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Ayacucho and central Andes: Fact file


When to go

The central Andes can be visited throughout the year. Most visitors will use climate as a criterion but others may be attracted by any one of numerous fiestas: Inti Raymi, Easter, Corpus Christi, Christmas. The dry season when sunny days can be expected runs May-Oct but in Jun-Jul it can be below freezing at night.

 Rain falls Jan-Mar.

Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency

Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Numerous money exchanges (casas de cambio) change US dollars cash (few accept euros or sterling and the rate may be poor).

Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Getting there

Flights to Ayacucho from Lima take 1 hour.

Combines with

Cusco and the nearby Sacred Valley of the Incas, 270km by road;  Machu Picchu, 75km by road and rail from Cusco; Tambopata and the lodges of the southern Amazon, 1 hour by air from Cusco 

Key events

Ayacucho: Semana Santa (Easter week): many elaborate religious processions. Many other religious festivals throughout the year, including Carnival in the week before Lent. 
Ayacucho: Fiesta de las Cruces: around May 23rd, variable; includes a folkdance involving men dancing with scissors. Tarma: Many festivals including Holy Week (with flower carpet competition); Carnaval Tarmeño (20-25 Feb) 
Tarma and around: Several Senor de los Milagros processions in October. 
Mantaro Valley:  This area hosts a huge number of festivals, especially at Carnival and Holy Week (Good Friday processions take place in many villages).



 
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