Peru’s Independence Day celebrations, known as the Fiestas Patrias, take place over two days, both of which are national holidays in Peru. Throughout July, the Peruvian flag is flown outside both public and private buildings.
July 28 is the actual day of independence. The day begins with a 21 cannon salute in Lima, followed by a Te Deum mass by the Archbishop of Lima. The President of Peru attends the mass, after which he gives his official address to the nation.
The sense of national pride is certainly not limited to the Peruvian capital. Across the country, from the smallest villages to the nation’s major cities, the streets and main squares come alive with parades, fairs and a general spirit of celebration. The party atmosphere really takes hold as night falls, with no shortage of fireworks and beer.
July 29, meanwhile, is set aside in honor of the Armed Forces and National Police of Peru. The Gran Parada Militar del Perú (the Great Military Parade) takes place in Lima, attended by the President. Further military parades occur throughout the rest of the country.
Traveling During Peru’s Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day is a good time to be in Peru. The sense of national pride is admirable and the Fiestas Patrias are an interesting mix of formal ceremony and unrestrained celebration.
Bear in mind, however, that both days are national holidays. In an effort to increase internal tourism, the Peruvian government may also declare an extra holiday day before or after the Fiestas Patrias (in 2012, for example, July 27 was declared a día no laborable, or non-working day).
Shops shut and many services are unavailable (although large supermarkets and pharmacies often open for at least half a day). Bus travel and domestic flights are largely unaffected, but ticket prices can rise and seats fill up quickly due to Peruvians taking the opportunity to travel. Advanced hotel and transport reservations may be necessary depending on your destination.