Festivity of the Virgin of Carmen

Another of the great celebrations that take place in the region of Cusco is the festivity of the Virgen del Carmen. It is celebrated in the district of Paucartambo is 3 hours from the city of Cusco at a height of 3,017 m.s.n.m. Its celebration takes place from July 15 to 18 of each year, thousands of believers travel to Paucartambo to be a participant in the procession and the whole celebration in honor of the Virgen del Carmen, also called "Mamacha Carmen". During the days of celebration, the dancers go dancing their typical dances in the narrow cobbled streets of the town, preceded by their bands and orchestras. Everything is transformed into colorful costumes and musical chords. The pilgrims intermingle with the groups of dancers, confusing each other in a magical celebration.

On a central day, the Virgin is led in procession to bless the assistants and ward off the demons. The dancers "Sajras" perform gymnastic and risky tests on the roofs of the houses, showing their attires of Inca and colonial styles.

At the end of the procession at night in the main square of Paucartambo, there is a war or better known as a guerrilla against the demons and dancers of which the faithful come out triumphant. The last day the celebration ends in the "kacharpari", or farewell party held by each comparsas in their respective premises.

The origin goes back to the colonial era when the then ruler of Peru, Don Pedro Fernandez de Castro Andrade, Count of Lemos, traveled through upper Peru, came through Puno to Cuzco, told him that, in Pucará, a miracle had happened, The effigy of the Virgin appeared on a rock and when the Viceroy personally verified it. Upon the return of the Viceroy Conde de Lemos, he ordered the carving of two identical effigies of the same size that sent them to Pucará, to be venerated in this temple, the other in Puno. Although several years had already elapsed, the image of the Puna people staying in Pucará was not collected. When this news reached the ears of Mrs. Maria Campos, a person of very comfortable economic condition who made his travels from Puno to Paucartambo, he made his efforts to bring the image to Paucartambo from whose date his festival is celebrated with the possible solemnity.

Tres Cruces lookout

Taking advantage of this festivity you can visit the viewpoint of three crossings at 45 km. Where you can appreciate one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world. This natural viewpoint oriented towards the Amazon, in this place occurs the so-called white ray, a phenomenon that occurs when the sun rises on the horizon and the clouds begin to move, while they mix with moisture, the light distorts as if it crosses a prism and shows us an effect of three suns, one of which jumps from one side to the other. This natural phenomenon is observed between June and July. The departures to the viewpoint are from 1:00 in the morning and the travel time is approximately 2 hours. The show starts at 4:30 a.m. until 6:00 a.m.

Published date: 19/07/2019

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