over the rugged mountains. In the first part of the Camino, horses are not prohibited to untill the city of Wayllabamba.

We chose to rent additional horses to spend the first two horse riding days. This option is relative twitter. We pay only $ 3.00 a person a day. It is gladly advised to take this possiblity because the first days are really hard. The Mollepata Inca Trail starts from 2,800 m to 5,300 m in the Salcantay mountain pass.

We were lucky to see the beautiful scenery from the top of a horse. The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu through Mollepata, in all the way only one meter wide, consisted mainly of sand and rocks. It is admirable how the limber horses are in mountains. They carefully do each step that gives the rider a feeling of saving. Facing a deep abyss all the time by the road, this was necessary frankly quiet. But don’t blow your nose like a beacon … that scares a horse called reckless or careless!

The long walk had a rest at 2 for lunch. Flattered by a beautiful view, we were enjoying rice with vegetables. Our Zenon cook was a vegetarian so no meat would be served the next 8 days. For the first time we could see the huge Salcantay mountain. After lunch, we continued on our Mollepata Inca Trail because the way was still long. The view of this beautiful mountain was not going to leave us for the next 3 days in the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu through Mollepata.

Alternative Treks to Salkantay Trail

How to get from Cusco to Mollepata by bus

To get from Cusco to Mollepata there are at least four options:

To get from Cusco to Mollepata by bus, you must take a bus to Curahuasi (large and comfortable bus) at the Cuzco land terminal, located on Av. Vía de Evitamiento No. 429. Get off at Limatambo and take a bus to Mollepata. It will be necessary to pay the entire passage to Curahuasi.

Take a combi to Limatambo, and from there take a bus to Mollepata. These combis are taken at the Arcopata street terminal, shortly before the corner with Apurimac Avenue.

Contract a private service from Cusco to Mollepata by bus, in the order of 90 soles.

Coordinate only transport with any of the many tourism companies that take tourists in a guided way to Salkantay. Between the end of May and September, several companies leave every day, so it is possible to request an available space and arrange a price. Of course, this option is only plausible if it is a small group.

How to get from Mollepata to Soraypampa

If you arrive early at the Plaza de Mollepata (before 9:30 or 10 AM), it is highly likely that you can coordinate transportation to Soraypampa with some of the tourist companies that carry clients. In particular, small trucks carry food and equipment, so the drivers themselves offer a space next to the load to get extra money. The author of this review was charged ten soles for this service. If you want to travel more comfortably, you can also try to coordinate transport with the minivans that take tourists, but a) it will cost more, and b) it is more difficult for space to be available.

Consider a little over an hour by truck to Soraypampa. Minivans don’t take much less.

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