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2018 INTI RAYMI FAQs – Sun Festival in Cusco Peru

Here we are going to describe the Inti Raymi Festival in Cusco city, one of Peru’s main touristic attractions and also to answer some FAQs about this wonderful Peruvian tradition.

The Inti Raymi (quechua for Sun Festival) was originally celebrated in Inca times as Wawa Inti Raymi (Child Sun Festival), on the winter solstice (June 24th on the Southern hemisphere), in the city of Cusco; in 1572, under the Spanish invaders rule, the ceremony was banned by viceroy Francisco Alvarez de Toledo, but continued to be secretly conducted by the Incas. These days it has become a major touristic attraction, that’s why there are many FAQs people need answers to.

Inca Pachakutec, one of the rulers of the empire, considered the Inti Raymi as a political event to legitimate domination over conquered kingdoms. In Inca times, the Inti Raymi was conducted at today’s Cusco city Plaza de Armas (Main Square), and the entire town’s population had to be present, along with important emissaries from everywhere around the empire. The Inti Raymi Festival marked the shortest day and the longest night at once, and the beginning of the New Year for the Incas; currently, as a top touristic attraction in Peru, like the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. So, start planning your 2018 vacation and include the celebration of Inti Raymi in your itinerary.

1. When does the Inti Raymi Festival take place?

The Inti Raymi Festival has a full day duration on June 24th every year. It is an only day tour which is usually included in larger tour packages which include visits to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and many other tourist attractions; these tours are usually personalized by the TOUR IN PERU team, so don’t hesitate to contact us any time for your 2018 experience.

2. Where does the Inti Raymi take place?

The ceremony begins at Cusco’s downtown most important temple, the Koricancha (Temple of the Sun), continues at Plaza de Armas (Main Square) and finishes at the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Group, outside Cusco city.

3. What are the larger tour inclusions?

Larger tour inclusions usually are:

  • Domestic round trip flight Lima-Cusco-Lima (upon request)
  • Hotel accommodations (usually a 3-star hotel, but can be personalized accordingly and requested as an extra service)
  • Meals
  • Professional guide (English/Spanish)
  • Transfers in and out the cities
  • All entrance tickets
  • Daily Tours in Cusco, MachuPicchu, the Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca, etc
4. What are the larger tour exclusions?

Larger tour exclusions usually are:

  • International flights
  • Local and international airport fees
  • Tips/gratitudes
  • Travel insurance
5. What can I expect from the Inti Raymi 1-day tour itself?

The Inti Raymi package in particular includes:

  • Van/Bus Transfer from the Plaza de Armas (Main Square) to Sacsayhuaman Sanctuary.
  • Entrance tickets for the Inti Raymi’s main ceremony at Sacsayhuaman. You can choose from 3 sections at Sacsayhuaman Sanctuary main ceremony: Orange (VIP), Blue (Medium) and Green (Economical).
  • For the Koricancha Temple and Plaza de Armas (Main Square) parts of the Festival, our staff makes all arrangements to get there, because vehicles are not allowed; however, hotels are nearby so access by walking is very easy.
  • Depending on your language, the guided tour is give in English or in Spanish.
  • Box lunch, etc.

NOTE: Since the Inti Raymi package is included in larger tours. The inclusions mentioned on question 3 and the exclusions mentioned on question 4 apply to this tour.

6. How is the weather in Cusco for the Inti Raymi?

Winter in Cusco is dry season, so there’s no rain. Temperature on daytime can vary from 12°C to 25°C , sometimes a little lower. On winter this region is really cold at night (5°C and sometimes below zero) and early in the morning (around 5°C). So, light clothes, a light jacket for the wind in the afternoon, sunscreen, and hats  are a must.

7. What entry documents are required?

American and Canadian citizens need a valid passport to enter Peru and an entry application provided by the airline. Citizens from other nationalities must ask a Peruvian Consulate or Embassy for current entry regulations.

8. Will altitude affect me?

At higher altitudes above sea level, lack of oxygen can cause discomfort like shortness of breath, headache, tiredness. Physicians recommend alternating touring with rest, drinking plenty of fluids; there are also some over-the-counter pills that can be helpful, however always check with the drugstore’s pharmacist. Traditionally, people also use coca leaves tea because it is energetic and facilitates oxygen flow inside the body.

9. Is a deposit required to book you a place for the Inti Raymi tour?

Tour operators usually require a percentage as booking deposit; you then pay the remaining balance when in Cusco and prior to the tour.

We hope these FAQs about the Inti Raymi or Sun Festival are useful for your 2018 vacation in Cusco Peru; but contact us in case you have extra questions or requests.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact our professional staff here at TOUR IN PERU and make your reservation for the amazing Inti Raymi Festival in Cusco and more attractions like the Sacred Valley and the Inca Trail in Peru!