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Package Overview

For 362 days of the year Paucartambo, some 109 kilometers (less than three hours) by road from Cusco, is a small, quiet Andean town where nothing really happens. Then for three days each year, from July 15th, the town fills with thousands of pilgrims and visitors as it plays host to one of the region’s most colorful and fascinating fiestas. The festivities were introduced by the Spanish in all their colonies to pay respect to the Virgin of Carmen and celebrations were held throughout the Americas, but in the Andes, where all fiestas reflect the struggle between Christian and local beliefs, the Virgin is not just the mother of Christ, she is also Pachamama, or Mother Earth. The festivities begin on July 15th with the entrance of each of the sixteen dance groups, magnificently masked and costumed according to their respective customs and traditions. They all approach the church dancing. Behind the dancers the entire population of the town gathers along the main street, carrying candles, flowers and other offerings. That evening in the main square, there is a riotous firework display during which some of the dance groups leap over the many bonfires lit around the plaza. Around midnight, all the dancers gather again at the church to solemnly serenade the Virgin.

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Day wise Itinerary

  • Day 1 : To Paucartambo

    At 9:00 am you will be picked up from your hotel for the drive to Paucartambo (2.5 hours).

    The fiesta begins around 1pm and ends at around midnight. This is the most colorful and vibrant day of the festival. Overnight in Paucartambo Campsite or homestay for small groups (up to 6 people)

    The festivities begin on July 15th with the entrance of each of the sixteen dance groups, magnificently masked and costumed according to their respective customs and traditions. They all approach the church dancing.

    Behind the dancers the entire population of the town gathers along the main street, carrying candles, flowers and other offerings. That evening in the main square, there is a riotous firework display during which some of the dance groups leap over the many bonfires lit around the plaza. Around midnight, all the dancers gather again at the church to solemnly serenade the Virgin.

  • Day 2 : Paucartambo

    Paucartambo Campsite or homestay for small groups (up to 6 people). Very early on July 16th, after mass, the townspeople return to the plaza where they receive gifts thrown from the many balconies around the main square.

    That afternoon the Virgin is carried from the church through the streets and plazas of Paucartambo at the head of all the dance groups.

  • Day 3 : Return Drive to Cusco in the Late Afternoon

    On July 17th, in a ceremony reminiscent of the ancestral Andean cult of the dead, the dancers make their way to the cemetery. In their songs, as well as recalling their ancestors, they remind themselves of their own mortality. That afternoon the effigy of the Virgin is carried again through the narrow streets to the colonial bridge at the edge of town, where a moving song of farewell is performed. Taking advantage of the Virgin’s absence, the devil-masked Saqras invade the main plaza for a ritual battle between the Qolla and Chuncho dance groups.

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Inclusions

  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Sightseeing
  • Private bus
  • English speaking guide.
  • Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner as described in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation

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Terms & Conditions

Payment Terms & Methods :
* Some Advance Percentage of total booking amount
* Airfare/Transport fare to be paid full at one time in advance.

Cancellation & Refund Policy :
* Upon cancellation, refund will be made after deducting the Retention Amount.
* Retention Amount varies as per the number of days left before your package start date.

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This Tour is Offered by

Andean Adventures Peru View Profile

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About Andean Adventures Peru

Andean Adventures Peru is located in the ancient city of Cusco, at the heart of any trip to Peru. We have been offering and operating cultural, ecological and adventure travel in the Andean region and the Amazon basin since 1985. Read More...

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