What the Heck is LLaullifest?
First of all, it’s pronounced “Jowjifest”. Second of all, you shouldn’t miss it if you’re in Cusco in the summer! Llaullifest is a small outdoor forest festival held in Llaullipata (Jowjipata), a large forest with hiking trails right outside of Cusco. Every year, a local outdoor company called The Backyard hosts the festival. We went this July and had an amazing time!
After walking from Plaza de Armas to Sacsayhuaman, we were dismayed to find we still had more to go and finally accepted defeat and hailed a cab. He took us to the entrance to Llaullipata and we walked the rest of the way to Llaullifest from there. Down a road, then a path, then through a forest trail lit with light bulbs. I was starting to wonder where the heck we were when we emerged into the clearing with the festival in full swing.
It really is a magical place. Upon arrival, we grabbed a free Candelaria pumpkin beer (yum!) and checked out the stalls. There was a food stand with hot dogs, sandwiches, and the usual festival fare. Another dessert booth with brownies and cake also caught our eye. The small food area also sold beer and Chilcano pisco drinks.
After we grabbed something to eat, we took a seat on the large cozy blankets and pillows strewn out across the clearing. From there, we watched people’s dogs run and play together (to be honest, this was probably my favorite part of Llaullifest. I NEED a dog!). There was also a jiu jitsu area and slack lining to try. The music was great and we spent the day just laying around in the shade and relaxing. A couple hours in, a group got together for a forest clean up walk. Awesome!
Daniel and I left Llaullifest and went for our own little exploration walk in the sun, and sat in a second clearing with an awesome view of Cusco. Finally, as it got dark, we bought some coffee and returned to the clearing to sit by the much needed bonfires they lit around the camp. It’s so strange to experience chilly fall weather, pumpkin beers, and bonfires in July, but it was an awesome and cozy ambiance.
At the end, The Backyard, the group that hosted Llaullifest, set up a projector and played a couple of their outdoor Peru movies for us to check out. Some were really well made, and I enjoyed seeing their rock climbing, surfing, and mountain biking exploits. I also enjoyed laying on my back next to the toasty fire, and admiring the view of the gorgeous star scape above us.
We left Llaullifest around 7p.m., but the party was still going strong until midnight. If you’re in Cusco in July, I strongly recommend getting out of the city and up in the the mountain forests for this small, but great, community forest festival. Don’t miss Llaullifest!
All my love,
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