The festival which takes places in a small village about 4 hour from Cusco celebrates the Virgen del Carmen. The Virgin del Carmen is known locally as Mamacha Carmen who is a patron saint of the mestizo population. The festival takes place from the 15th to the 17th of July the principal day being the 16th of July. Festivities running over the three days are full of traditional music and dances, many of the dances telling the stories of events in Peruvian history. The Virgen Carmen is paraded through the streets to ward away evil spirits, represented by dancers in masks who position themselves on balconies and rooftops.
This year’s festival was attended by a record number of visitors from Peru and from abroad. Carlos Landauro the Regional Director of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Dircetur), said that the increasing number of tourists each year is due to support by given by the regional government and advertising campaigns organized by (Dircetur). Tourists to attend the festival also visit other attractions, such as the Watoqto Archaeological Complex, the Ninamarca Chullpas, the Carlos the Third Colonial Bridge, the Paucartambo Temple, as such increasing tourism in the area.