Have you ever heard about the sun god and the festival that brings together millions in the city of Cusco? June is a colorful month full of happiness, as everyone prepares to celebrate the biggest cultural feast in south. The great Feast of Sun God.
The Inti Raymi or “The Sun Feast” is celebrated every 24th of June in Cusco in honor of god Sun or “Inti” (quechua). This ceremony was the most important for the Inca empire due to the fact that the sun was their principal deity. The feast indicated the start of the year (it is equivalent to what nowadays is the New Year party) as well as the mythical origin of the Incas. It used to last 9 days. Days in which sacrifices and offerings were done.
There were many reason that impelled the Inca civilization to make those sacrifices and offerings to the Sun (the king star). One of them was that the Inca and the cusquenian nobility were natural sons of the Sun; they obeyed him their existence and correspond with sacrifices and offerings. On the other hand, if the harvest of the corn was good they had to be grateful to him, but if it was bad, they had to beg him so that the incoming year compensates them with a good production.
In June (winter solstice) the Sun went away and the cold increased. Also the water was crystallized at dawn so they needed to beg the sun to come back. They beg him to stop advancing towards the north on the morning twilights. Finally, they had to testify the eternity and the total surrender of their children to the god Inti with submission and respect. More than six centuries ago, the Inca Pachakuteq instituted The Sun Feast. The Cusquenian people still represent the Inti Raymi with the same fervor that their ancestors had in the splendid times of the Inca Empire.
The Sun Feast, in its contemporary version, it is made since June 24th of 1944 when the feasts of a memorable town were instituted to remember its ancient origin and the cradle of the great Inca civilization.
The recreation of the ceremony still preserves all its majestic glory but without the sacrifices of llamas or the procession of the mummies. The ceremony starts early in the morning with the arrival of the four “Suyos”: Collasuyo, Contisuyo, Antisuyo and Chichaysuyo representatives (ñustas, coyas, pallas and delegates) in the Qoricancha esplanade. The Sapa Inca opens the party invoking the praise of the sun (Inti) and then the royal entourage follows him to the main square of Cusco within a short distance.
The final part of this recreation takes place in Sacsayhuaman. There, thousands of spectators from all over the world meet to appreciate this ancestral celebration. Dressed with traditional clothes, the Inca offers his last words in Quechua (The Inca’s language) before the sacrifice of a llama (they do not use a real llama). The feast ends with the sounds of horns, panpipes and leather drums.
Several reasons compelled the Inca civilization to make sacrifices and offerings to their king, a personification of the Sun, to which they owed their existence! On the other hand, if corn harvest was good during the last agricultural year, it was necessary to be thankful, and if the harvest was poor, it was necessary to ask to be compensated better next year. The final reason was that the sun moved away in June (during the winter solstice) so the temperatures dropped and water was freezing at dawn. Therefore, it was necessary to ask the Sun for its return to stay close at dusk and not move away northward. Finally, it was necessary to prove the sun (the eternal and absolute gift of its children) their submission and respect.
When is Inti Raymi celebrated? Originally, it was celebrated exactly on the winter solstice, which is on the 21st of June. At present, the celebration has been moved on the 24th of June. Inti Raymi has been still celebrated on the authentic date by people living in remote places of the Andes.
Cusco festival of the Sun 2016 allows you to completely learn about the Inca´s culture and have a once in a life experience with the many colorful, festive and cultural events at this time.
Day 01 - 22nd June: Arrival to Cusco
Day 02 - 23rd June: Sacred Valley Tour
Day 03 - 24th June: Inti Raymi Tour (Inca festival of the Sun)
Day 04 - 25th June: Machu Picchu Tour
Day 05 - 26th June: Departure
Crew: Salkantay Trek Machu representatives in Cusco and a professional bilingual Tour Guide.
Accommodation: 3* hotels (4 nights).
Meals: 6x breakfast, 1x Buffet lunch on the Sacred Valey and Box lunch in the Inti Raymi festival .
Transportation: Transportation by private van, a train round trip (Expedition Class).
If you reserve this trip, you will be making a donation to the school for special needs children
Salkantay Trek Machu DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! There is still a long way to go when it comes to a reserve of adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation
Our Representative awaits you in front of the Cusco´s arrival airport hall holding a sheet with your name. After he/she welcomes you in Cusco, he/she takes you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore around this fascinating city as well as to acclimatize to its high altitude.
The Cusco City is the oldest continuously inhabited city of this continent as well as a hub of the South American travel network! The city attracts people from all around the world, who arrive not only to visit a unique destination, but also to experience an antique culture that differs a lot from the occidental 21st century´s way of life. One could easily spend a week just in and around this site. Inca-built stone walls line most of the central streets and it is not necessary to go far to see other major Inca ruins! This is a city steeped in history, traditions and legends!
Every year, Cusco is visited by thousands of travelers, who come to delve into its noble, but tragic past. It is a perfect base for optional explorations around the city´s surroundings as well as for a range of outdoor activities.
Cusco also has got numerous colonial churches. The most important of them is the Cathedral on the main square. Its construction started in 1559 and it took 100 years to finish!! The Cathedral can pride on the biggest depository of Colonial art of the city! A vault containing remains of the famous Incan historian - Garcilaso de la Vega is just past the entrance. Other churches that are worth seeing are La Compañía, La Merced and San Francisco.
The city is also a perfect base for those more adventurous as it offers a range of optional outdoor activities such as white river rafting on Urubamba River, horseback riding around nearby archaeological sites (Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara) or mountain biking down to Maras-Moray-Salineras and perhaps visiting some Incan sites on the way.
One of the most spectacular days of the tour takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas that was once an important source of food to Incan people. Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that keep supplying the city of Cusco with much of its production. As it lays 600 metres lower than Cusco, its average temperature is 5ºC higher so it has got a very pleasant climate.
The tour shows us around the major archaeological sites placed in Pisaq, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. At Pisaq, an optional two hour (5 km) trek allows us to fully appreciate this huge antique Incan city nestled high in this Andean range. Later on, we can observe a colorful handicraft market at the modern Pisaq Town that is without any doubt a unique place to find perfect souvenirs! Then, we stop in Urubamba, considered to be the capital of the valley, where we have a buffet lunch offering Andean cuisine. Afterwards, we continue to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo, a place that can boast with another large Incan site. Its major ruin is known as the best surviving example of Incan urban planning and engineering! But Ollantaytambo is more than that, it is an alive and breathing Incan town!! Then we start returning to Cusco, but there is one more Incan site expecting us on the way! The site is Chinchero where we enjoy our last guided tour. Later on, we get to Cusco to overnight and get ready for Inti Raymi - the Cusco festival of the Sun 2017!
The festivity in honor of the Sun god is celebrated in 3 historical scenes.
Program of the Sacsaywaman´s scene:
Very early in the morning, we pick you up from your hotel and transfer you during a 1 hour and 40 minute ride to the railway station of Ollantaytambo in order to reach Machu Picchu by train. During this 1 hour and 45 minute ride, you experience spectacular changeable landscapes passing through lush fields and colourful villages placed on the foothill of the Andes. The highlight of the way are wonderful views of mountains and the marvellous Urubamba River that runs through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In the end, you reach Aguas Calientes, a town just below Machu Picchu, where your Tour Guide welcomes you at the railway station to accompany you to a shuttle bus taking you up to the archaeological complex of Machu Picchu following a zigzag path for about 25 minutes. Once in Machu Pichu, your Guide introduces you to the most important attractions of this unique Incan site such as its main square, the Sun Temple, Intiwatana (Sun Clock), the Royal Rooms, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Royal Incas Cemetery. This guided tour takes about 2 and half an hour and then you are given time off to explore around the complex and to climb Huayna Picchu (or Machu Picchu Mountain) to take some amazing panoramic photos of Machu Picchu. So please do not forget your camera and enjoy the visit of the "One of the New 7 Wonders of the World"!!
When you have enjoyed the site enough, you take a shuttle bus down to Aguas Calientes where you can have lunch (not included in the package) in one of many lovely restaurants offering traditional Andean as well as international cuisine. You can also visit local hot springs (entrance fee of 10 Soles is not included in the package). In the afternoon, we take a train back to Ollantaytambo where our driver expects us in front of the railway station to transfer us back to Cusco.
Transfer to the Cusco´s airport for your international flight.
End of service!
Meals budget: Please allow USD 50 - 100 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for the Inti Raymi tour, you receive your own single room for all overnights.
Local flights: There are two local flights included in the cost of the tour. It is very important that we have got your passport details at the time of booking in order to process the air ticket! Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to each flight departure!
All Salkantay Trek Machu adventurous group tours are accompanied by a Salkantay Trek Machu Tour Guide, a Representative or an expedition team. The aim of our Tour Guides is to take a hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip possible. The Tour Guides provide information on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat and introduce to his/her colleagues. The Guides have a broad general knowledge of each country visited during a tour, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local Tour Guides where we think that more specific knowledge could add more enjoyment to visited places.
These following hotels are used to accommodate you during your tour:
Accommodation in Cusco:
Address: Calle Matara N 394, Cusco
Tel: (+51) 84 224466
During the tour, we request our hotels to get ready your rooms for time of your arrival, especially, if you arrive prior to standard check-in time. Nevertheless, this is not always possible. In this case, you just store your luggage in that hotel storage room and you can explore around your new destination in between.
Please note! If you