The amazing Virgen del Carmen festival is held yearly in July, with principal days on the 15th and 16th. Virgen del Carmen as an unforgettable experience, filled with dancing, celebrating, and all-night parties.
The festival takes place in the village of Paucartambo, located four hours outside of Cusco, Peru. Visitors travel from throughout the country and South American continent to attend. While Virgen del Carmen is a religious festival, it’s also an extremely hedonistic and fun-filled event.
Throughout the day and night, processions of traditionally dressed dance companies, move through Paucartambo’s cobblestone streets. The dances portray events of cultural and historical importance, by participants dressed as well-known characters (Doctorcitos, Waca Waca, Saqra). As the Virgen del Carmen festival continues, the dancer act out war waged on demons, from which the faithful emerge in triumph. This is a dramatic, thrilling ceremony, filled with fireworks, mock battle, and gymnastics.
On the final day, the virgin (Virgen del Carmen) is carried aloft in a procession to bless those present and scare away demons. Throughout the festival, local food and drink, parties, and artisan vendors abound. Accommodation can be very full, but simple hostel rooms or camping space can usually be found.
After a busy night at Virgen del Carmen, many festival-goers continue to Tres Cruces for a phenomenal sunrise. From Tres Cruces, the Andes plunge down to the Amazon basin, affording incredible views.
This location is most famous for the sunrise in the month of July because special climatic conditions mean a possibility of awesome optical illusions. As the sun emerges over a seemingly endless sea of clouds covering the Amazon basin, enjoy the extreme colors and optical illusions that Tres Cruces is famous for!
Are you interested in joining Ayni Peru for Virgen del Carmen and Tres Cruces in 2017? We offer both group and private departures for this unique festival. Our standard itinerary is a 2D/1N guided trip, but we are also very happy to customize your tour!