Inti Raymi and other Raymis of Peru


ollantay raymii

Today I will tell you a secret: the Inti Raymi is not the only fiesta there is to experience in Peru, there are many more. In Quechua, Raymi means “party” and every year on June 24th, at the ruins of Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, homage is paid to the sun,”inti” in Quechua. However, several Raymis exist amid spectacular ruins. And this weekend there is one.

Caral Raymi – October 24th and 25th

There is still time to go! Caral is located about 3 hours from Lima (you can take the Lima-Supe bus from the terminal at Plaza Norte). At these ruins, the oldest in South America, you will find 5,000 years of history about the pyramids, the amphitheaters, etc. On the night of the 24th, the site is illuminated with thousands of candles and a ceremony, worshiping the Pachamama, is organized (7- 9pm). On Saturday the 25th, admission is free and the National School of Folklore performs at the ruins. There are basic hotels in Barranca or in Huacho. More information here.

Ollantay Raymi – June 29th

On June 24th, at the Inti Raymi in Cusco, thousands of people attend. To truly enjoy the show, buy a ticket to access the reserved areas (100-140 USD). Otherwise, you will have little visibility. However, on June 29th, in Ollantaytambo, the authentic village of the Sacred Valley, a more intimate celebration takes place, where people sit among the gardens. The ceremony takes place at the ruins that almost reach the perfect blue sky. The actors parade through the streets telling the love story of the warrior Ollantay and Cusi Coyllur and about the antics of his servant, Pikillacta. It is all narrated in Quechua. But, don´t worry, the actors, movements and situations ensure that everyone will understand.

Vilcas Raymi – July 24th– 29th

At this time, I invite you to stop in Ayacucho. Firstly, it is as beautiful as Cusco, but rarely visited. Secondly, Vilcashuamán, about 3 hours south of the capital, reconstitutes the battle that took place between the Chancas and the Incas at the time of the Tawantinsuyu. Last year there was a race with the Chasquis, Inca messengers who travel the Qhapac Nan or the famous Inca Trail at full speed. In this video from My Favorite Destination, succumb to the charm of Vilcashuamán. Now imagine the same, only with actors, costumes and some of the mystique of the time.

Santa Rosa Raymi – August 29th and 30th

Santa Rosa Raymi is the only Raymi in the jungle, in Lamas, a half an hour from Tarapoto. Here live the descendants of early Quechua migrants in the area: the Quechua Lamistas. They are known for their colorful costumes and ribbons the women wear in their hair. We visited this place, as seen on My Favorite Destination. But, at this time in late August, everyone goes down to the Plaza del Wayku to play, dance, jump and to hold parades. See the latest pijuaneros play the traditional lamista flute and the dance of the Karachupas, honoring anteater (an animal from the mountains) hunting. This is a Raymi with savory sounds, which is still a kept secret.

Until next time!

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