Heirs of native and European cultures, Peru maintains a diversity of festivals and traditions that make up the cultural heritage. A host of events and festivals throughout the year lend color and flavor to our day to day, with celebrations that, between vibrant dances and acts of deep religious devotion, fill Peruvian life with passion and happiness.
Peru celebrates around 3000 typical fiestas every year. Most of these are organized to honor the day of a patron saint. These saints were originally part of the Christian calendar, but were integrated into Peruvian local traditions and the Inca belief system during colonial times.
In their attempts to subdue the local population, the Spaniards imposed their own traditions and Christian religion on the indigenous peoples and their parties. Consequently there are hundreds of festivals and celebrations that go throughout the calendar and throughout the country, varying slightly from region to region and in Andean or Catholic sentiments.
The magic of Peru is not only revealed in its nature, its biodiversity and its archaeological remains. The traditional festivities, local folklore, and beliefs and legends, are living heritage that enriches the experience of traveling through Peru. And few experiences, are like these wonderful days in Paucartambo.
In mid-July, the streets of Paucartambo are filled with music, colors, faith and a great religious devotion. The Fiesta de La Virgen del Carmen is part of our cultural history, and is one of the most beloved and expected festivities of the Peruvian calendar.
The magic of Peru is not only revealed in its nature, its biodiversity and its archaeological remains. The traditional festivities, local folklore, and beliefs and legends, are living heritage that enriches the experience of traveling through Peru. The cult of the Virgin of Carmen began in the seventeenth century, and oral tradition collects stories about this party, dating from the colonial and republican times. So to participate in the Mamacha Carmen party, is to be part of the history of our country.
One of the best places to pay honor is, without a doubt, in Paucartambo: Peruvians and foreigners come from all over this Cusco province to pay homage to Mamacha Carmen, to show their devotion, and to be part of this wonderful party.
The central day is July 16: it begins at 5 in the morning with a mass from Aurora, and continues at 10 am with the expected mass of the festival where beautiful songs from the Qollas and the black Qhapac stand out.
At the end of the Mass they will be able to approach the Virgin to get to know her closely and place her intentions in the wardrobe, small plates that reflect our desires. The faith of those present is palpable, and it is impossible not to get infected with the energy of the crowd. We take the opportunity to place the candles of the petitions on the left side of the church and share with the heart full of faith.
After finishing the masses, the comparsas take over Paucartambo. The beautiful and laborious costumes are a spectacle in themselves! The streets are dressed in color and music, and the joy of the people permeates every corner of Paucartambo. There are 3 intense days of dancing.
The festivities culminate in the afternoon, when the beloved Virgen del Carmen blesses the entire population. And when the night comes, the festivities begin in style. Each company is installed in a house where the celebration continues, but within a more intimate environment. The dances, the songs and the party last until dawn. We are all welcome.
The town of Paucartambo is small and the party lasts 24 hours a day. If you are looking for tranquility and comfort, then camping in the gardens that border the town is an excellent option. The magic of Peru is not only revealed in its nature, its biodiversity and its archaeological remains. The traditional festivities, local folklore, and beliefs and legends, are living heritage that enriches the experience of traveling through Peru. And few experiences, are like these wonderful days in Paucartambo.
The best season is during the dry season, which covers the months April to the end of September. In October the rains begin and you can find Machu Picchu covered by clouds. If you travel in June, we recommend you to book the Inti Raymi 2020 Tour that takes place in June 24th, and also hike the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, which is an incredible Rainbow Mountain located in the Andes.
Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.