Archive for December, 2011
All of us at Pirwa Hostels Peru hope your holidays went well! The Pirwa hostels in Cusco united for our traditional Christmas Eve Dinner in Pirwa Colonial Backpackers, and the pics just came in.
It’s time to start planning ahead for our biggest events of the year, our New Year’s Eve Parties- this year we’ll be celebrating in Lima and Cusco in Peru and La Paz in Bolivia!
If you’re traveling through Peru or Bolivia during the holidays we hope you’ll be joining us for the festivities! Otherwise, happy holidays to everyone no matter where you spend it!
The announcement has been made that this January Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile will submit the Inca Trail as a Candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although never before have 6 countries united for one candidacy, the complex road network known as the Great Inka Trail stretched into all of these countries over its 6000km. The honor would afford it worldwide recognition, guaranteeing its protection and conservation. The solicitude which will be presented to UNESCO comprises six segments which are conserved and which total 1,200km.
A main path starting in Cusco led to each of the 4 suyos, or regions, with roads branching off through the diverse geography of Andean peaks, coastal plains, desert, and jungle. Its infrastructure included bridges and pulleys with hanging baskets for crossing rivers and ravines, wayside inns (tambos) every 21km, warehouses (kallankas), control check-points every 7km, and sacred sites. In the mountains, one finds zones paved with stone slabs, carved stone steps, retaining walls, and tunnels. In the jungle, zones with drainage channels on either side to avoid flooding.
Pirwa Travel offers the Classic 4 Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the most famous segment of the Inca Trail network, as well as other excursions utilizing original Inca trails, such as Inka Jungle and Sanctuary Garden.
During the time of the Empire, it was known as Qhapac Ñan, or the Royal Road. It was built under the order of Inca Pachacutec in the 15th century (the same Inca responsible for Machu Picchu).
Then, it allowed for rapid administration, trade, and military deployment. Now, it is popular with travelers for its ruins, lauded history, and beautiful landscapes- if you’re planning a trip to South America, it’s an unmissable stop. Let’s all hope the petition is accepted!
Dec 25nd to 27th in Huancavelica
Every December Huancavelica celebrates one of its major claims to fame- the Peruvian Scissor Dance (Danza de las Tijeras or Galas), which UNESCO declared part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the World. This unique and acrobatic dance with roots honoring the pre-Columbian deities of the natural world was once danced by the holy men, the “Tusuq Laylas”, whom the Spaniards ran off into the hills, declaring them devil`s spawn. They were allowed to return only on the condition that from that point forward their dance would honor the Catholic religion.
This festival consists of a series of contests to declare the best scissor dancers. Two or more dancers take turns performing, with intricate stepwork and acrobatic flips and jumps. Violin and harp orchestras accompany the deance, with the scissors marking the beat. Dances must not only exhibit their dancing skills, but also fortitude in marathon 10 to 12 hours competitions known as the Atapanacuy, where they continue dancing intermittently with their competitors throughout. Tradition holds that the dancers gain their ability to compete for so long from the devil himself. As part of this pact, the Atipanacuy ritual presents the devil’s tests to the scissor dancers, where some of these “sons of the devil” will even spill their blood in the name of Christ. They run metal spikes through their bodies and perform other extreme spectacles- this one is not for the timid! Thus, the challenges will at times include not only dance but also contests of physical skill, magic and blood challenges.
When to Travel: The Program
Here’s the official program for this year’s festivities. Don’t forget your camera and, during this time of year, your rain gear!
The festival’s sponsors lead the inauguration, kicking off the scissor dances and a contest between the Quichkas.
December 25th: Atrium of the San Francisco Church / From 1:00 pm
Dance and Zapateo with sonajas and scissors, men and women
December 26th: Atrium of the San Francisco Church / From 1:00 pm
December 27th: Pucachaca / From 1:00 pm
On these two days the dances continue as in the previous days, but here is the addition of the celebration of Atipanacuy.
Fireworks, Firecrackers & Noisemakers
All Your Friends at Pirwa!!
**REALLY….Do you want to have a “lucky” 2012 or not?
Don’t worry about where you’re going to find yellow underwear and the other items on the list- you won’t be able to avoid them on all the street corners!
If you’re in Cusco, be ready for the traditional “Run Around the Plaza”. We may all start the night off in our separate parties, but once the clock nears 12 it all empties into the Plaza de Armas for a loud, firework-lit race around the square!
Pirwa Hotels has Jumped the Border…
This December 17th is the Inauguration of
Housed in a Republican-era building right in the center of the city, our hostel is located just a block and a half from the La Paz Bus Terminal. You’ll be just three blocks from San Francisco Church, and within short walking distance from all the services you need: ATMs, quality cafés and restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. Like our other locations throughout Peru, Pirwa La Paz offers both private rooms and shared dorms, with private or shared bath- all with comfy semi-orthopedic beds with down pillows and comforters.
If you’re traveling through South America, La Paz should certainly be on your list, so let the eager Pirwa La Paz team show you what the city has to offer! As always, Pirwa Travel Service has an information counter where you can get all the up-to-date travel information you need, as well as arrange transport or book excursions. You don’t have to worry while you’re out, because 24hr reception, security lockers, and free luggage storage for longer trips will ensure that your belongings are secure.
When you feel like just taking it easy, take advantage of the free Internet and Wi-Fi to keep in touch with loved ones back home, hang out in the Movie & TV Lounge playing some foosball or other games, maybe betting your fellow travelers some drinks at the in-house bar, or throw a BBQ on the patio, which boasts an amazing view of the city of La Paz! Enjoy the warm and social atmosphere, taking part in our themed parties, dance classes and clases de español.
Check the Pirwa La Paz website for info on room types and prices, etc. We’ll be uploading more photos, of the private rooms, lounge, view from the patio, and more as soon as we have them!
We’re now accepting reservations for dates from December 12th on, which you can make at the Pirwa La Paz website by clicking through to the hostel reservation page and selecting one of the options available: Book by Facebook, Book by Credit Card, and Book by Email.