The biggest, most important celebration in Cusco, with thousands of national and international tourists in attendance. Inti Raymi – literally the “Sun Festival” – venerates the Sun god Inti, the supreme god in the Inca religion. This day celebrates the special bond between the Sun and his children, human beings. The day of June 24th – the main day of this festival – is one of the shortest in the southern hemisphere, and the Incas may have chosen this date out of fear that the Sun, their father, would abandon them.
The ceremonies begins around 9am at the Qoricancha, the Temple of the Sun, with dancers dressed in clothing from all the regions of the old Inca Empire. An actor playing the Inca Emperor ascends the steps up the ovaloid wall of the Qoricancha and directly addresses the sun before descending to the street to be carried in a procession to the main Plaza along with his wife and retinue. The ceremonies continue in the Plaza de Armas before moving to the ruins of Sacsaywaman, where the main activities take place.
Most festivals in Cusco are highly traditional, but Inti Raymi, falling as it does right in the middle of the tourist high season, has been restored with tourists in mind. Hotels and other facilities raise their rates as much as 30% around Inti Raymi week and are usually booked solid; be sure to reserve well in advance. If you want to know more about the cultural festivities of Peru, just contact us here and we help you with your enquiry.