What to do in Peru during the month of January?

January in Peru is just a sample of everything that Peru has to offer. The activities that take place throughout the country are diverse and are always accompanied by a cultural tradition that carries ancestral knowledge expressed in dance, music and gastronomy. Let’s get to know some activities and festivities that you can visit on your trip to Peru. This article tries to select some of the many questions related to activities that can be done in Peru.

Weather in Lima

January always starts with cabals

In Peru it is normal to start each year with different parties and cabals to start the new year with the best attitude. One of the most carried out cabals by Peruvians is travel, an alternative is the trip to Cusco, but surely you wonder, why Cusco? Cusco is a place that can offer different services for entire families, groups of friends, couples or travelers who want to meet new people. The best destination within Cusco will be the Sacred Valley of the Incas, due to its pleasant temperate climate and the great diversity of lodgings, which hold special events for these dates. In addition, in the next few days you can complete the reception of the new year with a trip to Machu Picchu.

In Cusco, many people of different nationalities wait for January 1 in the Plaza de Armas, if you decide to wait for the new year in the Imperial City, you will find a festive atmosphere due to the fireworks of all the cusqueños. When it is 0:00 a.m. a special cabal of the locals is to run around the main square and do 7 laps. After that you can visit the different bars or clubs and spend an incredible night in the company of family and friends. Some other options are destinations such as the beaches of Peru such as Máncora, Mollendo, Punta de Bombón and all the beautiful beaches in northern Peru. The most mystical sites, which you can also visit, will be the Peruvian jungle such as the Manú National Reserve, Loreto where you can navigate the incredible Amazon River.

Descent of Kings

After Christmas and the birth of Jesus or the child God, according to the Catholic Church, on January 6 the three Wise Men: Gaspar, Melchor and Baltazar. Presents were brought to the newborn on a journey from the East, guided by the star of Bethlehem. This festivity closes the Christmas holidays in Peruvian territory. In many places like Cusco and Apurímac, the sale of Manuelitos Children is marketed, figures that refer to the baby Jesus, but in these fairs there are different clothes that allude to typical costumes. Some squares in Cusco and other regions are filled with artisans and buyers.

Among the most picturesque sales, there are suits made of different materials. Some of them are typical costumes from some locality, these little miniature costumes are complete. In some cases there are even small flip-flops, boots, hats and other accessories to dress the child of God. In Apurímac this festivity is celebrated with dancers, the dance that is danced is Los Negrillos, who not only dance, but also do acrobatics and human towers. In the celebrations of Cusco, in the district of San Pedro in the province of Canchis, other activities are carried out such as a horse race where the wise men compete with their respective costumes.

Perfect opportunity to visit the beaches

Beaches in Peru
Beaches in Peru in the month of January

One of the main options that you have when you arrive in Peru in January is to visit the coast. During this month, the summer of sunny days is experienced more intensely, allowing bathers to enjoy the waters of the Pacific along the entire Peruvian coast. The coasts are filled with people from all over the world. The options are many. Some important events are The Sailor Festival, which is a dance contest, where for a whole month dancers of various categories and ages participate with their partners, displaying the elegant steps of the Northern seafaring. It is believed that this dance comes from a fusion of the Hispanic with the African.

Another activity is The Marcona Festival, this festivity takes place in Ica, the population is organized with activities where they decorate all the streets, guest and local artists perform, there are also beauty contests and different dishes to taste of Ica gastronomy that are accompanied with the best wines and piscos from the region.

Another option is to visit Lima during its anniversary of its Spanish foundation. Lima’s anniversary, It takes place every January 18, with different activities, festivals with different themes, live shows and more. It is also possible to enjoy the best cocktails such as the Pisco Sour and the inevitable Chilcano, both drinks made from Pisco and lemon. In all the Peruvian beaches you cannot leave without trying the delicious ceviche, one of the flagship dishes of all Peruvian gastronomy.

Faith and gratitude

San Sebastian
Patron Saint Sebastian

It seems inevitable to talk about Cusco, Cusco not only has magnificent Inca buildings and New Christian temples. Until today, believers continue to perform different religious acts that with the passing of time adopted new customs, achieving a special syncretism. In the case of the Celebration of San Sebastián, festivities have been held since his arrival in Cusco in the 17th century. It is said that since this saint arrived in Cusco, the plague and diseases miraculously stopped. During this celebration, different faithful come out in multicolored costumes accompanied by quena-based huaynos and leather drums, all of them dance in honor of San Sebastián. This festivity takes place in the district of San Sebastián in Cusco every January 20.

Meanwhile, on that same date, towards the south of Cusco, a quite old custom can be seen, The Chiaraje, It consists of a battle between two communities, these two apparently enemy sides carry out this confrontation as a way of thanking Pachamama or Mother Earth. In this sense, they consider that spilling their blood is a sign of gratitude and at the same time a way of fertilizing the earth, in this way blood is expressed as abundance and prosperity. This war ceremony takes place in the Cusco province of Canas, where the Q’ewe and Ch’ecca communities participate.

Presence of heavy rains

The rain in Peru is stronger during the first months of the year, this occurs throughout Peru with the exception of the Peruvian coast. In the heights of the Andes and the high or low jungle, the presence of rain is essential so that the crops are nourished and can be harvested without problems. A waterproof poncho will be necessary in case you decide to travel to Machu Picchu or Cusco itself. In January it is also the holiday season, so several national tourists leave their regions to others.

Some will decide the beaches, others the Peruvian Andes and the same will visit the Peruvian Amazon, in the case of the latter, you will see the Anniversary of Iquitos as a fluvial port on the Amazon River which takes place every January 5, here the residents dance dances with music and typical costumes of the area such as the Pandilla, El Chimiachi. It is possible to taste Amazon gastronomy such as juane, chonta and liqueurs that are strongly recommended as aphrodisiac drinks.

The last days of January seem to be the best to visit the Amazon Jungle of Peru, due to heavy rains the flow of the rivers increases, making them more navigable and this facilitates access to the flora and fauna reserve areas. For example, it is possible to see the monkeys playing among the trees because the increase of the water floods the forests. Actually, it is possible to see different mammals during this rainy season that will last until March. In January the adventure in Peru is just beginning.