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Peru wakes up in Tres Cruces, Paucartambo

As a tribute to Peru for its national holidays, three of the most beautiful sunrises were caught on film from the Mirador de Tres Cruces (Tres Cruces Lookout), in Paucartambo, Cusco, Peru.

A few hours before dawn, the starry sky of Paucartambo lights up Tres Cruces Lookout. Before this beautiful show begins, as is traditional since pre-Hispanic times, the “haywasqa” ceremony (payment to earth) is held, which is a way of paying tribute to nature and the strong bonds between it and people. The Pako (Andean priest) is in charge of adoring the Sun, the most important deity, and Mother Earth (Pachamama), the deity of fertility.

In the Andean world, this ritual was thought to be about reciprocity, and people thanked spirits for gifts and good fortune bestowed upon them. In the ancient rite, an oblation called “despacho” (dispatch) is offered. The oblation consists of coca leaves, cereals such as corn, granola, rice, wheat, quinoa, kiwicha, sweets, fruits, sponge cakes, precious metals, and various elements from nature. While the Pako is performing the ritual at sunrise, musicians play native melodies during this ceremony.

When the sun rises from the Tres Cruces Lookout in Paucartambo, a phenomenon called “white ray” caused by the rising of the sun on the horizon occurs. The light passes through the humid sky, distorting the image and giving the effect of three suns as if each of them was jumping from side to side. This mystical show takes place at dawn around 4:30 a.m. during winter, particularly in the months of June and July.

The most beautiful sunrise in the world is at Tres Cruces Lookout, in Paucartambo, Cusco. Learn more with us about this natural beauty.

Tres Cruces Lookout

Also known as the “Balcón del Oriente” (Balcony of the East) is one of the three places in the world where you can see the winter solstice. It is located at 3 800 m.a.s.l. in the province of Paucartambo, within the Parque Nacional del Manu (Manu National Park). It is the place where your eyes will witness the wonderful rising of the sun, with a variety of colors, shapes, and light; which can be seen from high above.

We can see the rising of the Sun and Manu National Park’s vast jungle from the Akhanacu’s natural balcony. Local and foreign tourists come to this place to delight their eyes with the highest mountain range in the snowcapped Ausangate Mountain, as well as the inter-Andean Valleys and the Paucartambo River. To the left side we can see a massive mountain known as Apuqañaqway, also called the Antisuyo’s protective mountain.

According to the legend, the sunrise phenomenon at the Tres Cruces Look occurred because people went there to clean their souls with the sunlight passing through this area. Also, this ray from the rising sun kept hatred, pain, selfishness, envy, anger and other harmful feelings away and turned them into peace and love for all attendees.

Location of Tres Cruces Lookout

It is located within the Manu National Park, approximately one hour and thirty minutes away from the town of Paucartambo. It is also located at more than 100 k.m.to the southeast of the city of Cusco, approximately 5 hours on the road from the city. However, the journey from Cusco to Paucartambo takes approximately between 3 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Useful information within Manu National Park

  1. Respect park warden’s instructions
  2. Do not pull out flowers or catch any animal
  3. Walk on the established routes.
  4. Do not litter and keep the park clean
  5. Do not start a campfire to avoid potential wildfire

Manu National Park Entry fees

Acjanaco Sector – Tres Cruces
Adults: S/ 10.00
Kids as to the age of 16: S/ 6.00

Historic-Cultural Zone – Pusharo
(1 entry, 5 days)
General fee: S/ 50.00

Limonal Zone
General fee: S/ 75.00
(1 entry, 1 day)

Manu River Zone
General fee: S/ 150.00
(1 entry, 5 days)

Recommendations for the traveler

  1. Wear warm clothes for low temperatures such as gloves, warm hats, scarf, and coat.
  2. Special shoes for trekking.
  3. Sun block and caps to protect from ultraviolet rays
  4. Bear Peruvian currency (Soles) in cash
  5. National Identity Card (for Peruvians) and/or Passports (foreigners).
  6. Bottle of water to avoid dehydration and snacks like fruit o cookies.

Enjoy this natural beauty at the Tres Cruces Lookout, and watch one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world. Travel and dare to experience something new!

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