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Articles,  World Destinations

3 Reasons to Visit Cusco this Season

September 30, 2013 -

Peru's Largest Art & Craft Fair, Exquisite Holiday Decorations, and Culture Just For Kids

Located in the heart of the ancient city of Cusco, Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel is infused with history while accommodating guests in state-of-the-art luxury. A converted private colonial residence, the hotel is museum-like, full of unique architectural details and a collection of exquisite artwork. The hotel’s service comes with traditional Peruvian warmth from the entirely local staff, all of whom are experts on their “hometown” and the surrounding area. Here they share the top three reasons to visit this colorful and culturally rich Peruvian city this season. From Peru’s largest art fair and festivals to markets and museums there is much to do at this time of year, whether traveling with the kids or just the adults.

Markets/Shopping – The Santuranticuy Fair, which takes place in Cusco’s Main Square for four days ending on December 24, started in the colonial era as a small market for locals to buy holiday decorations. Today, it is the oldest and largest, art and craft fair in Peru, along with being the most popular, bringing together a wide range of goods, including jewelry, embroidery, basketry, carving, ceroplastic, and toys, among others.

Festivals – Travelers can become part of a Peruvian celebration, immersing themselves in the culture and living history. On November 1 & 2, Día de Todos los Santos Vivos (Day of the Living Saints) and the Day of the Dead are celebrated with special holiday dishes and floral processions. On December 8, Fiesta de la Purisima Concepción (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) offers lively religious parades and The Andean Christmas, known for the exquisite extensive decorations with dances and plays performed. In most Andean communities, the festival continues until la Bajada de los Reyes (the arrival of the three wise men), January 6, when people traditionally exchange gifts.

Culture for Kids - Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a treasure trove of history with archeological sites and ruins dating back to the Incas as well as colonial era monuments. However, a great way to introduce young travelers to the culture is the Art museum of Andean Children which houses incredible creations portraying the lives, myths, and dreams of children living in remote villages. ChocoMuseo is a museum dedicated to everyone’s favorite candy, providing a delicious introduction to the history and process of chocolate-making, from cacao bean to bar. Workshops allow guests to make their own sweets.

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