Peru 5: Festividad de la Virgen del Carmen in Paucartambo and Tres Cruces viewpoint

Witnessing one of the original religious festivals is gripping – just so different to anything we have seen before.

Um bei einer solchen Fahrt am richtigen Tag im richtigen Dorf zu sein ist auch Glücksache. In letzter Minute erfuhren wir vom Virgen del Carmen Fest in Paucartambo -weitgehend als eines der noch wirklich ursprünglichen religiösen Feste in Peru bekannt und noch nicht stark vom Tourismus beeinflusst. Ein tief berührendes Erlebnis mit exotischen Masken, Musik, Tanz und Feuerwerk.

This festival is one of the most authentic and not very touristic and takes place once a year in July. We were fortunate to hear about it in time to make the journey.

Arriving and looking at the statues on the plaza did not quite prepare us for what we would experience. The statues reflect the different groups participating.

The small town burst its seams and we wild camped at S13 deg 19.7857 W071deg 35.0680 along the river just outside the town. Traffic was heavy and it can took more than one hour to cross the bridge into town. The festival runs mainly Friday and Saturday with various troupes representing different professions and groupings.

Friday evening culminated in a fireworks display among the participants within the very crowded little plaza of Paucartambo.

The Saturday afternoon was the highlight with the carrying of the Virgen del Carmen through Paucartambo.

We drove on to the viewpoint Tres Cruces to witness the sunrise next morning, the mirador being at 3660m. We camped at the parking lot at S13deg073298 W071deg36.7039.

What we hoped to be a quiet night turned out to be a sleepless one as vehicles started arriving from midnight and at sunrise there were more than 200 vehicles and 500 people – all somewhat disappointed as it was cloudy. Apparently with the right conditions a sunrise with 3 reflections of the sun can be seen at times.

When the sun was up we realised how beautiful the flora in the area was.

Author: Dieter

A passionate traveller and photographer with an urge to share the beauty of our planet.

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