The religious festival of the Lord of Qoyllur Riti is one of the most important in Cusco because every year hundreds of visitors arrive from Peru and the world to make a pilgrimage of faith..
This tradition takes place in the district of Ocongate, province of Quispicanchis in Cusco. The same that summons several organized retinues such as Paruro, Anta, Urubamba, Acomayo, Canchis, Quispicanchis, Paucartambo and Tawantinsuyo that arrive with dances such as the famous Ukukos, Qhapac Negros, Huallatas, Chunchahcas and among others, along with the company of musical groups.
The Lord of Qoyllur Riti is a Christ that is engraved on a rock at an altitude of 5 thousand meters. The celebration takes placebefore Corpus Christi at the end of May and beginning of June.
Mahuayani is the starting point to walk for several hours, the time will depend on the residence and physical condition of the body. It is a long route that visitors and nations from the different villages of Cusco walk, with traditional attire along with distinctive fauna and flora typical of their habitat.
During the journey, you can make a stop at Pukllanapata (place to play), where the acquisition of houses, cars, professional titles, marriages and other aspirations you wish to achieve in the future are simulated. Being one of the most interesting activities, that with papers in hand you own the purchases you make and even get to build your home with stones asking the Lord of Qoulluriti to be fulfilled.
Nothing compares to the feeling of arriving at the Sinkara Shrine, where you will be greeted with dances, music and joy shared among all visitors.
We will depart by bus for approximately 3h30 to reach the small town of Mahuayani, located 292 km from Cusco. In our journey we will pass through small villages, beautiful landscapes, extraordinary mountains of the Vilcanota mountain range and also in front of the imposing Ausangate (6378 m altitude).
At noon we will arrive at Mahuayani, point where we prepare to begin our pilgrimage with a prominent climb, where we will be accompanied by more than 500 pilgrims, who will stop every time they find a cross, located along the route. They stop to pray or to light a candle or simply to rest and catch their breath to be able to continue the walk.
As we approach the church, we will begin to see many merchants. We will finally arrive at our camp located at the foothills of Sinakara Mountain (4600 m). Then we will enjoy the atmosphere of the sanctuary where many groups of dancers and pilgrims arrive to settle in.
Level: + 530 m..
Early in the morning we go to the church to participate in the daily mass that lasts approximately one hour. Afterwards we will return to our camp to have our breakfast, and then head to the market known as the Alacitas Fair (miniature handicrafts market), in which all visitors participate. We can buy or sell properties, vehicles, images of the Lord, crosses, candles, money, we can even get married, get divorced, open a business, with all the papers and authorities who are ready to participate in these transactions; the pilgrims buy and sell, after this they take the acquisition to the presence of the "Taytacha Qoyllur Riti".
In the afternoon the groups of communities go to the church to present their greetings to the Taytacha Qoyllur Riti. Then everyone dances until late at night, during the early morning, these communities prepare to go up to visit the snow at 4800 meters above sea level to collect a piece of snow and take it to their village, so that they have a year with better production and plenty of water..
Level: + 200 meters.
Early in the morning we must climb the Sinakara glacier where groups of dancers go to the glaciers in search of the snow star that is enclosed in their guts. Then we descend with these communities to the church to greet the Taytacha Ccoyllor Ritti. At about 10:00 in the morning we will listen to the mass and we will be present for the blessing of the Taytacha Ccoyllor Ritti and the farewell of the nations.
Each nation returns to its community and there is a group that leaves carrying the cross of Tayankani performing the 24-hour procession. We will see them off and then descend to the village of Mahuayani, where our vehicle awaits us to take us to the community of Tayankani, where we will spend the night in our camp.
Level: - 530 meters.
This day we will get up very early, around 4 am, to have breakfast and prepare our belongings for the hike that we will start at dawn.
We will go to meet the group of dancers who made the 24-hour procession, in this place we will find the nations that accompany this procession and together with them we will wait for the sunrise, giving a greeting to the sun god of the Incas. Once the act is done, the nations will start dancing on the mountain, they will begin to descend as if they were two snakes descending from the mountain and in the middle they intertwine, this party will end in the church of Tayankani where a mass will take place. While we will take our vehicle and return to the city of Cusco.
Level: + 650 and - 650 meters.
You can visit Qoykllur Riti at any time of the year, however, the best time is in late May and early June because you will better appreciate the trail, meeting groups of dancers from different nations, musicians and travelers from all over the world.
It is recommended to bring a tent to rest, although considering that the tour is only one day it is not so necessary, however, everything will depend on the schedule you manage. In addition, you can take a break in the tents set up by the villagers along the way.
We consider the altitude of about 4 000 thousand meters above sea level, which is at cold temperatures with frost, so it is important to take into account traveling with warm and waterproof clothing in case it rains, you should also carry a backpack containing: energy food, water, flashlight, charged batteries, gloves, scarf and toiletries. On the route you will find stalls that can provide you with some purchases that you require.
As it is a route with steep paths, it is recommended to carry trekking poles and hiking shoes.
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