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Qoyllur Rit'i

In Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, which were once part of the former Inka empire, there are still 12 sacred places to which those interested in the Inka culture or religion can travel on pilgrimage. Among the most famous sites are certainly the pilgrimage festivals of Paucartambo and Qoyllur Rit’i, which are home to two of the most important religious festivals in South America.

These two pilgrimages are 3-day cycles of ceremonies, in which participants' own relationships to other people, to nature and the universe are the focus. Such pilgrimages are often also referred to as the "social path" of the development of human consciousness, since they concentrate primarily on the ability to interact and exchange energy with others.

And where better to develop this relationship with others than at a major pilgrimage festival?

Energy work at 4,300 m

Qoyllur Rit’i takes place twice a year (in July and September) at the foot of the holy mountain of Ausangate, approximately 4,300 m above sea level; if you climb to the top of the glacier, you can reach an altitude of about 4,800 m. Qoyllur Rit’i harmoniously combines elements of the Inka religion and the Christian tradition. Just over 80,000 visitors participate in the pilgrimage in July; in September, the numbers drop to about 30,000 people.

Many participants combine a visit to the festival of Qoyllur Rit’i with the completion of the Hatun Karpay (left side or right side).


Itinerary and program

Starting point: Cusco
End point:        Cusco


Day 1
In the early morning, we will take the bus from Cusco into the Andes in the direction of Qoyllur Rit’i. Once we arrive at the end of the road, we will start the approximately 8 km, 2.5-hour pilgrimage to the sacred place where the event will be held. This walk marks the beginning of this pilgrimage with the apachi ritual - each time they pass a cross, participants will pick up a rock with their heavy energy and place it at the foot of the cross. The last cross is located at the entrance to the sacred site, a vast and open area, a kind of valley, from where you can see a church, a small chapel, a few houses, and the extensive campsite.

Once we arrive, helpers will already have set up our little camp - it's now time for lunch. After the meal, participants will follow the customs of Qoyllur Rit’i. First, they will visit the church and establish a connection by offering candles on their own behalves and the behalves of their friends/acquaintances. Afterwards, participants can manifest their previously expressed wishes in front of the church - by "reconstructing" them and playing with them. This game describes the way in which people have been implementing the manifestative power of their wishes for centuries. In the afternoon, participants will follow the events of the festival, especially the dancers in their colorful costumes. We will spend the night in tents.


Day 2
The day starts with a group breakfast after which participants will follow the customs of the festival. A pilgrimage such as Paucartambo or Qoyllur Rit'i has no fixed schedule - you simply follow the locals and find the deeper meaning of each festival through your own observations and perceptions. You may visit the church or follow the groups of dancers – the whole day is a constant exchange of energy!


Day 3
The day starts with a group breakfast, followed by a visit to the chapel. We will follow the dancers and will then perform a despacho with a number of Q’eros. Those who wish to do so may climb to the snow-capped peak of the glacier. At noon, the festival ends with a church service. After the subsequent lunch, the group will return to the bus, which will take us back to the hotel in Cusco, arriving late that night.


Return flight/onward journey: from Cusco the next day


The journey to the summit does not necessarily have to be completed on foot; you can also book a ride on a motorbike for approximately 10€. If you do not wish to bring your own sleeping bag, you may rent one for approximately €40 (please notify us accordingly when booking your trip).


new date to be announced