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**VIRGIN OF PAUCARTAMBO FESTIVAL "CUSCO" (03 DAYS - 02 NIGHTS)

 

The annual Fiesta of the Virgen Del Carmen is a colorful mix of Andean pre-Columbian ceremonies and Catholic religion in which masked costumed dancers relive ancient gods and rites. This Andean religious celebration reflects the centuries-old struggle between Christianity and pre-Columbian Andean pantheism, the Virgin is no longer just the Mother of God, she is also Mother Earth, or Pachamama.

 

ITINERARY

 

Day 01: CUSCO - PAUCARTAMBO

Early morning transfer by private transportation from Cusco to Paucartambo village visiting areas such as Urcos and the Ch'ullpas of Ninamarka. About 10.00 am we arrive at Paucartambo (13,200 ft), lodging in a shared accommodations and taking a rest. Then we have a walking tour with our private guide sorrunded by thousands of devotes and visitors. Next we have a buffet lunch with typical cuisine. Later in the afternoon we can observe the sixteen colorful "comparsas", dancing in honour of the Mamacha Del Carmen. After lunch, a riotous firework display is held in the main square, during which the Qhapaq Qolla, the Ch'unchos and the Saqras dance wildly like some medieval vision of hell called "Fogata". The fogata ('fire') is staged in the night, a representation of Purgatory which continues with a big fiesta and serenade to the Virgen Del Carmen. At around midnight, in an emotional gathering, all the comparsas meet again - this time without their elaborate costumes - to solemnly serenade the Virgin in front of the closed doors of the church. (L/D)

 

DAY 02: PAUCARTAMBO - TRES CRUCES DE ORO

After breakfast we attend Central Mass following the great procession of "La Mamacha" to bless those present and scare away demons. We'll see the different comparsas and specially the "Saqras" who occupy the rooftops and balconies of the town; these are Euro-Andean devils, dressed in vivid rainbow-colored costumes and elaborate animal masks crowned with extravagant wigs. Then we eat lunch. The afternoon is free for enjoying and exploring the site. We have dinner, and then we make our way towards the camp Tres Cruces de Oro, 40 km north away from Paucartambo, which is situated on the very edge of the Andes mountains at a height of 12,100 feet. From Tres Cruces, there is a steep drop into the Amazon basin, which means the view is incredible. It's most famous for the sunrise in the months of June and July because special climatic conditions mean that there are optical illusions. (B/L/D)

 

DAY 03: PAUCARTAMBO - CUSCO

Wake up before dawn and then we set out to see one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in the world: the sunrise at Tres Cruces de Oro (12,100 ft), where the Sun "dances" in the sky, or the Sun "plays" in the sky. We eat some snacks and we return back to Paucartambo. Breakfast. This day we attend with our guide the Blessing Mass. In the afternoon the image of the Virgin is carried through the narrow streets of the village to the venerable colonial-era bridge named Carlos III, surrounded by all those who have attended the festival, standing or kneeling tightly-packed and respectfully silent, the Qhapaq Qolla and Qhapaq Negro address the Virgin in a moving song of farewell. On this place the Virgin imparts her blessings to the fourth regions (suyos). Ended the procession continues the spectacular "guerrilla" between the group of the Qollas of the Andes and the Antis of the jungle who do mock-battle in a hilarious slapstick encounter recalling the wars between Qollasuyo and Antisuyo in the time of the Inkas. Finally the comparsas venture forth for the last time to dance the traditional Kachapari or farewell, closing for another year this magic feast. Return to Cusco. (B/L)

 

 

INCLUDED:

• All the round trip Cusco - Paucartambo - Tres Cruces - Paucartambo - Cusco by private ground transportation

• One night in basic accommodations in Paucartambo village with breakfast included

• Excellent meals as specified in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, T=Tea time)

• Fully guided sightseeing during the trip

• English speaking professional guide services included guide assistant

• Full camping equipment for the 2nd day: large igloo tents for 2 people, Double thickness foam mattress, dining tent with tables and chairs and kitchen tent

• First-aid kit including emergency oxygen tank if needed

 

NOT INCLUDED

• Breakfast on the first morning and dinner on the last day

• Sleeping bags

• Personal equipment

• Extra food or beverages

• Insurance of any kind

• Personal Expenses

• Tips

• Others not specified

 

RECOMMENDATIONS AND NOTES

We can provide vegetarian meals or cater for special diets with no extra cost. Just let us know at least 2 days prior to trek departure

 

SEASON

14th, 15th and 16th July every year

Accommodations, transportation, meals, and optional excursions can be arranged

 

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