February: month of multiple options in Peru
February is one of the most anticipated months for Peruvian youth. This month is mainly to celebrate carnivals in all regions of the country, any destination you choose will have good results and will encourage you to learn more about Peru. Carnivals in this country are enjoyed with different drinks and snacks typical of Peruvian gastronomy. In the Andes you can enjoy the famous chicha de jora, chicha de guiñapo, quinoa and others. Something that is impossible to avoid is dancing and singing for the euphoria of the holidays. During the first days of this month, one of the most anticipated dates for the inhabitants of southern Peru begins, and not only them, a large number of Peruvians await the beginning of February to start dancing in honor of the Virgen de la Candelaria in Puno.
In February you can choose where to travel, although the rains are heavier in the Andes and the Peruvian jungle, it will not prevent you from traveling to these destinations, if you take the forecasts of the case. Although it seems that this month is more inclined to take a trip along the Peruvian coasts, the options are unlimited. In any activity or destination that you do, you will be able to find the best of Peruvian gastronomy.
Let’s start with the main options on the coast, one option is The black summer, festival that reflects the importance, value and presence of Afro-Peruvian culture. Chincha became, over time, the geographical area with the greatest presence of Afro-Peruvians, this is where all their culture is concentrated, therefore, the ideal place for this festivity. During the activities, you can find parades, theater performances aimed at recreating customs and traditions left by the first Afro-Peruvians. It will also be possible to taste the Chinchana gastronomy, which was of great influence for the flavor of Peruvian gastronomy.
Other options are to take walks along the beautiful coasts of Ica and Paracas, here you can bathe on the beautiful beaches or have a tour of the entire Paracas National Reserve, where you can see a lot of marine fauna in the ballestas islands or visit the beautiful Huacachina. If yours is a less hectic walk, it is possible to take a tour of all the most important wineries in the region to learn about the production of pisco.
During the month of February and March the rains are present on the Peruvian coast, the coasts of Lambayeque, Tumbes and Piura have more rain than other months. In this sense, it is recommended to make trips to the south of Peru, as we already mentioned the options are many and we could even start in Lima and visit all the activities that are offered on its coasts, such as surfing and paragliding. Further south, we can visit the Arequipa coasts of Camaná and Mollendo to name the most popular beaches in Arequipa, although several beaches that look like swimming pools are hidden in this region, an example of this is the beach of Catarindo. Finally we have options such as the Port of Ilo in Moquegua where we can explore its streets and reach some museums such as the one in Chiribaya, we also have to mention the beaches of Tacna like El Planchón, Boca de Río and more. Close to all these beaches, you can take tours of historical places such as museums, colonial buildings and many places to enjoy Peruvian cuisine.
During the month of February visiting the beaches is the best option, but it is not the only one, there are those who do not like the heat and take advantage of this season to visit other places that also have a unique magic, a special option will be to visit the south of Peru, in special Puno, Arequipa and Cusco. In the latter, during this month, you can see different rainbows due to the constant change of the rainy weather.
Carnivals and dances in full color
The month of February in Peru, carnivals are celebrated in many regions. One of the most important and famous is that of Cajamarca, considered the epicenter of Peruvian carnivals. This is because the entire population dresses not only in multicolored costumes but also with joy and enthusiasm to take the steps. The Carnival of Cajamarca, It takes place during Ash Wednesday. During your stay in Cajamarca, you can also visit the Cutervo National Park.
The Andean south is not far behind, during this month, you can see carnivals with catchy songs and dances, as in the case of Arequipeño Carnival, the Historic Center and the Plaza de Armas is the ideal place to enjoy this picturesque celebration. Different couples of young men and women go out with enthusiasm and coquetry to sing the different songs of the carnivals. That is not all, you can appreciate some songs of the Arequipa yaraví by some loncos that are located in the Arequipa district of Cayma. Other regions where carnivals are celebrated in the same way are Ancash, Ayacucho and Cusco.
The Junín region has activities that can surprise any visitor, whatever their age. This region of the central zone of the Andes. Start preparations to celebrate the day of the Huaylas or Huaylarsh every February 17. Great Hispanic influences can be observed in combination with Andean dances. All the dancers are dressed in multicolored costumes. Whichever place you choose, carnivals will be an option from which you will not be able to escape.
February is Virgin of Candelaria
The color continues during the month of February, the most popular alternative that southern Peru has is the celebration of the Virgen de la Candelaria en Puno. This festival was registered as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2014. The huge celebration begins the first days of February. It has a religious character, therefore, it is normal to find faithful from all parts of Peru and the world.
Something that beautifies this celebration is that the Andean particularities manage to position themselves on a par with the Catholic world. This can be understood when the dawn mass is performed and later a purification ceremony practiced by the first settlers of this entire territory that directly adjoins Lake Titicaca. During the festivity there are processions, masses and many times the main event is the dances and choreographies by more than 45,000 dancers and musicians who are divided into more than 170 different folkloric dance associations. These dancers are from different areas of the country, but indigenous dances from the entire Puno region are privileged.
This important celebration is a complete attraction, where the work of local artisans who make fine and elegant costumes for all the dances that participate is evident. Some costumes require huge masks with minute details that are made annually. This festivity is quite a spectacle.
Cusco is always a good option
Although it seems complicated due to the strong presence of rain, a feasible option is to make a trip to Cusco with the forecasts of the case. February in Cusco is the alternative for those who do not love it so much or are already tired of sunny and very hot days. In the city of Cusco it is possible to find everything you need to have a peaceful vacation, where you can see many rainbows at the end of the rains.
Although hiking is not recommended, there are other options that can be reached by private car or with a tourist agency without risking getting wet. The main options for this time are visits to all the temples and churches that were built in Cusco, a large number of them have decorations of the Andean baroque style or of the Cusco school, it is also possible to find paintings of the same artistic current. It will be possible to visit the closest archaeological sites to Cusco as Sacsayhuamán, Tambomachay, Pucapucara, Piquillaqta, Tipón and why not, encourage you to make the trip to Machu Picchu.
Perfect opportunity to navigate the Amazon River
We already mentioned that the Peruvian territory is extensive and that the tourist options are unlimited. Now we have to talk about one of the most seasoned options, but at the same time, the most interesting that Peru has for the month of February is to travel to the Peruvian Amazon. In the month of February you can enjoy the Amazonian carnivals, where the people of this region go out disguised in multicolored costumes, parties, allegorical walks are held, many legends begin to be told here, one of these legends is that the spirits of the trees, water and the same animals join the party.
On February 20 to 25, the activities for the anniversary of the Pacaya Samira de Loreto National Reserve, These dates are ideal for visiting the Peruvian Amazon, here you can take a more detailed tour of the rivers. In addition, that you can enjoy the 5 days of festivities, among the activities that we can find are, parades, awareness workshops, photography contest and concerts. Here you will find a great diversity of fauna and flora such as the paiche, the charapa turtle, and anaconda, all these animals navigate the waters that flow from the rivers due to the large amount of water. Going further into the reserve, we can find the gray dolphin and the pink dolphin. It will also be possible to see some mammals and many birds, it is estimated that in the entire reserve there are more than 1200 species of plants, where orchids and gigantic trees stand out. As we can see, Peru in February is a spectacle of colors in any region you visit.