Christmas in Machu Picchu

What could be merrier than spending a Christmas immersed in the breath-taking beauty of Peru?


Machu Picchu is open every single day of the year. In fact, all Inca sites are open on Christmas, which is fitting, as the Incas and the civilizations that came before them, did not celebrate Christmas. In Machu Picchu, Christmas Day is just like any other day, no Christmas trees, no decorations, none of those things. If you are wanting to visit a museum, check beforehand, as many of them close on the 25th, which is a public holiday here in Peru.


Most Peruvians eat Christmas dinner at midnight on the 24th of December, known as Noche Buena. Restaurants and hotels will serve it earlier, to accommodate their guests. Peruvian families usually give each other presents at the time of dinner.


You can spend December 25th surrounded by the ruins of the lost city of the Incas and have the opportunity to visit the Santurantikuy folk art market which is the largest in Peru and is located in Cusco’s Plaza Mayor and takes place each year on Christmas eve. In the Sacred Valley of the Inca you can taste the Pachamanca, a traditional dish usually eaten during Christmas lunch which is a unique gastronomic experience. The elaborate preparation of the Pachamanca has very ancient origins and the food is cooked using the heat of the stones. Usually the dish is based on meat accompanied by Andean products, but there are also vegetarian variations.


Christmas in Peru will always be special because Peru is special. Whatever day of the year you visit or whatever type of Christmas you want, this is still a stunningly beautiful, vibrant, and colorful place to spend some time.


Author: Deb Davad

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