Terrantai Blog


April 3rd, 2023

The Carnival of the Virgin of Candelaria

Every February 2, in San Pedro de Atacama we celebrate the ‘Fiesta de la Candelaria’. The origin of this festival dates back to 1778, the year in which the muleteer Mariano Caro Inca found the image of the Virgin of Candelaria in the mountains, near the Maricunga salt flat. This finding attracted the attention of pilgrims, who with the help of the parish priest built a sanctuary in the year 1800.
Over the years, the Fiesta de La Candelaria, patron saint of the miners, has become a popular and religious reference for the Atacama region, where different activities and typical dances stand out.

The festivity lasts around 3 days, where various groups from the region dance the osada, the diablada, the morenada, the tinku and the tobas. Each dance dazzles with its costumes, stories, staging, and music, which excite the entire Atacameño community, and the tourists who travel to absorb each cultural and symbolic experience that this destination offers.
After going around the town several times, they end at the Church of San Pedro, just 10 meters from our hotel. It was an honor to see them pass from our home in Terrantai and we thank them for keeping the Atacameño traditions alive.