Posted by: eeb | June 19, 2010

The Countdown to Inti Raymi

Yesterday Beth, Helen, Lindsey, Kim and I were walking to one of the markets in town to buy some Peruvian goodies. After we walked through the Plaza de Armas, we turned and ran right into a parade! There were hundreds of kids dressed in ornate costumes dancing up the street!

parading up Avenida del Sol

As soon as we saw this, we immediately whipped out our cameras and started taking tons of pictures! Group after group danced by us. Most of the groups had children dancing, with adults playing drums and wooden flutes.

aren't their costumes spectacular?

We later found out that this parade is part of the eight-day celebration that ends with the climax of all Incan holidays: Inti Raymi. Better known as the Festival of the Sun, Inti Raymi is the ancient Inca’s celebration of the winter solstice. It takes place at Sacsayhuaman, which are Incan ruins just a mile or so away from the heart of Cusco. Inti Raymi will take place next Thursday (June 24), so the celebrations leading up to it have just begun!

resting during the parade

We originally walked by the parade around 2 PM and when we walked back around 5 it was still going on! The parade was marching up one of the main streets, Avenida del Sol, and then making its final turn into the Plaza de Armas. Beth and I watched outside for a long time, and were mostly surrounded by local Peruvians, which was a lot of fun.


After watching for awhile, we decided to eat dinner at one of the restaurants with a balcony that overlooks the Plaza. When we finished around 7 the parade was still going, and we talked to some of our friends this morning who said the final group didn’t dance until midnight!

one of the many groups performing their dance

The parade was amazing to watch…lots of color, culture, and a little bit of chaos. The locals lined the streets, set off fireworks, and cheered. It was so fun to just stumble upon it! After seeing all of the effort that must have gone into this celebration, I cannot wait to see what Inti Raymi will be like!

having fun in the parade

the kids loved having their picture taken!

Beth and me watching the parade with some local Peruvians

the parade reaching the Plaza de Armas at dusk

I’ll post again after I get back from Lake Titicaca…I leave tonight and get back early Tuesday morning! Enjoy your weekends : )

P.S. If you haven’t read about the trip to the Amazon, keep scrolling down!



  1. Gosh, your blog leaves one with the impression that you’re in the most colorful place on earth!

  2. I didn’t see a single fire truck in your photos. What’s up with that, don’t they know how Morgantowners celebrate the big holidays?! I could take as many photos of our parades as you did, but they would all be the same, just one big ol’ fire truck after another….

  3. Emma, I read that many years ago, Inti Raymi lasted nine days. Maybe the Incas can also be credited for the creation of the West Virginia State Fair? Wonder if the Incas had steak sandwiches from the Cattlemen’s trailer?

  4. Hi Emma! I have really enjoyed reading all your posts! Your trip looks and sounds amazing! I love all the pictures! I hope you are having the time of your life!

  5. Emma, I have enjoyed reading your blog! It sounds like you have had an amazing time in Peru. I hope you have good last days and a safe return home. I look forward to seeing you in the fall. Go Spiders! Gail B.

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