Paucartambo Virgen del Carmen festival and Tres cruces 2018

The amazing Virgen del Carmen festival is held yearly in July, with the main days of celebration on the 15th and 16th. Virgen del Carmen as an unforgettable experience, filled with dancing, celebrating, and all-night parties.

The festival takes place in the village of Paucartambo, located four hours outside of Cusco, Peru. It attracts visitors all regions of Peru and the South American continent. Although Virgen del Carmen is a religious festival, it’s also a wild and fun-filled event.

Throughout the day and night, processions of traditionally dressed dance groups move through Paucartambo’s cobblestone streets. The dances portray events of cultural and historical importance, with participants dressed as well-known characters (Doctorcitos, Waca Waca, Saqra). As the Virgen del Carmen festival continues, the dancers portray wars waged against demons, from which the faithful emerge in triumph. This is a dramatic, thrilling ceremony, filled with fireworks, mock battles, and gymnastics.

On the final day, the virgin (Virgen del Carmen) is carried aloft in a procession to bless those present and scare away demons. Throughout the festival, local food and drink, parties, and artisan vendors abound. Accommodation can be difficult to find during the festivities, but simple hostel rooms or camping space can usually be found.

After a busy night at Virgen del Carmen, many festival-goers continue to Tres Cruces view-point for a phenomenal sunrise. From Tres Cruces, the Andes plunge down to the Amazon basin, affording incredible views. This location is most famous for sunrises in the month of July because special climatic conditions create amazing optical illusions. As the sun emerges over a seemingly endless sea of clouds covering the Amazon basin, enjoy the magical colors and optical illusions that Tres Cruces is famous for!