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Cusco never rests. Its ancient past pulses through its streets, squares, and valleys. No one is left unmoved by the mark left by its history and the sophisticated Inca engineering that mastered stone molding like few other cultures have done. And there is no greater proof of this than the citadel of Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu is considered Peru’s most important tourist destination and one of the most-visited sites worldwide. Situated at 2,360 meters above sea level, in the Urubamba River Valley, Machu Picchu dazzles all who visit it with its beauty and mystery. PeruRail offers a comfortable and original way of reaching the famed Inca sanctuary on our Belmond Hiram Bingham, Vistadome, and Expedition trains.
Purchase your train tickets to Machu Picchu here.

 

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Altitude

2,360 m.a.s.l.

Destinos : Cusco

Cusco

The city’s ancient past pulses through its streets, squares, and valleys.

Traditional Holidays

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  • January 20

    Ch'iaraje

    Ritual combat between the residents of the communities of Checa and Quehue, who go head-to-head in a battle meant to contribute to the soil’s fertility. The winning community is the one that succeeds in occupying the most land. The man, armed with slings, leather whips, and sticks, don vests decorated with flowers. The women help by caring for the horses and egging the men on with their songs.

  • February to March

    Carnival of Cusco

    A celebration that brings the population of Cusco together through joy and light-hearted play. The Carnival of Cusco begins with the Compadres y Comadres festivity, two Thursdays before the central day of Carnival. This date is followed by the Yunzas or Cortamontes, this festival’s main attraction. Also not to be missed is the parade through downtown Cusco, accompanied by the carnivalesque culinary festival and Cusco’s famous T’impu or Puchero dish.

  • February 2

    Combat of Tocto

    Held at the site known as Tocto, located on the border of the Districts of Yanaoca and Livitaca. The combat lasts three days, recalling the ancient struggles to gain more farmland. On the first day, participants get set in place. The second day marks the start of one-on-one fights, after which groups of five or even ten people are formed. After eating and drinking heartily, the combatants face off until the third day, during which they gather the wounded and perform the qhaswa (circles celebrating the losers and winners).

  • February to March

    Carnival of Cusco

    A celebration that brings the population of Cusco together through joy and light-hearted play. The Carnival of Cusco begins with the Compadres y Comadres festivity, two Thursdays before the central day of Carnival. This date is followed by the Yunzas or Cortamontes, this festival’s main attraction. Also not to be missed is the parade through downtown Cusco, accompanied by the carnivalesque culinary festival and Cusco’s famous T’impu or Puchero dish.

  • May

    Lord of Torrechayoc

    The origins of this festival date back to 1860, when an enormous cross was erected in the snow and a mass was held to inaugurate a stretch of the road between Urubamba and Lares. Years later, that cross was taken to Urubamba, where it is worshipped. After mass, the cross is borne in a procession with all of its jewels. Festivities include fireworks, traditional dances, bullfights, and cockfights featuring Peruvian gallo navajero fighting roosters.

  • June 24

    Inti Raymi

    Inti Raymi, or the Festival of the Sun, is held on the Southern Hemisphere’s winter solstice. The ceremony takes place on the terrace of Sacsayhuaman, following an elaborate script that includes the simulated sacrifice of two llamas in order to foresee the future. The ceremony is presided over by the Inca who urges the government leaders, at the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, to faithfully perform their duties. The event comes to a close at sunset, giving way to festive celebrations.

    Location: Terrace of Sacsayhuaman (3,600 m.a.s.l.) located 2 km from the city of Cusco.

    Services: Cusco’s Municipal Festivities Office offers all the necessary services, including comfortable fiberglass seats, portable toilets, a tourist information booth, first aid, and security (police and private security) for you to enjoy the Festival of the Sun in absolute comfort.

  • June

    Corpus Christi

    A procession featuring 15 patron saints widely venerated in the city. Music and folklore groups join the processions. The traditional dish of this festivity is chiri uchu (roast guinea pig with jerky, toasted maize, rocoto chili pepper, boiled hen, cheese, cochayuyo kelp, sausage, fish eggs, and maize tortilla). On the main day, all of the saints and virgins take part in a procession around the Main Square, after which the figures are taken into the Cathedral for the greeting ceremony.

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