Cusco – the old inca town and now a small, pleasant city full of culture, traditions, and fun- is the place to spend your New Years Eve, not only for AMAUTA students learning Spanish in Peru but for many other travelers as well. The city of Cusco certainly is a magical place to be and many travellers come together here for New Years celebrations. But where to go? How do you know which is thé place to be to spend new Years Eve in Cusco?
One of the nice and favorite places to be and hang around, is the Plaza de Armas, the main square in Cusco. Especially if this is your first new year celebration in Cusco this is a recommendation. Big crowds of both local people and travelers gather here a few hours before Midnight and there will be beautiful fireworks. At twelve, all the people on the Plaza will start to move counter clockwise around the fountain. Seven rounds of the Plaza de Armas brings good luck for the new year. Another interesting tradition in Peru for New Year is that you will see many people walking around the Plaza with their suitcases, 7 times as well: obviously also for the good luck! Two other typical new years traditions in Peru are: wearing yellow underwear, and eating 12 grapes right before midnight. Both bring good luck. On the streets of Cusco and especially in the market area you will see many people selling yellow underwear.
Back to the Plaza de Armas around Midnight, the place to be in Cusco: most of the locals bring drinks with them and go to one of the clubs after the celebration at the Plaza. Good clubs to go are: The temple, Mythology, Inkateam and Mama Africa. There is also a famous Fallen Angels New Years party but since it´s quite popular you need to buy your ticket in advance. And after a heavy night of celebrating the new year, at dawn many people walk up to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman to have a great view over the city of Cusco. And if they are lucky, they’ll see the “Apu” Ausangate mountain far way, if it’s not too clouded. Ausangate is one of Peru’s most important holy mountians and seeing it at jan 1st in the early mornig is supposed to bring you good luck for the new year.
If you decide not to be in Cusco, another good option is to celebrate the New Year in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, close to Cusco. The AMAUTA Sacred Valley campus school in the will be closed, but there are several private party´s in the villages of Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. For these party´s you need buy your entrance beforehand in Cusco. Finally there are also hotels and hotels that organize parties for New Years Eve in Cusco.