My Ultimate Guide to Inti Raymi

Hey, fellow travelers! Since it’s been two years since my dream visit to Cuzco, Peru, I thought I would write a guide about one of the most incredible travel memories I have: Inti Raymi. On June 24, people from all over the world gather in Cuzco to witness this unique Inca festival, and in 2015, I was lucky enough to have that opportunity. So, in order to give back, I’m sharing a few personal ideas and tips about this awesome event!

Reasons to experience Inti Raymi in Cuzco
The final ceremony at Sacsayhuamán

Inti Raymi is known as the biggest annual Inca festival and is celebrated during the winter solstice, which is when the sun is furthest from the earth. The festival takes place for one whole week, and its peak takes place on the 24th of June. Inti Raymi is indeed celebrated in a few different countries in South America, but the one place where you should participate this festival, at least once in your life time, would be in Cuzco, Peru. Here are a few reasons why:

  • During the week of Inti Raymi, Cuzco is a totally different city. The city celebrates day and night, and there will be parades, locals dancing in traditional outfits, street fairs, street banquets, etc.
  • You will see reenactments of religious ceremonies complete with beautiful costumes and traditional music. It’s seriously a huge production!
  • Up to 25,000 people gather to witness this festival every year, so you get the idea of how special it is.
  • It’s on the way to Machu Pichu. If you plan to visit this wonderful Inca site, why not just plan it around Inti Raymi? That’s what I did, and I wouldn’t have organized it any other way.
  • Last but not least, why not? It really is a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Getting your tickets

The final festival that takes place on June 24 is the ceremony that you would not want to miss. The reenactment on this day is divided into three parts; the first two parts take place in the city (Korikancha and Plaza de Armas) and is open for the public, but the final reenactment in Sacsayhuamán requires a ticket. Unfortunately, getting the ticket from the actual event organizers is a bit complicated and gets sold out fast because they mostly sell it off to travel agents. I’m usually not a tour fan, but I would suggest it specifically for this occasion. Sacsayhuamán is long uphill drive from the city and walking there would actually lessen the chance for you to enjoy the first two parts of the ceremony. Furthermore, aside from your tickets, most tours would provide you with transport and lunch. In the end, it really isn’t a bad deal! Locals have their own pricing and some usually don’t buy tickets; they would hike towards Sacsayhuamán and climb on the hills to get a good view of the ceremony. I really wouldn’t suggest this because the hills are very rocky and steep. But of course, it’s your choice 😉

Of course at this point, you are wondering how much the ticket would cost. The price of the tickets range from 100 USD, depending on your seating. The official government website is in Spanish, but you can click on Inti Raymi 2017 and choose “compre sus entradas“. You will have to provide basic information and choose which seating you prefer. Buying tickets from tours would range differently as well, starting from 170 USD. I realize it’s quite up there for the price of a budget traveler, but like I said to myself, once in your life is enough.

Other tips for Inti Raymi
The first ceremony at Korikancha

So, if you finally decide to attend, here are a few other tips to note before going to Inti Raymi:

  • This is a one-day itinerary, so be sure to clear your schedule!
  • Wear layers! It’s both windy and sunny in Cuzco during the festival because the sun is at its highest point.
  • Bring plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen. You will be on your feet starting at 8am, so stay hydrated!
  • Keep an eye of your belongings. Like I mentioned, more than 20,000 people will be there!
  • You will see many people bringing and selling rainbow flags, which is the official flag of Cuzco. I actually recommend that as a personal souvenir for yourself!
Enjoy Inti Raymi

I think I’ve shared everything I remember about this festival. Now, I hope that you will have your own experience of Inti Raymi. If you do, don’t forget to share a few awesome pictures and tag me, perhaps? (IG: @bethannysudibyo) Happy travels, loves!

 

Un abrazo,

B.

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35 Comments

  1. You know that a particular visit has impacted you a lot when you still remember so well 2 years later!
    20000 people?? That’s a lot of crowd!!!
    Thanks for the particular tip to get tickets from travel agents in this case!

  2. Thanks for this great overview of the Inti Raymi; really liked the layout of this post. We didn’t experience something like this before, but hopefully we’ll do this on our next vacation. We love your photos too much!!

  3. Oh, the Inti Raymi festival sounds amazing! I was blown away by the number of visitors. Can only imagine what it’s like to be there in the middle of that bustle. Thanks for sharing, this is one nice idea to consider! 😉

  4. To be honest before reading your post I had no idea that Inti Raymi festival exist. It seems to be a very special event to attend and experience the local culture. You must be very lucky to be able to do that. Thanks for sharing.

  5. The Inti Raymi looks to be a fascinating event. The sheer scale of the Inca festival looks fascinating. A great window to the culture and heritage of the Incas.Hope to see this some day. In the interim enjoyed through your post.

  6. The Inti Raymi looks like a wonderful festival that should not be missed. This is such a huge event. However, the ticket is so expensive but then again this is a once in a lifetime experience only.

  7. This is the first I had heard of Inti Raymi and wow it looks like an amazing experience. Love that you got to experience such a beautiful glimpse into history.

  8. This looks absolutely massive. I can’t imagine the amount of effort and coordination that would have to go into preparing something like this. If I make it to Cuzco one day, I am going to have to plan it around this festival.

  9. Wow this looks so interesting! I cannot believe all the people who attend! Love the colors and the festival looks like so much fun! I would love to attend one day!

  10. That would be a huge crowd! While it sounds different than anything I’ve ever done it does sound interesting for sure. I would like to check it out.

  11. Thanks for all the practical tips! I’m sure I would want to do this when I go to Peru. Would be really interesting to witness.

  12. Isn’t Peru fantastic? I was fortunate enough to spend a month there some years back. Cuzco is a charming city with so many traditions and rituals. Inti Raymi is one I hadn’t heard of, so this was a fascinating read. Now I want to go back during winter solstice to have the same experience! Thanks for all of the insight!

  13. What a colorful and awesome festival! Love that they have seating available instead of just stand around and fight crowds. Looks like a fun event to attend and that native dress…oh my!

  14. wow gorgeous experience! Thanks for all these tips, im sure lots of people will consider this as a next holiday trip!

    xx
    lau