You may have heard of the Carnival in Rio and the thousands of people that gather in Brazil for that event every February. The colorful parades that pass through the streets of Rio de Janiero featuring many thousands of dancers and performers that lasts for days. The carnival in Rio is a must see in Brazil in February, but did you know that Peru has its own Carnival that is also in the month of February, celebrated all over Peru, not only in Lima but also in the Imperial Inca city of Cusco. There are many tours in Cusco to enjoy on your Peruvian vacation but aside from this, you should travel to Peru and take part in Carnival in Cusco.
Celebrated in February every year the same as Rio, Carnival is something the local children and adults look forward to every year. Carnival in Cusco is a celebration full with much color and tradition. You will see the local people happily dancing around the streets with balloons and streamers, celebrating in local parks and streets.
Although the weather in Cusco in cold and rain in February, the locals do not seem to mind as they all gather for the festivities rain hail or shine. It seems that the most important thing is to have fun and get wet. Another important part of the celebration is playing with water and foam from spray cans. If you are in Cusco at this fun time of year, prepare to get wet. The locals will be playing with water balloons full of water and they will throw them at you. It is a good idea to leave your hotel with a raincoat to keep a little dry, along with the water balloon there will be plenty of foam spray flying around, the main festivities are usually on Sunday when everyone has the day off.
You may see some rag dolls hanging from the light posts, this represents the friendships and loyalty that the day celebrates and you will see this on Sunday and Thursday of the celebrations. One of the nicest traditions of the Carnival in Cusco is the Yunza; this is a tree that is cut down filled with gifts planted back in the ground. Couples and children dance around the tree taking turns at chopping the tree. Whoever causes the tree to fall has the honor of hosting the festivities the next year. When the tree falls, the children run to receive the gifts that the tree bares.
As part of any festival in Peru, there of course is the food. Some of the traditional food on offer includes Puchero, which is a meat dish that is lovingly prepared. This dish is sold in all the restaurants in Cusco and at the stalls set up close to the plaza. In addition, a traditional dish is Adobo, a pork and chicha soup, served with bread and chili. This delicious soup will warm you up on a cold morning or after a water balloon fight in the cold Cusco climate. Most local people celebrate Carnival in their homes but there are still plenty of people on the streets for a party.
As carnival is a party, there are plenty of refreshments on offer, both of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic nature. The local chicha beer is called Frutillada and is made from Chicha (fermented corn drink) and strawberries, an interesting taste but most of the locals find it very delicious. Of course, there is plenty of beer available to drink and even some local cocktails for you to try.
When you travel to Cusco not only is there the February carnival to enjoy, there is many attractions to visit in the Cusco area. Tours in Cusco include the Cusco City tour where you will see all the sites and churches of the Imperial city has to offer including the four ruins that sit above the city and learn about their Inca origins.
What not many people know about is the free walking tour Cusco Peru that leaves every day at 11 am from the Plaza Rejocio. This free service takes in most of the sites and the guides give a great explanation of the city and its history.
No tour to Peru is complete without a trip to the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. This sacred site is one of the most visited attractions in South America and is what most tourists come to South America to see. Hidden for hundreds of years in the Amazon Jungle, Machu Picchu is an experience not to be missed and will not be forgotten. Cusco Peru tourism is growing yearly with the numbers of tourists visiting expanding. Take to tour to Peru in February and the numbers are fewer due to the rainy season; this gives you a more relaxed experience and more time to spend at the impressive Inka sites.
February and the Carnival in the Cusco regions is a great and fun time to visit. See the local people at play, having fun with their families that you will only see in the month of February.
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