Special Tours for 2011: The Colors of Faith

We want to bring you this unique opportunity of riding the best trails of Cusco, and have a close touch of the local culture. Imagine riding fast during day time through some epic Inca trails and at night dancing with the Ukukus and the Chajras, taking part in one of the most colorful and typical festivity, and then after the hangover, ride a spectacular downhill to the jungle.

Mind blowing!!! Riding world class trails on unspoiled terrain and joining the locals feasts and the most ancient pilgrims of the Andean people, will take you to a close approach of their lives and culture. This is an experience of a lifetime

Andean Festivities by Bike

Peru is a wonderful country made up by different regions, cultures and races. This give us a special flavor and a magic and enigmatic character.

Intibike, wants to offer you this unique opportunity to enjoy and discover the "Real Peru", through our traditional ancient festivities, knowing face to face the culture of the Incas and the people from the Andes. The best of all, riding World Class trails on your Mountain bike.

The worship and religious use of high mountains is widespread and of great antiquity in the Andes. It is known that the mountains were worshipped for many thousands of years before the arrival of the Inca. "When the Inca entered areas where these beliefs already existed, they apparently felt it necessary to construct ritual sites up there to help in gaining greater political, religious, and economic control over the people and land they conquered." Could you imagine riding those perfect ancient trails, like the Chasqui's did thousands years ago, your mountain bike will be like a time machine driving fast to the past.

The high Andean mountains were believed to be the abodes of deities that controlled the weather, the rains, and the productivity of crops. It is easy to understand how this sort of belief would have developed. Rain clouds were seen to form around the summits of the high peaks, and streams and springs flowed downward from the mountain heights. Early humans offered worship to the mountains in hopes of maintaining these flows of life-giving water and also to appease angry weather gods who threw bolts of lightening and crop-destroying hail.

Additionally, Andean peoples venerated mountains as being the mythical places where their cultures began, as the abodes of ancestor spirits, the haunts of shamans, the homes of power animals (especially the condor, who was believed to be a manifestation of the mountain gods), and as forming the link between the three worlds of the Underground, Earth, and Sky.

Qoyllur Riti

Known as the greatest indigenous pilgrimage in the Americas, this festivity is celebrated every last week of May or first week of June.

Perhaps 50 thousand Peruvians (and a hand full of bewildered foreign tourist) arrive by foot or horseback riding (we will do riding our bikes) to worship the lonely Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i in the region of Sinancara near Ausangate at over 4600 mts!.

This pilgrimage is demanding. Some devotees ascend up the glacier to 5000 mts withstand temperatures well below 0°C, to carry down ice for Holy Water to his community.

Qoyllur Rit'i (or snow star) is an Andean fiesta, but one much influenced by the Catholic Church. The Indian worship of the Apus (hills, mountains and snow-capped peaks) and the spirits living in them, the Wamani, goes back to before the Incas. When Spaniards and the catholic religion arrived, they tried to abolish the local religion and prohibited this kind of worships. But this event got Church sanction when Christ appeared at this remote spot in 1783.

The fiesta runs 3-days & 3-nghts without pause. It is exhausting — a cacophony of noise, a riot of costume, a spectacle of movement.

Don't miss it. This special tour runs only one time each year.

Inti Raymi

Festival of the Inti Raymi is celebrated in June 24, the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere and the local Harvest are the driving force behind the greatest, most majestic pre-hispanic ceremony to render homage to the Sun.

Today the Inti Raymi festival evokes the splendid Inca ritual of yore, the main part of this ceremony takes part on the esplanade below of the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman. There, step by step, thousands of people enact a long ceremony giving thanks to the sun god, Inti.

The Inca ruler is borne on a royal litter from the Koricancha, or Temple of the Sun to the Huacaypata, the city's main square, where he commands the local authorities to govern fairly. Then all the participants set out for Sacsayhuamán, where the ceremony calls for the (faked) sacrifice of two llamas, one black and one white.

The llamas' entrails and fat are handed to a pair of high priests: the first, the Callpa Ricuy, examines the intestines to predict what sort of year lies ahead; while the second priest, the Wupariruj, makes his predictions based on the smoke that wafts up from the burning fat. The high priests' predictions are then interpreted by the Willac Umo, the lord high priest, who bears the news to the Inca.

Finally, at sunset, the Inca orders all to withdraw from the site, and the entire city breaks out into a festivity that will rage for several days.

Mamacha Carmen Paucartambo

Four hours from Cuzco, in the town of Paucartambo, thousands of devotees hold festivals in honor of the Virgen del Carmen, known locally as Mamacha Carmen, patron saint of the mestizo population. The gathering that raises the curtain on these days of celebrations is held in the main square, where troupes of musicians play their instruments while richly dressed choirs sing in Quechua.

The setting gives way to a series of ingenious choreographies that portray events in Peruvian history.

For five days, dance companies in various costumes (Doctorcitos, Waca Waca, Sacjras) take to the streets to accompany the Mamacha throughout the entire procession through the main square, the church and the city streets. On the main day, the virgin is borne aloft in a procession to bless those present and scare away demons. The dancers take to the housetops, performing daring gymnastics, showing off their colorful Inca and colonial garb. At the end of the procession, war is waged on the demons, from which the faithful emerge in triumph. Finally, the gathering ends up in the cemetery to render homage to the souls of the dead.  


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