Start planning your festival tour in Peru
Peru’s festivals are some of the most fascinating celebrations in the world. Come to Peru for a carnival or festival to see the country’s rich Spanish culture on display, or explore the deep-rooted Catholicism that pervades its many cities and even small towns. You’ll experience authentic culture, and have the opportunity to sample the country’s best delicacies.
What makes Peru's festivals and carnivals so special?
Festivities in Peru are held throughout the year, with each region having its own distinct traditions and celebrations. Attending festivals across various regions provides a fascinating insight into the different ways of life here, so try to time your trip accordingly. Note that banks, public offices, tourist sites, and museums often close their doors for the duration of big, nationwide events, so ensure you’re prepared. Regardless of which festival you choose to attend, you’ll find ample opportunity to immerse yourself Peruvian culture thanks to the music, costume dancing, and local food and drink.
The most iconic festivals and carnivals in Peru
Festivals in Peru have kept some of the country’s ancient traditions alive for generations, while others are influenced by the dominant Catholic religion in the country. Here are some of the finest Peruvian festivals to attend.
Get spiritual at colorful La Candelaria Festival in Puno
This February festival has great significance in Peru. It celebrates the diversity of past and present cultures in Peru while incorporating traditions from the various ethnic groups across the country. The festival has vibrant dances and rituals to pay tribute to Puno's patron saint, the Virgin of Candlemas.
Indulge in lavish feasts at the Festival of the Sun
Celebrated at Cusco for more than 600 years, this age-old festival, which takes place every June, has gradually become an important part of Peruvian culture and tradition. Watch as hundreds of actors recreate events to showcase their complex culture through song and dance.
Tickle your taste buds at Mistura Food Festival
This annual culinary fair is held in Lima every September. Its essence is to celebrate Peruvian cuisine by bringing together various players in the country’s thriving food scene. With over 200 restaurants, food trucks and bars participating, this option will delight foodies on vacation.
Mark Ica's grape harvest at the Wine Festival
This festival, held every March in Ica, is ideal for food-lovers and wine enthusiasts. Activities include colorful processions, grape stomping, and sampling local delicacies and wine. The highlight of this festival is the crowning of the Queen of the Harvest.
Celebrate nature during Pachamama Raymi in the Andes
Held annually during the first week of August, this festival gathers Peruvians to give thanks for bountiful harvests. It’s a great opportunity to understand Peruvian culture, as well as enjoy local Peruvian dishes and customs.
Tips for visiting festivals and carnivals in Peru
Book well in advance for any festivals you wish to attend, as accommodation and transport fills up quickly. Respect local cultures by dressing appropriately and keeping an open mind.