Some of Peru’s festivals and events provide a good reason to choose a particular time of year to travel, notably Carnaval in February and town anniversary celebrations in June (Chivay) and August (Arequipa). Make your reservations far in advance if you plan to travel at these times.
Corso de Amis. August 15 is the anniversary of Arequipa's founding and, each year, thousands take to the streets all day for the big parade, with music, dancing, traditional costumes, and decorated floats. Arequipa, Arequipa. 054/223–265.
La Virgen Inmaculada Concepción. Held in the first week of December, this big five-day event in Chivay and Yanque sees the performance of the local traditional Wititi dance and processions for the patron saint. Chivay, Arequipa. .
Virgen de la Candelaria. Vast numbers of singers, dancers, and marching bands parade through the streets, accompanying the statue of the Virgin in early February each year in one of Peru's biggest celebrations, designated in 2014 as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. You'll also see a huge range of traditional dances, performed in colorful costumes. It's also celebrated with much fanfare in Chivay. Puno, Puno. www.virgencandelaria.com.
Virgen del Carmen. In mid-July, each end of the Colca Canyon has two days of celebrations to mark this festival, with singing, dancing, bullfights, food and drink, and parades in Chivay and Cabanaconde. After night falls, impressive fireworks light up in the sky. Chivay, Arequipa.