Peru is full of ancient traditions and festivals throughout the year. Any time you choose to travel to the South American country will be great to visit it! But there’s a special date in Cusco, which also includes its anniversary, and it is the month of June. A date when you will see one of the most historic and important festivals of the year. Cusco Peru Travel invites you to witness the Inca celebration of The Inti Raymi Festival.
The Inti Raymi
The Inti Raymi or “Fiesta del Sol” was the biggest, most spectacular and magnificent feast of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire. Formally, the Inti Raymi lasted about 15 days, people made sacrifices and presented dances to worship the Sun God.
The last Inti Raymi held with the presence of an Inca Emperor was in 1535, a year before the Spanish conquest in Cusco. After the Spanish conquest, the Inca continued celebrating Inti Raymi but hidden from the Spaniards.
Every year, on June 24th, the city comes alive, and the population expands with tourists who want to see this colorful day, filled with ancient entertainment. The day starts at the Inca Temple, Coricancha, where the day opens with an Inca ceremony held at the gardens in front of the temple. There is no seating, but you can see the ceremony from the main avenue. Then the parade moves to the main square in Cusco.
The Main Square of Cusco
The main square is closed and the crowds are big. It is a good idea, if you want to view the ceremony, to book a table at one of the many second-floor restaurants at the plaza… you will get a great view of the proceedings.
Sacsayhuaman – The main place
From the main square, walk and follow the parade to the archaeological place of Sacsayhuaman, where the main ceremony takes place. Be prepared for large crowds! Additionally, you will need to take some supplies for the day like food, water, snacks, hat, and sunscreen.
You may be asking what happens on the day and what is Inti Raymi about? On June 24, actors are selected, this is considered an honor to perform the rituals of Inti Raymi and they gather at Coricancha to begin the ceremony.
Actors play the roles of the Sun King and his wife. The King delivers a speech praising the sun before being carried on a golden chariot to the temple of Sacsayhuaman. The procession follows close behind with many local actors playing the part of Inca nobles, priests and town people. Some local women lead the procession by laying a path of flowers to free the way of evil spirits.
Once everyone has arrived at Sacsayhuaman, the Sun King addresses the Snake who represents the underworld, the Puma who represents the earth and the Condor who represents heaven. A fake sacrifice is then performed and the fake heart of a llama is held up to Mother Earth to ensure a good harvest. As the sun sets, a fire is lit, the ceremony closes, and the Sun King and his wife are carried back to Coricancha. During the ceremony, the King speaks in Quechua, the ancient Inca language.
It began in 1412 but was suppressed in the 16th Century by the Spaniards, saying it was a pagan ceremony. It began again in 1944 inspired by the writing of Garcilaso de la Vega, a 16th Century poet.
Things that you must carry on to the Inti Raymi Festival
- Warm jacket
- Extra Cash
This important city must be on your travel list at any time of the year there are many places to visit during your trip to Cusco. For example, Cusco has many archaeological sites in and around the city, like Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambomachay, and more. Also, if you want to go further, you can travel approximately an hour from the city and visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Here, you will find many fascinating places to explore. The area is also famous for its natural beauty. Nestled in the Andes, the area has some of the most stunning scenery you will ever encounter. In Cusco Peru Travel we will help you with your next vacation holiday in this important South-American city.
Travel from the Sacred Valley to the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, because no visit to Peru would be complete without a visit to this Wonder of the World. Hidden for centuries the site will take you back to Inca times and amaze you with its beauty.
There are many Luxury hotel in Cusco and most of them are located in the main square. Moreover, most of the hotels are in renovated Spanish Colonial houses and some feature stunning art collections. A Luxury travel Peru is easy with Cusco Peru Travel, which offers private transport and some of the most luxurious train journeys that you will find anywhere in the world.
So, come and experience Peru’s Inti Raymi festival held every year in June. The event will give you a great insight into the Inca traditions and beliefs. Don’t be afraid and discover your next vacation spot in Peru.
Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. The country features the coast, where Lima is located, the highlands and the Andes, where you will find Cusco and Machu Picchu, and the Amazon basin –Tambopata & Iquitos– for those who love nature. Book your tour to Peru today.
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