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Inti Raymi in Cusco

Inti Raymi in Cusco

Inti Raymi, the mystical and wonderful feast of adoration to the god Inti, full of color, dance and culture, is celebrated every June 24 in the Imperial city of Cusco.The Feast of the Sun or Inti Raymi is very close and you can not miss the opportunity to enjoy the feast.The Inti Raymi is an ancient Inca religious celebration, as we all know, the Incas worshiped their god: The God Inti or Sun in his translation into Spanish. Formerly the Inti Raymi lasted about 15 days, sacrifices were made and colorful dances were performed to worship the sun god. The last Inti Raymi  was made with the presence of the Inca Emperor in the year of 1535; a year before "The Spanish Conquest", in the year of 1536. Currently the Inti Raymi is a theatrical performance, millions of people from Cusco and people from all over the world come together to this event which is one of the most attractive cultural and traditional manifestations. This Inca celebration makes each one of us feel the Inca blood flow through his veins and revalue the past.


The wonderful ancient Inca city of Cusco is the seat of the most striking festivals. The Inti Raymi ia the first one,the feast represent the tribute that the Peruvian man gives to the Sun and to all nature (Pachamama Mother). This is one of the many religious manifestations of Peru. An excellent representation of the Inti Raymi takes place in the great Inca fortress of Saqsayhuaman. It is the richest festival of the Inca Empire, which is offered to the world.

Before you go

Quick Itinerary.

08:30 - 09:00: Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Qoricancha. 

09:00 - 09:30: Part 1 of the Inti Raymi celebration in Qoricancha.

09:30 - 10:00:Transfer from Qoricancha to the Plaza de Armas. 

10:30 - 11:30: Part 2 of the Inti Raymi celebration in Main Square.  

12:30 - 13:00: Transfer by bus from the main square to Sacsayhuaman. 

13:30 - 15.30: Part 3 of the Inti Raymi celebration in Sacsayhuaman.

15:30 - 16:00: Transfer by bus from Sacsayhuaman to your hotel in the city of Cusco


What is Inti Raymi feast about? 

The "Inti Raymi" or "Sun Feast" was the largest, most important, spectacular and magnificent festival held at the time of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire, which based its religion on Sun worship. The Inti Raymi was made to worship the "Apu Inti" (Sun God) also known in certain sectors as "Apu P'unchau" (God Day).After the conquest, the incas continued to celebrate the feast in secret from the Spanish authorities, and a mestizo named Garcilaso de la Vega compiled, in his famous Royal Commentaries, descriptions of this unique and incomparable feast.Inti Raymi was celebrated in the main square of Cusco or Huacaypata (Quechua); in the time of the Incas, was much larger,Inti Raymi was celebrated from main square to regocijo square , this majestic square served as a stage for the Inti Raymi.


The Inti Raymi in the time of the Incas was, the equivalent of what today is for us the New Year's party. The solar celebration was a feast in which a new year began and ended the previous agricultural year between the months of May or June, and at the same time the new agricultural cycle began from the month of July, so that the The period between the last week of the month of June and the beginning of the month of July was a transition period from the old agricultural year to a new one, so the party was dedicated to that event.The festival of the Sun or Inti Raymi was instituted in the government of the Inca Pachacutec, this Inca was the one that gave greater value to his deity because in a decisive battle between the Incas and the Chancas (ethnic group on the Andahuayllas side) the god  appeared to Pachacuteq, and he told him everything that would happen, this was one of the reasons that the Inca Pachacuteq gave a greater value to his deity the Sun.The entrance of the Inca to the Plaza de Armas or to Saqsayhuaman was always presided over by a group of "acllas" who sprayed flowers and accompanied by the Pichaq, men who were responsible for shooing with straw brooms the evil spirits that could have in the path. The Inca in all his performances in the open air was always accompanied by his "kumillo", or hunchback dwarf who carried the "Achiwa", a kind of umbrella made of colored feathers.


In the days of the Incas, the Inti Raymi was the most important of the four festivals held in Cusco, it was an ancient Andean religious ceremony in honor of Tayta Inti (the sun father), which was held every winter solstice in the navel of the Qosqo world (Cusco).the Inti Raymi was the most important of the four festivals celebrated in Cusco, according to Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (Peruvian writer and historian of Spanish descent and Inca 539-1616), this ceremony indicated half of the year as well as the origin of the Inca (Considered son of the Sun God), where all the population of the city, nobles, Curacas of the Inca Empire attended with their best clothes, it is said that approximately attended a hundred thousand people, the ceremony was held in the Hucaypata Square(Main Square of Cusco) and lasted 15 days. Half of the year is the winter solstice and curiosly si the shortest day and the longest night of the year, in the time of the Incas this event was of great significance, it was the beginning of the year that was associated with the origins of the Inca ethnic group itself.The preparations for the Inti Raymi were strict, where three days before the start of the ceremony they ate only little raw white corn, a few herbs they called Chúcan and simple waters, all the men refrained from sleeping with their wives and did not they lit fire all over the city, the virgins of the Sun prepared some cornbread.On the day of the ceremony, the Inca sovereign and his relatives waited barefoot for the sunrie at  Huacaypata Square(Plaza de Armas Cusco- Main Square) and squatted (in the Inca era it was like being on their knees), with open arms and kissing in the air. the Inca used two gold cups, the "chicha" (fermented corn drink) offered from the left hand and his relatives drank, the chicha from the right hand was spilled and poured into a gold jar.


After all the ceremony of the beginning of the Inti Raymi everyone went to the Qoricancha and began to worship the Sun God, the Curacas were in charge of delivering the offerings they had brought from their lands and after this worship of the Sun the procession returned to the Plaza of Arms of Cusco, where the massive sacrifice of animals and the Alpaca began, before the new fire that was lit using as a mirror the gold bracelet of the main priest, the meat of the animals was distributed among all present as well as the large quantity from Chicha.Another part of the Inti Raymi celebration consisted of the new fire ceremony. In this part of the ceremony the order of the Inca was fulfilled to put out the fire in all the kitchens of Cusco and surroundings with the purpose of lighting the new fire that was distributed from a bonfire to all the stoves of the city.

Who participated in the celebration?

  • Inca: Sovereign of the tahuantinsuyo empire, son of the sun god
  • Qoya:only legitimate wife of the Inca
  • Ñustas:princesses of the Inca empire
  • Acllas:women of singular beauty.They were chosen fron diferent places of the Tahuantinsuyo to serve the Inca and Sun God.
  • 4 Suyos: people of the 4 suyos of Tahuantinsuyo go to adorate Sun God.
  • Curaca:a member of the Inca provincial nobility often acting as administrator or ruler over an ayllu or group of ayllus.
  • The population: yanacunas, mitimaes,and hatun runas

More interesting cultural trips:


We will start the day picking you up from your hotel at 8:30 a.m, then we will transfer you to Qoricancha at 9:00 am ,where Inti Raymi start, here you will see the Inca ,coya and royalty, making the greeting to the god Inti, invoking for the success of the ceremony.After the first part of the staging in the Qoricancha, the Inca along with his royal entourage, and the imperial army, go in ritual procession to the Main Square. There, from 10:30 am, ñustas, aqllas (chosen) and all the imperial army advance in undulating columns, until reaching the ancient Aucaypata, where the Inca performs the coca ceremony and makes an invocation to the apus.After the ceremony in the Aucaypata Square, the cast goes to the esplanade of the archaeological park of Sacsayhuaman, where around 80,000 people and 3,500 tourists who acquired their seats installed on the esplanade, and wait the central ceremony.Exactly at 1:45 p.m., the sound of the pututos marks the beginning of the central ceremony, where the noble sinchi, summons the representatives of the four of their own or regions of the old empire, to the rhythm of the music and dances of their places of origin. Then the Inca, the Qoya and their entire court enter solemnly. Finally the ceremony finish around 4 pm .


  • Welcome by our Representative at arrival.
  • Professional bilingual Tour Guide as per the itinerary
  • All entrance fees (it means to the Inti Raymi festival in Peru including the huge fortress of Sacsayhuaman within the festival)
  • Transport by a private van during the tours and local transfers.


  • Pre & post tour accommodation
  • International and Local flights 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Other extras not mentioned.


  • Do not forget the sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Wear comfortable clothes to be able to move.
  • Carry drinks, the festival has a long duration and the body must stay hydrated
  • Carry some fruits or snaks.
  • Do not forget a hat.

5 Reasons Not to Get Lost Inti Raymi


  • It is June 24 and Cusco is at its peak. It is the month in which Cusco receives more tourists than the rest of the year. There is the opportunity to do much more, to meet people from different places and exchange experiences and anecdotes.
  • Every June 24, the day when the sun is at its most distant point from the earth and also coincides with the winter solstice, the Inti Raymi or "Sun Feast" in Sacsayhuaman is celebrated, of fundamental importance in the incant. It is the day that feels colder in Cusco, the weather in the morning is sunny. It is freezing weather, so it is always recommended to wear something warm for when the night falls. 
  • The representation of each one of the artists is magnificent. All actors and actresses from Cusco will be dressed in Inca costumes, mostly made with sheep wool, alpaca, etc. As it was in our ancestor 
  • Andean chants are heard in Quechua, adorations to the Sun God. The "acllas" women of singular beauty chosen to serve the Inca and the Sun God or Inti, are the ones who are in charge of worshiping their God with sweet voices. The Inca speaks with the sun, also in Quechua, as in the past. 
  • There are 3 places of great importance within the city of Cusco: The greeting to the sun, in the ancient Temple of Qorikancha, today Convent of Santo Domingo. Then the two-time meeting, in Haucaypata or Main Square. And at the end the central ceremony, in the esplanade of Saqsayhuaman.


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