Welcome to our 5-part blog series featuring some of Peru’s most exclusive, authentic, and unheard-of travel experiences handpicked by our team of Kuoda Travel Designers. Many of these experiences are exclusive to Kuoda travelers, as we pull on our local connections and intimate knowledge of Peru to create something special and unique for your once-in- a-lifetime vacation in Peru.
– For Your Consideration: History & Culture Tours in Peru
Peru is a land of rich history and culture. Its people carry on the traditions of their ancestors, be they farmers, Incas, or former slaves. In the Peruvian highlands, Quechua is still spoken, the Inti Raymi sun festival is still celebrated, and textiles are still woven in the way of the Incas. In the north near Trujillo, traditional dancers still square off next to the nimble trots of the Peruvian Paso Horse just like centuries of marinera dancers before them. Ancient history and culture color every part of the Peruvian culture today. Below, we share five incredible cultural experiences you can enjoy on your Peruvian vacation.
1. Celebrate Inti Raymi, Cusco’s most important ritual celebration, in the way the Incas celebrated it centuries ago
By far, Inti Raymi is Cusco’s most celebrated holiday. Occurring every June 24, the city pauses to partake in the centuries-old celebration. From the Q’oricancha (Sun Temple of the Incas) to Sacsayhuaman, follow the procession and relive firsthand a festival that dates back to Incan times. The festivities unfold in the exact same way they’ve been celebrated since the very first celebration, Quechua and all. This is a can’t-miss cultural experience for your Peru vacation. Just be sure to plan your trip for late June!
2. Cross the last hand-woven Inca bridge of its kind at the Q’eswachaka Rope Bridge
If heights don’t frighten you and Incan feats of engineering enthrall you, make a visit to the Q’eswachaka Bridge, the last remaining hand-woven Inca bridge of its kind. Each year on the second Sunday in June, locals gather to rebuild the bridge using the same techniques as its original makers, the Incas. The bridge is located in the Apurimac Canyon about 160 kilometers south of Cusco. Attend the festival in June or simply visit the bridge any time of year to marvel at its unique construction. If you dare, you are welcome to traverse it for an even more memorable Peru vacation moment.
3. Dance around the Yunza Tree during a traditional Peruvian Carnival
If you’ll be traveling during Carnival season in February, ask your Kuoda Travel Designer about attending this Peruvian Carnival tradition. A gift-adorned tree called the yunza becomes center of the show as festival-goers take a healthy whack at it with an axe. Whoever winds up knocking the tree down is responsible for providing the next year’s yunza tree, gifts and all. When the tree falls, the crowd scrambles to collect the gifts. This is a joyful celebration worth experiencing on your custom Peru vacation.
4. Visit a native indigenous village in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest
Experience life as a local in a jungle community located deep inside the Amazon Rainforest, where tradition and folklore live on from generation to generation. Learn firsthand from the village shaman ancient spiritual healing rituals that have kept their indigenous population alive and well for centuries in a harsh and dangerous environment. Meet and greet with local craftsmen and artisans and listen in on stories passed down through the ages. This is an intimate Amazon experience that will raise the bar for the rest of your private Peru vacation.
5. Visit the stables of the renowned Peruvian Paso horse and watch the horses dance with their human counterparts in a “marinera” demonstration
Like nothing you’ve ever seen before, the quick-paced and elegant marinera dance is a romantic and flirtatious couple’s dance done astride the delicate steps of the Peruvian Paso Horse. See this enchanting dance unfold before your eyes at a marinera exhibition in Trujillo, where the dance is said to have originated, or at a traditional Peruvian hacienda. This is a must-do experience for your luxury Peru tour.
– Which Cultural Tour Will You Include on Your Custom Peru Vacation?
The festival calendar in Peru is full and ancient tradition still has a beating heart. Find out exactly what is happening and when, and plan your trip to Peru around what you wish to experience most on your Peruvian culture vacation. Speak to a Kuoda Travel Designer for additional information about these cultural experiences and more.