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Don’t Miss the Legendary Inti Raymi Sun Festival in Cusco

Don’t Miss the Legendary Inti Raymi Sun Festival in Cusco

During the time of the Inca Empire, Inti Raymi was one of the year’s biggest celebrations, and it continues being so today. Set in place by Pachakutec Inka Yupanki, Inti Raymi marked the winter solstice with a series of rituals and general festivities. Although banned by the Spanish after the conquest, it was revived in 1944, following a script based on the chronicles of Inca Garcilaso, which were written shortly after the conquest.

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Enjoy the Spectacle of the Corpus Christi Festival in Cusco, Peru

Enjoy the Spectacle of the Corpus Christi Festival in Cusco, Peru

Up to the time of the Spanish Conquest, the people of Cusco venerated mallquis, the mummies of former leaders, adorning them with care and carrying them through the streets atop heavy litters on sacred days. Although the appalled Spanish banned this custom, it was retained through a simple solution: rather than abandoning the practice completely, the mummies were replaced with statues of saints and the Virgin Mary, giving birth of the modern Corpus Christi festival in Cusco. Thus, the colorful Corpus Christi celebrations of Cusco are as Andean as they are Catholic.

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Fiestas del Cusco: The Biggest Events for Cusco’s Jubilee Month, June 2016

Fiestas del Cusco: The Biggest Events for Cusco’s Jubilee Month, June 2016

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Throughout the month, the city will be decorated with the rainbow flag of Cusco and folkloric dance parades will take place daily between the 10th and 20th of June. We’ll be publishing the day-to-day program next week, but did want to share the highlights right away. From the Inti Raymi Festival to the Night of Light & Sound, these are the biggest events for Cusco’s Jubilee month, celebrated this year from May 29th through July 03rd:

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Sampling Cuy: Eating Guinea Pig In Peru

Sampling Cuy: Eating Guinea Pig In Peru

Eating roast guinea pig, or cuy, in PeruGuinea pigs have been popular pets ever since European traders introduced them to the West in the 16th century, due to their docile responsiveness and ease of care, meaning many of us have sentimental feelings for these cuddly creatures. For those of us who’ve grown up considering these cuddly creatures as pets, it can come as a surprise to know that guinea pigs originated in the Andes, where they were domesticated as early as 5000BC for their meat and are known as cuy. Originally reserved for ceremonial meals, it’s become a very common dish year-round, especially for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions. Many urban and country households of the Andean highlands raise cuy, feeding them table scraps. They’re considered a good investment because they require little room and reproduce quickly.

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Touring the Southern Sacred Valley of the Incas

Touring the Southern Sacred Valley of the Incas

The ruins of Tipon, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, near Cusco, PeruMost visitors to Cusco’s adjoining Sacred Valley to the Incas head towards the major towns of Ollantaytambo and Pisac, generally with a stop at the small town of Chincheros. The less-traveled southern half of the Sacred Valley is often overlooked due to a lack of time and a dearth in information provided to travelers. Whilst the ruins of Ollantaytambo and the market of Pisac are overrun by eager tourists, consider investing a day to explore the waterworks of the Tipón ruins, an ornate colonial church often referred to as ‘the Sistine Chapel of the Americas’, the Maras Salt Pans, the circular terraces of Moray, and the Wari ruins of Pikillacta.

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