Qoyllority, The Highest Pilgrimage Of The Andes 3days/2nights

QOYLLORITY, THE HIGHEST PILGRIMAGE OF THE ANDES 3DAYS/2NIGHTS:

Qoyllority is considered one of the most important Andean festivities held annually in Peru – Cusco region. It is an example of the religious syncretism between the Catholic religion and the Andean beliefs; this festivity mixes the worship to the “apus” Andean gods and the Catholic icons.

Qoyllority comes from Quechua words (Qoyllor – Star and Rity – Snow; meaning ‘Shining Snow’). This festivity during the Inca time was dedicated to the Pleiades which played a key role for the agriculture; it is linked with the Winter solstice too.

Every year thousands of peasants of Cusco region and surroundings pilgrim to the Qoyllority (last year almost 80,000 people visited Qoyllority).

This year (2017), this festivity will take place in June.

ITINERARY

DAY 1: JUNE 12TH: CUSCO – MAHUAYANI – QOYLLORITTY:

At 7:00am the guide will meet you at your hotel. Transfer from Cusco Mahuayani (an Andean community located at 3800m.a.s.l./12467ft). Here you will meet the crew that will help you to carry the camping equipment (horses and muleteers). After resting and have the lunch, you will start to hike for 8 kilometers until get Qoyllority; you will follow an uphill single path for almost 3 hours.

Arrival to Qoyllority sanctuary (4250m.a.s.l./13943ft), time to rest and enjoy coca leaves infusion.

You will witness all the ancient rites and customs involved in the ceremony, as well as join in with the traditional activities and learn about some  dances; the most representative dances are (Qolla – represents the andean shepherd, Qapaq Negro – represents the black slaves of the colony, Kachampa – represents the Inca warriors, Ukuku – representing the Andean bear, etc)

This night is celebrated a special mass for the UKUKUS (the messengers between this world and the heaven), the mass is celebrated in Quechua which is antive Andean language. Presentation of dances during the entire night.

DAY 2: JUNE 13TH: QOYLLORITTY – 24 HOURS PROCESSION – TAYANKANI:

This day you will participate of the traditional activities that pilgrims do at the Sanctuary. People dancing, others visiting the snowcapped mountain, others lightning candles to the lord of the poor. Also, you will visit the “alacitas” market, where you will see/get curious exhibition of miniature goods such as cars, houses, cattle, university titles and everything you desire (it will become true with the blessing of the Lord of Qoylloritty).

Also you will be part of the last Blessing Mass celebrated at the outdoor of the Sanctuary where thousands of pilgrims wait for the blessing.

After it, you will be part of the traditional Andean procession of 24 hours; pilgrims will hike during the entire night (dancing, singing and praying).

Yanacancha community, it is the first place to rest (the procession stops here, so the dancers and pilgrims can rest waiting that the moon appears); after it the procession continues during the night until arrive to Inti-alabado which is a mountain where pilgrims and dancers wait for the first sun rays; here you will appreciate the traditional Andean sun rise ceremony, time to start the new year in the Andean world, starting of solstice fest.

DAY 3: JUNE 14TH: TAYANKANI – OCONGATE – CUSCO:

Finally, after being part of the night procession and the sun rise ceremony, you will arrive to community of Tayankani, optional to be part of the last Andean or continue hiking to Ocongate village. Here you will board the bus to return to Cusco.

INCLUDED / NOT INCLUDED

INCLUDED:

  • Briefing (orientation meeting in Cusco)
  • Bilingual professional guide
  • Private transport from Cusco to Mahuayani
  • Private transport from Ocongate to Cusco
  • Meals during the trekking (3 days/2 nights), including snacks
  • Camping equipment: Two men mountain tent, mattress, kitchen dishes, kitchen tent, dinner tent, toilet tent, table, chairs
  • Cook
  • Horses to carry the whole camping equipment
  • Emergency horses
  • First aid kit and Oxygen
NOT INCLUDED:
  • Extra services not mentioned in the program
  • Meals not included in the program
  • Sleeping bags
  • Walking sticks
  • Tips and extra services

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