There are many reasons to visit Ayacucho, given its cultural and natural heritage, its arts and crafts and festivities.
Ayacucho is the “City of Churches”, which is what it is called all over Peru. This name was not given randomly: it has 33 churches located all over the city. In addition Ayacucho is known for its outstanding artisans and handicrafts. A visit to the workshops of artisans making the typical free standing altars of Ayacucho or a stroll through the streets of the neighborhoods of Santa Ana, Puca Cruz, Belen and La Libertad are some of the options in order to soak up the techniques of the area.
But above all, the major attraction to lure national and international visitors is without a doubt the large number and quality of its festivities. As the locals say, “in Ayacucho everyday there is some type of celebration”. And that is true.
Holy Week and Carnivals are Ayacucho’s most distinctive festivities. Holy Week, the dates of which depend on the Christian calendar, consists of an ample program of processions of penitents carrying their statues on floats through the city’s main streets. On Holy Friday, the Lord of Agony and Our Lady of Pain (Señor de la Agonia y la Virgen Dolorosa) are taken out of the church of La Magdalena. They are followed by numerous floats and activities throughout Holy Week, finalizing on Easter Sunday with the procession of the Lord of Resurrection (Señor de la Resurreccion).
During Carnivals, the streets of Ayacucho are full of color, music and dancing. The numerous troupes that participate in the festivities dance through the streets to music and lyrics about love, heartbreak and daily life with a certain dose of mischievousness. The Carnivals have been declared National Cultural Heritage of Peru.