Visitors flood the city of Lima every year for one of Peru’s most important celebrations. Each July 28th, Peru celebrates the anniversary of Jose de San Martín’s proclamation of independence in Lima’s Plaza de Armas, and on the 29th, honors its Armed Forces and National Police. It’s one of the year’s most important holidays, with many workers taking advantage of the long weekend to travel. Others enjoy the parades, music, food and dances to be had in their own cities. If you’re traveling during the days surrounding Fiestas Patrias, be aware that some shops and banks will only open for half a day or not at all. Buses and flights continue, but the increased demand due to the long weekend means higher prices and less availability.
The first thing you’ll notice are the red and white flags fluttering festively along the city streets, and a party atmosphere throughout. Get into the spirit by donning your Peruvian flag, sinking your teeth into traditional treats, and raising a glass of the national liquor, pisco. Or better yet, check out our list of 10 ways to celebrate Fiestas Patrias in Lima:
- Attend the Serenade in Parque de la Muralla (Free- July 27th)
On the eve of Independence Day, Lima sponsors a serenade known as Lima Salutes the Nation. Expect to see Afro-Peruvian Creole Music, Folkloric Bands, Marinera Dancers, and modern rock groups as well. It ends with a short fireworks display.
- Watch the Magical Water Circuit at Reserve Park’s “3D Spectacular” (4 Soles- July 27th)
In honor of Fiestas Patrias, the fountain park known as the Magical Water Circuit puts on a show of lights, music, and 3D footage of Lima’s Municipal Ballet, folkloric dances from around Peru, and other cultural standards. The park hands out the glasses and projects the show on the large Fantasia Fountain. You can also explore the rest of the park’s fountains and enjoy musical bands and traditional food.
- Visit Kennedy Park to View the Exhibitions (Free- All Week)
Visit the always-lively Kennedy Park, which will fill up with vendors and special exhibits celebrating Peruvian heritage.
- Watch the Military Parade
The Military Parade consists of the country’s army, navy and air force. This will give you a glimpse at the equipment they use as well as the discipline they need to form part of the armed forces.
- Watch Marinera Dances and Peruvian Paso Horses at Hacienda Mamacona
Lima’s Hacienda Mamacona (actually located a little outside of the city, but offering buses to the locale) offers a Peruvian Paso horse show along with folk dances and Peruvian food. It’s a scenic locale steeped in Peruvian traditions, so if you’ve got a little more to spend, pay them a visit. Just look up videos and illustrated brochures of the event, and call if you’d like to reserve.
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