What Are the Most Representative Carnivals in Peru?

Carnivals in Peru

Be part of vibrant parades, colorful dances, and ancestral traditions. 

Peru considers carnivals as genuine expressions of the country’s cultural diversity and traditional customs. Lively and engaging celebrations take place in various regions, reaching heightened enthusiasm from both locals and visitors from around the world because Peruvian carnivals transcend geographical borders.

These celebrations often align with the rainy season, adding a special element to the festivities as water plays a significant role in many activities during this time.

Here are some of the most emblematic carnivals in Peru contributing to this rich tradition:

1. Cusco

Cusco Carnival

This stands out as among the most cheerful and vivid expressions in Peru. During this festival, vibrant parades fill the streets of Cusco with the rhythm of traditional music and folk dances reflecting the cultural heritage of the region. Dancers, dressed in festive attire, bring life to this celebration characterized by its joy and vitality. 

Ancient traditions, still alive today, intertwine with the contemporary in Cusco’s carnival, creating a unique experience that attracts both locals and visitors from different countries.

2. Juliaca (Puno)

Julliaca carnival

Juliaca’s carnival stands out for its joy and active community participation. The event showcases entertaining “water battles”, where locals and visitors throw water at each other in the streets, creating a lively and camaraderie-filled atmosphere. 

Moreover, Juliaca’s carnival includes colorful parades and presentations of traditional dances showcasing the cultural diversity of the Puno region. Participating in this carnival is undoubtedly a unique and energetic experience.

3. Cajamarca

Cajamarca Carnival

Recognized as the “Capital of the Peruvian Carnival,” Cajamarca is known for organizing festivities full of joy, color, and symbolism. The central event is the “Globeada,” a tradition led by the “Ño Carnavalón,” a puppet symbolizing the warding off of negative energies. Cajamarca captivates both residents and tourists with its distinctive festivities and profound ties to cultural traditions.

4. Ayacucho

Ayacucho Carnival

Declared a Cultural Heritage of the Nation in 2007, Ayacucho’s carnival is an explosion of parades, dances, and music filling the streets with enthusiasm and color. This festival not only celebrates joy but also highlights Ayacucho’s abundant cultural legacy, rendering it a must-attend event for those desiring to immerse themselves in genuine Peruvian traditions.

5. Arequipa

Arequipa Carnival

Arequipa’s carnival has its special edition in Cayma with “Carnaval Loncco”, including dances, music, verses, and games with water balloons, paint, and costumes. This celebration stands out for its playful and participatory nature, enabling participants to engage in enjoyable and creative expression.

6. Ucayali

 Ucayali carnival

Pucallpa, in Ucayali, is recognized as the central carnival location in the Peruvian Amazon, with impressive parades, dances, and the characteristic “Chimaichi” dance. Amazonian “yunzas” and the show of painted bodies are highlights, immersing participants and spectators in a unique experience blending nature with celebration.

7. Piura

Piura carnival

In Catacaos, district of Piura, the carnival is celebrated with splendid festivities, including the crowning of Miss Carnival, paint and water games, dynamic musical performances, and a culinary fair that showcases delicious dishes of the region. This festival stands out the culinary richness of the region.

Peruvian carnivals represents a distinctive expression of the country’s cultural identity, attracting both locals and visitors with festivities full of color, music, and enthusiasm, serving as a vibrant testament of Peru’s cultural richness. Do not hesitate any longer and be part of this unforgettable adventure.


From the water-drenched revelry of Cajamarca to the culturally rich parades of Cusco, the diverse carnivals in Peru offer an explosion of color, music, and tradition unlike any other. Explore masked dancers, vibrant costumes, and ancient customs that blend seamlessly with infectious energy and joyous celebrations. Immerse yourself in the heart of Peru’s cultural tapestry and discover the magic of its legendary carnivals!

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