In the department of Cusco the province of Paucartambo in the month of July brings together a crowd of pilgrims who venerate the Virgen del Carmen, also known also called “Mamacha Carmen”, who comes to be called as patron of the mestizos. Peruviansacred tells you, everything you need to know about this magical festival.
Recommendations to arrive and participate in the Feast of the Virgen del Carmen.
To attend and enjoy the Feast of the Virgen del Carmen you must first arrive in Cusco and then go to Paucartambo. It is convenient to arrive first and acclimatize in Cusco and enjoy all the tourist attractions that the city offers us. It can be reached both by land and air; The approximate travel time from Lima to Cusco by air is 45 minutes and on land (bus) 21 hours.
Once in Cusco, you can take a bus or private tour that in 2 and a half hours, will leave you in this colonial town. The ideal is to attend from July 15 to see the burning of castles and, on the 16th, attend the opening of the party. This begins with the mass of Aurora, very early, and continues with the mass of celebration in the morning hours.
The Festivity of Mamacha Carmen
The meeting begins on July 15 where it starts at the Plaza Mayor where the bands of musicians play their instruments, while the dancers sing in Quechua, beginning their choreographies that represent passages of the history of Peru.
During the days of the festival the different dances go dancing through the narrow cobbled streets of the town, preceded by their bands of musicians and traditional orchestras.
The procession of La virgen del carmen
On the central day the Virgin is led in procession to bless the participants. The presence of the chunchus, defenders of the Virgin who accompany her in her step, and the “Saqras” dancers who perform risky acrobatic tests on the roofs of the paucartambinas houses, showing their garments full of sequins and precious stones and designed by each one.
The Virgin is accompanied by 19 comparsas during their journey, among which are: the black qhapac (slaves), the Majeños (representatives of wine producers), the kachampa (Inca warriors), the siclla (“doctors” as lawyers or magistrates), among others.
The “Bosque” and the Guerrilla
The “forest” is an activity in which the qollas throw toys from the balconies or the plaza for the attendees; It is usually aimed at the little ones. They can also throw fruits, flour, beer, foam or hot chili during the party.
On the other hand, there is also the traditional “guerrilla”, near the last day of the celebration, which embodies the dispute between the qollas and chunchus for the image of the Virgin. This “fight” is carried out because both are considered the guardians of Carmen Mamacha.
Tres Cruces: The beautiful sunrise
An unmissable activity is to visit the Tres Cruces viewpoint. Near Paucartambo at an altitude of 45km and 3800 meters above sea level, there is this viewpoint, also known as the “Balcony of the East”. From there you can appreciate the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets during the winter solstice (June and July).
In this month enjoy the feast of the Virgen del Carmen one that you can not miss during your visit to Cusco. Sing, dance, pray and fill yourself with joy in Paucartambo, cusco. If you want to know more traditional festivals or tourist destinations of Cusco and Peru, we invite you to read the travel blog of PeruvianSacred and visit our Home Page.