The sun, or Inti, was the principal god of the Inca pantheon. Inti Raymi, the most lavish annual celebration of the Inca religious calendar, was devoted to the sun so that it would not abandon the Earth and its children, and would maintain its orbit and continue to bring warmth and happiness to its chosen people.
The Inti Raymi festival begins with a ceremony at Qorikancha, or temple of the Sun. The royal messengers enter the esplanade in front of Qorikancha to announce the beginning of Inti Raymi and immediately the harawis (musicians), make their appearance and parade with the imperial army, the aqllas (chosen women), and the royal escort. The Inca himself then greets the sun god with a song and invites his people to participate in the day’s ceremonies.
The ceremonies continue in Cusco’s main plaza and are then continued at Sacsayhuaman, where the main ritual takes place. At Sacsayhuaman, the Inca thanks his people for attending the ceremony and a great silence ensues as the sun showers the Inca with its rays.
After greeting the sun, the Inca performs a ceremony with corn beer before the rite of mosoq willkanina (“the sacred new fire”) and the sacrifice of the llama are carried out. A llama is chosen and herded to the altar, where the priest disembowels it and extracts the heart and lungs so that they may be observed for omens related to the future of the empire and its rulers. With the ceremonies concluded, the Inca invites his people to celebrate with music and feasting as he makes his exit.
Inti Raymi entrance
English speaking tour guide
All necessary land transport.
Accommodation at selected location with private bathroom (double room basis).
Tips to guides.
Airport taxes approximately $6 USD for each domestic flight and $28 USD for the international flight. Drinks.
Tips to the staff.
What to Bring on the Trip:
- A daypack
- Rain jacket
- Cap and sunglasses
- Sun block cream
- Digital camera and extra batteries