Every year thousands of people flock to the city’s main square (Plaza de Armas) to celebrate the New Year, and this year was no different. Tourists from all over South America and the U.S pour into Cusco for a chance to form part of this celebration, the crowd swells up and completely fills the square and the revelers dance and scream “Feliz Año” (meaning happy new year) to one and another. There are a few things you should take into account in order to follow local traditions.
One of the preferred traditions is the use of a particular color. Yellow is the preferred color on this day…yes, yellow. Why you say? The people of Cusco have long believed that it brings good luck throughout the rest of the year, an Inca tradition. Many people wear yellow panties and briefs over their pants hoping to spice up their love life! This has gradually become a trend in all Latin countries, but the trend started here. Most New Year’s accessories such as hats and goggles are sold exclusively in yellow and are pretty cheap, little details that help keep in tradition.
Another thing to take note of is that Peruvians love their fireworks. Unlike the US, you can buy and light your own fireworks here. The sale of fireworks is legal in Cusco, and there are no restrictions on how to use them. The fireworks range from small crackers to an incredible variety of colorful aerial fireworks. You can also buy rocket sticks for 3 soles from the street vendors. These sticks contain 15 rockets that will fly continuously as you hold the stick up in the air. Bottle rockets are also very common but be careful that these little flying objects can be somewhat dangerous!
Now if you’re more into partying then you should know that drinking is freely permitted without any restrictions throughout the city. You can buy your own choice of liquor and bring it in. If you did not bring liquor, don’t worry, Cusqueña beer is sold virtually everywhere you turn. Plenty of other beers and alcoholic beverages are sold by street vendors. If you can’t hold your bladder for long, or if you like sit down and snack, there are many bars in this square. However, the cover charge can range from 50-100 Peruvian soles just to enter these bars. We highly recommend reserving a balcony table in one of these bars so that you can go back and forth for snacking and partying.
Cusco is generally a very safe place and as long as you don’t pass out and always stay in well-lit areas, you don’t have to worry. Remember to take registered taxis while going back to your hotels. Peruvian people are usually very friendly and helpful to the tourists.
If you ever get a chance to visit Peru, try to visit Cusco on New Year’s Eve, you will have an unforgettable night. If you want to know anything else about Cusco and Machu Picchu Travel, check out the rest of our blog posts at Peru Travel Blog and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for our special packages.