“Virgen Del Carmen” Festival


This last weak Huarocondo celebrated the Festividad de la Santisima Virgen del Carmen, this has to be the biggest celebration that we have seen outside of the Inti Raymi. The festival starts July 15th and runs through the 20th.

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The first day of the festival seemed to be the longest with dancers in colorful costumes performing traditional dances throughout the day and well into the evening. There were large bonfires and fireworks in the evening followed by a late evening mass, after mass cake was served and there were more fireworks with the partying continuing to well after midnight.

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On the second day there was more dancing and a precession, where they bring the statue of the Virgen del Carmen out of the church, and have a procession around the plaza. The day continues with more dancing and fireworks in the evening with tall towers that are constructed with pinwheels and designs that explode with light, each consecutive day follows with more dancing and fireworks.

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One common theme of all of the days is good food and drink, some of the delectable food items available are anticuchos (shish kabob), Chicharron, Soups, and of course lechon, the adobe oven backed pig that Huarocondo is famous for. For drinks, there was a variety of liquors, lots of beer and an interesting drink calls abas punch, this is made from the abas bean with some sugar and a little alcohol in it, definitely a must try if you happen to be here for the festival.

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While I found the Inti Raymi to be interesting, it was much more a staged production number and in my opinion, not near as interesting as this festival. We had a few guests that joined us for the first few days of the festival and everybody seemed to have a fun time, watching the dancing, enjoying the food and even attending mass on the first night. Even as this festival is winding up, I find myself looking forward to sharing it with another set of guests next year.

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So if you are considering a trip to Peru in the future, and It is going to be in July, why not consider visiting between the 15th and the 20th of July, and stop by Huarocondo one afternoon or evening to enjoy the festivities.

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About Lyle

I love travel and currently own and operate a Bed and Breakfast called GringoWasi with my beautiful Peruvian wife, the property is located in the small town of Huarocondo, and about 30 minutes West of Cusco Peru.
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6 Responses to “Virgen Del Carmen” Festival

  1. schlomorig says:

    Nice post. I was at paucartambo for the festival very interesting but I’m sure way more criwded. If I’m in Peru next year maybe I’ll go to see the festival in huaracondo !!

    • Lyle says:

      It was definitely a fun time, the only tourists that we saw were the ones staying with us. We met one real nice family that had traveled from Arequipa to attend, they mentioned that the three biggest were the ones in Huarocondo, Paucartambo, and I don’t remember the third. The one you attended looks to be about 4 hours from Cusco though, so ours is definitely more convenient.

  2. pmaghamfar says:

    Looks to be a vibrant colorful festival!

  3. Hannah says:

    What is the best time of day to go?

    • Lyle says:

      Hi Hannah, anytime can be good, there are normally groups dancing on and off all day and into the night. I believe that tomorrow (the 19th) is when they have the actual competition, so there may be more activity then, but most anytime of the day and into the evening there will be dancers and music. If you want to experience the fireworks, then the evening would be best as they normally start the fireworks somewhere around 9:00 pm. They do not normally have any real itinerary and at times thing seem to just happen as they happen, so it is difficult to anticipate what will be happening when, but if you spend a few hours here you are sure to see some traditional dances and costumes and I am sure you will have a good time. For reference, if planning to come in the evening, be sure to have return transportation arranged in advance, the public transportation only runs up to about 8:00 pm.

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