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+51 984 004 472 info@tierrasvivas.com

Ausangate Festival Qoyllur Rit’i

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    The Responsible People foundation is registered under the Peruvian Non-Profit Organization Act. With an annual contribution from Tierras Vivas, we support our operating costs as well as a significant portion of project development costs.

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    Tierras Vivas Travel > Ausangate Festival Qoyllur Rit’i

    Ausangate Festival Qoyllur Rit'i

    Code: QO01

    Ausangate Festival Qoyllur Rit'i

    The Qoyllur Ritti, “Snow Shine” or “Snow Star”, is one of the most relevant festivities in the Andean World. It combines the veneration of the Sun, of the Christian icons and of the portentous deities that inhabit the sacred snow-capped Apu of Ausangate.

    Since the 1920’s, the Festivity of the Lord of Qoyllur Ritti, has become a massive religious event attracting milliards of people coming from different parts of Peru and abroad to ascend up to 5200m, where the famous Sanctuary is located, in the area of Ocongate within the province of Quispicanchis. An impressive multitude of pilgrims arrives at this point after an approximated 6-hour hike to venerate the Christ, which is painted in one of the rocks at the Sanctuary, and the sacred Apu of Ausangate.

    The legend explains how the image impressed in the rock was the result of the friendship developed between a peasant named Marianito Mayta and a strange boy of extremely white complexion, which appeared to him in 1870. The little boy kindly asked the peasant to make a new dress for him. The peasant traveled to Cusco and visited the Bishop of the city, as he was the only one to have similar textiles than those dressed by the little boy. The suspicious Bishop ordered someone to follow Mayta, as he thought someone had stolen the holy dresses from the church and was giving a bad use to them. But when the priest arrived at Sinakara, an intense shine originated from the place where the little boy was standing, and when he tried to grab him, he became a Tayanca tree with the image of Christ in agony. The little Mayta peasant was buried below a stone in the same place of this apparition. This stone with the signs of Christ is currently venerated by all the pilgrims and is located in a sacred chapel in the same place.

    The pilgrimage takes place once every year in the spectacular area of Ausangate, the Sanctuary being located at the base of Mount Sinakara, in an impressive spot, surrounded by breathtaking snow-capped mountains and glaciers. The Ten Nations or ten brotherhoods that belong to Paucartambo, Quispicanchis and Tahuantinsuyo provinces attend the event. Masses, ascents to Mount Sinakara and simulated battles lead to the cohesion of all the brotherhoods and make this a very special and colorful festivity, surrounded by the cold of the awesome scenery.

    Our pilgrimage trek follows the long-established tradition and runs in five days, giving you the chance to live this very special event as a part of it.


    Quick Itinerary

    Day 01 (June 10th):  Cusco – Mahuayani

    Day 02 (June 11th):  Mahuayani – Sanctuary of Qoylloritti

    Day 03 (June 12th): Santuary of Qoylloriti

    Day 04 (June 13th): Sanctuary of Qoylloritti – Yanacocha – Night Pilgrimage to Tayancani 

    Day 05 (June 14th): Tayancani – Cusco

    Highlights of the Ausangate Festival:

    • Wander through the Inca’s streets of Cusco

    Crew: Tierras Vivas Representatives in Cusco and a professional bilingual Tour Guide.

    Transportation: Transportation by private van, a train round trip (Expedition Class).

    Resposinble Travel

    San Martin de Porres School

    If you reserve this trip, you will be making a donation to the school for special needs children, click here please

    Tierras Vivas Porters

    Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! There is still a long way to go when it comes to a reserve of adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation. click here

    Each Year Tierras Vivas hots a Christmas party in Patacancha. Family porters


    Day 01: Saturday June 10th: Cusco – Mahuayani

    We leave the city of Cusco in a private bus, and drive along the Cusco – Puerto Maldonado highway in the direction of Tinki (3800m/12464ft) and Mahuayani, where we will arrive by 02.00 pm approximately. On the way we pass through Urcos, where we may spot a beautiful lagoon with the same name, continue on to Cattca, an agricultural and cattle raising community where we can appreciate the region’s spectacular views and finally cross Ocongate, capital of the district with the same name. We then continue on to Tinki, starting point for most treks in the Ausangate area, and finally Mahuayani (4600m/15088ft) after an approximated 5-6h drive. In the afternoon, we take the chance to visit the local market, before having dinner at our camp nearby.


    Day 02: Sunday June 11th: Mahuayani Sanctuary of Qoylloritti

    We wake up early and after our breakfast, we start our hike up towards the Sanctuary of Qoylloritti, located in a breathtaking spot, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. We slowly hike through an uphill trail along which we will encounter 14 crosses that are venerated on the way; the last one is already located at the Sanctuary. Upon arrival, we are accommodated at our camp and enjoy free time in the afternoon. The display of activities at the Sanctuary is impressive, as well as the number of pilgrims attending this festivity year by year. In the evening, we can attend the mass at the Sanctuary, being two ceremonies, one at 06.00pm and the other at 08.00 pm. Dinner and camp at the Sanctuary.


    Day 03: Monday June 12th: Sanctuary of Qoylloritti

    This day is fully spent at the Sanctuary, following the activities of the pilgrims. We attend the “Alacitas” market in the morning. This is a very curious display in which one buys miniature goods such as trucks, houses, cattle, university titles and others, with money that is only valid during the Qoyllur Ritti festivity, according to one’s real wishes. The legend says that whatever you accomplish in this game will come true thanks to the power of the Lord of Qoylloritti. The Soul Mass at the Sanctuary atrium (10.00 am) is the next event followed by the “Pablitos” mass at 12.00 pm. The afternoon is reserved for other activities, for all wanting to join them: the procession of the Lord of Tayancani and the Virgin, several dancing performances, mass at the Sanctuary at 06.00 pm and the singing to the Lord at 07.00 pm. At night, after dinner, we enjoy the spectacular “Burning of Castles”, in which wooden constructions with fireworks are burnt, followed by the “Child’s Dance”. Afterwards, the pilgrims ascend to the snow-capped mountain and glacier to bring down the crosses to the Sanctuary.


    Day 04: Tuesday June 13th: Sanctuary of Qoylloritti “Yanacocha Night Pilgrimage to Tayancani

    After an early wake up, we pack our bags and get ready for the pilgrimage. We wait and attend the Blessing Mass at 10.00 am and at noon, we leave in the so-called “24 hour procession”, together with the rest of pilgrims. The procession leaves from the Sanctuary and runs through Calvario Machucruz, the lagoons in Kumukasa and Alqamarina sectors, until reaching Yanacocha, where we arrive at around 06.00 pm. We then sleep for 3-4 hours until 10.00 pm, when we start walking during the night towards Tayancani. Night hike.


    Day 05: Wednesday June 14th: Tayancani – Cusco

    After a spectacular night pilgrimage, we wait for sunrise and the impressive “Sun Greeting” ceremony (07.00 am) to descend to Tayancani and attend the Blessing to Sanctuary and village of the same name (08.00 am). We attend the mass (10.00 am) and then follow our hike up a mountain pass (2h) and then down to Ocongate (1h), where we have lunch. In the afternoon, we board our private transportation back to Cusco (5h), where we expect to arrive around 06.00 pm.


    What is included?

    • Pre-departure briefing
    • Collection from your hotel in the morning and transfer in private transport to
    • Mahuayani, starting point of the pilgrimage
    • Tinki visitor fee
    • Campsite fees
    • Personal tents: 2 people in each 4-people-capacity tent, to allow for higher comfort and a safe keeping of backpacks. . The tents employed for treks around the Ausangate area are 4-season Eureka K2XT, highly maintained to ensure an excellent performance in field
    • One inflatable sleeping pad per person
    • One sleeping bag per person: our sleeping bags are -18ºC-comfort (0ºF), mummy form and include a sleeping liner. They are cleaned after every use and have a maximum usage of 30 trips
    • One pillow per person
    • Dining tent with tables and chairs
    • Kitchen tent
    • Toilet tent with biodegradable toilet facilities
    • English speaking professional and official tourist guide (2 guides for groups of over 8 people)
    • Chef and cooking equipment
    • Horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
    • Horses to carry personal gear up to a maximum of 9kg per person (including sleeping pad and sleeping bag)
    • 1 emergency horse every 6 persons
    • Wranglers
    • Accommodation for all our staff
    • Meals (04B, 05L, 04D + daily morning snack + daily tea service except last day). Vegetarian or special menus are available at no extra cost
    • One textile snack bag per person, to avoid the usage of plastic bags that contaminate our environment
    • Filtered boiled water from lunch time on 1st day onwards
    • Bio-degradable personal hand soaps
    • Bio-degradable dishwashing detergents used by our kitchen staff
    • Others: hot water every morning and evening for washing purposes / boiled water to fill in your water bottle every morning and night, and at lunch time if requested with enough time ahead
    • First-aid kit including emergency oxygen bottle
    • Private transport from Ocongate to Cusco, including transfer to your hotel in Cusco 24-h guest service: please ask for the emergency number available during your time of visit

    Not Included

    • Dinner on the last day
    • Tips
    • Breakfast on the first day

    Inti Raymi 2023

    The festival of the Inti Raymi or Feast of the Sun God, was a ceremony practiced by the Inca in honor of their god Sun or called Inti (Quechua), this ceremony was the most important of the Inca Empire, since the sun was its maximum deity.

    This ceremony was held in the capital of the Tawantinsuyo empire (Cusco) and was held every winter solstice. This feast was held in the final period of the harvest and the beginning of the winter equinox of the Andes, that is, in the second half of June. This ceremony was celebrated in the main square of Cusco, in the time of the Incas. Inti Raymi 2023

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