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Feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria

All the Devotion and Color of the Feast of the Virgin of Candelaria.

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Puno, the folkloric capital of Peru, is located between the foothills of the beautiful Andean mountains and ends abruptly on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Also in this region is celebrated the "Festivity of the Virgen de la Candelaria", which was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on November 27, 2014.

The month of February is expected to receive no less than 90,000 visitors between nationals and foreigners; who live with intensity, joy and devotion the feast of the Mamacha (Mamita) Candelaria. In this popular festival, groups of dancers congregate between men and women of different ages with colorful costumes of lights, accompanied to the rhythm and sound of the rhythmic music bands, which come from different parts of our country and the brother country of Bolivia.


  • The liturgical program will be distributed on January 14.
  • On January 18, the official launching of the Candelaria 2019 festivities will take place.
  • The first novena mass will be held on January 29th.
  • On January 30 will be held the costume change of the Virgin of Candelaria.
  • Saturday, February 2nd is of a purely religious character since the Mass and Procession of the Virgin is held in the center of the city and at nightfall the image of the Mamacha enters her original sanctuary.
  • On February 3rd there will be a presentation of native dances with native costumes.
  • On Sunday, February 10, from very early in the morning, everyone enjoys the Mestizo Dance Contest at the Enrique Torres Belon Stadium. It is a luxury to enjoy the dances, comparsas and costumes of lights that after their presentation in the stadium, continue dancing through the main streets of the city, until late at night, not even the rain stops them.
  • The most awaited day for its duration and significance is Monday, February 11, "La Gran Parada y Veneración" (the Great Parade and Veneration). All the comparsas and dancers concentrate in the streets making a route of 3 to 4 kilometers full of noise, color and joy, until arriving at the sanctuary of the Virgen de la Candelaria.

The days following the beginning of the festivities, fairs and parties are held in the most popular neighborhoods, where people drink and dance to the rhythm of the music and dances of Puno, during the day and night. And at night, panpipes and other percussion instruments are playing all over the streets, amidst a fusion of beautiful sounds, typical of the festival.

Meanwhile, street vendors are offering various snacks such as anticuchos de corazón, empanadas, punches, emollients and for the cold a traditional Api, which is a drink made mainly of purple corn, water, sugar and cinnamon.

Here are some routes to get to Puno:

  • From Lima to Juliaca by air (1 hour 30 minutes), then from Juliaca to Puno by land (45 minutes).
  • From Lima to Puno by land (17 hours) after a stopover in the city of Arequipa.
  • From Arequipa to Puno by land (6 hours).
  • From Cusco to Puno by land (7 hours).
  • From Tacna to Puno by land (9 hours).
  • From Moquegua to Puno by land (4 hours by bus).
  • From La Paz - Bolivia to Puno by land (3 hours).

Tips to make the most of your trip to Puno:

  1. Don't forget to bring a warm jacket, waterproof clothing, scarf and wool or polar hats, sneakers, umbrella, rain poncho and sunglasses.
  2. The altitude sickness or soroche can play tricks on you, so when you arrive do not make great efforts, drink coca tea or muña and eat something light (avoid meats since digestion is slower).
  3. The sun radiation in Puno is one of the strongest on the planet so always use sunscreen (factor 90+), sunglasses and hats.
  4. Do not travel with all the money you have, take what you need and try to keep it in small coins, and keep the rest in a safe place.
  5. You can carry a sleeping bag to minimize the cold.
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