Let’s Go To The Jungle! 1 Month From San Juan
It only takes a month for the whole forest to be partying. San Juan is coming, emblematic feast of the Amazon, and this year it falls on Saturday, June 24. Let’s move on!
Why San Juan?
Traditionally on the night of June 23, men and women came to the rivers to purify themselves. It is believed that on this special day San Juan blesses the water courses and whoever bathes in them will have happiness and health throughout the year. Now on June 24, meals and parties are organised around the rivers. And, of course, they eat juanes: a preparation of rice, eggs, olives, sacha culantro and farm chicken prey, wrapped in leaves of plant known as bijao with its characteristic flavour. The rest is partying, beers, live orchestras, dances and dancers. A XXL party. If you are looking for tranquility, it is not for you. But if you are looking for fun, San Juan is your thing. Here we present you seven keys to this important event.
The devotion of the communities of the Peruvian jungle to San Juan originates in the times of the colony. Missionaries who came to the jungle designated San Juan Bautista as Patron Saint of the Peruvian Amazon and its relationship with water made it reach a great symbolic character in the jungle due to the importance of this element.
The festival combines the tradition of Saint John the Baptist, the holy man who baptised Jesus of Nazareth according to the Bible, and the reverence for water, an element of special importance for the indigenous communities of the Peruvian Amazon.
San Juan is the main fiesta of the Amazonian peoples. Throughout June there are dance competitions, exhibitions, musical presentations, choice of beauty queens, craft fairs and culinary, among other activities.
Initially, the celebrations of San Juan were accompanied by regional music, but with the passage of time to the party elements have been incorporated both local and foreign, resulting in a celebration rich in nuances.
In this celebration the consumption of the juane is of special importance, that represents the head of Juan Bautista, who, according to the Bible, was beheaded. The juane is prepared with rice, eggs and chicken prey wrapped in bijao leaves.
How is the festival of San Juan celebrated?
On June 24, the most traditional thing is to move to the neighbourhood of San Juan de Bautista where a mass is celebrated and a procession is performed accompanied by a typical band with drums, drums and flutes. Then they parade and dance around a palm tree laden with gifts.
This gang of the “unsha” is the most festive and authentic.
And where do I go next? On these dates there are special events in all the clubs. One of the most famous and central is the Noa.
In San Juan it is customary to relax on the banks of the rivers and streams around the city. One of the most popular places is the town of Shapaja on the edge of the Huallaga river that has wide beaches. Or Maceda on the edge of the Mayo river. On this date, 8000 people are able to go. One of the most secret towns is that of San Roque de Cumbaza.
It has a small waterfall, good pools and a little house in the trees to jump and jump into the water (Poza la Monzona). On the night of the 24th, people gather in the Plaza de Tarapoto where there is the election and coronation of Senorita San Juan. In Moyobamba they celebrate the tourist week from June 10 to 30. On the same June 24 the party takes place at the San Mateo Thermal Baths. June 25, they organise the Juane Festival in the port of Tahuishco. June 30, on the closing day, there is a corso of allegorical cars and comparsas.
And where do I go next? To the album Pachanga that became fashionable in recent months.
In Pucallpa on the evening of June 23, if you take a walk through the Plaza de Armas, the schools organize a dance contest where each group stages the tradition of San Juan. On June 24, the party vibrates the entire Yarinacocha lagoon. Giant scenarios are assembled around them that compete with each other with their exotic dancers and their speakers. Stay until sunset for a beautiful view over the lagoon.
And where do I go next? The largest clubs are located on Yarinacocha Ave. The Forest is fashionable right now.
Maybe it’s the least tourist festival of San Juan. The majority of visitors land and will be admitted directly into one of the lodges of the Tambopata or Madre de Dios rivers. A good place to celebrate San Juan is the Tambopata corridor when leaving the city. Here you will find recreations such as Villa Hermosa with swimming pool and typical dishes. When the river is low, it forms sandy beaches like Botafogo. The events in the Plaza de Armas take place at the end of the afternoon when the heat has dropped.
And where do I go next? Witite is the most active and wide discotheque in Puerto Maldonado.
A beautiful place that you should not miss while you are in Puerto Maldonado.