"The Navel of the World" Top 5 Page for this destination Cuzco by mad4travel

Cuzco Travel Guide: 211 reviews and 527 photos

Winter Solstice Festival

Sacred capital of the Inca Empire and known to the early Incas as the ‘navel of the world’,
Cuzco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America. The city is filled with the Inca legacy, evident in the straight cobbled streets lined with the remains of exquisite stone walls built by the Incas, examples of ancient stonework incorporated into the structure of colonial churches and buildings, and the Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas that fill the streets with their bright dress and colourful handicrafts

I was lucky enough to be in Cuzco around the time of Inti Raimi , the Festival of the Sun, celebrated on the southern hemishphere's winter solstice.

Unfortunately I could not get to the actual ceremony - which actually turned out to be a good thing as I had Macchu Picchu virtually to myself as everyone was here - but that's another story.

There are several days of processions that lead up to the solstice played out in Cuzco's main square.

It was a delight to sit up in one of the balcony cafes, sipping a cappuchino and watch the colour, noise, enthusiasm and celebration going on below.

These guys sure know how to party-the processions went on all day!

Parades and more parades

The first day of the parades were undertaken by university students. In between groups in national costume, students were also dressed up as doctors, nurses, engineers representing different faculties of the university.

Even more parades....

The second day the parade was by schoolkids. There was lots rehersing all afternoon the day before in some of the smaller squares behind the main plaza.

Cuzco is a pretty cool place even without the festival. It has a pretty main square, interesting Cathedrals , churches and museums. There is plenty of inca foundations to be seen and people are very friendly.
We were given the usual warnings tho of not walking streets late at night or carrying large amounts of cash but we did'nt have any problems.

For more info on Cuzco check out my tips.

For more info on Peru check out my Peru and Macchu Picchu pages:
Peru Pages

Macchu Picchu Pages

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful main square and interesting streets
  • Cons:watch yourself at night
  • In a nutshell:Go when the festivals are on for local colour
  • Last visit to Cuzco: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated Jun 29, 2006
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Reviews (8)

Comments (6)

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2008 at 5:04 AM

    pretty amazing suff in this place, or what ?

  • Jun 14, 2007 at 7:51 AM

    Great pages, this is such a good site. hoping to visit here in a few months time

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2007 at 12:04 PM

    Great story about the guy in Sacsayhuaman. Sounds like a clever way to fleece people.

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2006 at 6:44 AM

    Really good your Cuzco pages

  • goingsolo's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2006 at 12:15 PM

    One of the most interesting places in the world, in my humble opinion. Been dreaming of MP for a while, but didn't focus too much on Cuzco. Thanks for providing so much great info!

  • Maillekeukeul's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2005 at 5:05 AM

    I've been there too... So many great memories... Thanks for sharing !!!

mad4travel

“Its not bad weather, it's just the wrong clothes!”

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