If you arrive to Lima between October 18 and 20, you’ll be in for a surprise. Thousands of Limeños will be walking the streets all clad from head to toe in purple, in one of the largest religious parades to take place anywhere in Lima, or in Peru. Here is your guide to everything you need to know about Lima’s miracle painting and the city’s celebration of it.
It’s a typical spring day in Lima: cloudy and grey, but hot and humid, too. The streets in Lima’s historical center are decorated in a deep purple, with banners waving and hanging down from second-story balconies and windows. The crowds have arrived and they’re peaceful and happy for such a large gathering. Vendors are milling in out of the crowd, selling popcorn, sodas, water, and plenty of purple gear. Why has everyone gathered here on this October day? To celebrate a painting of Jesus that miraculously survived a devastating Lima earthquake in the 16th century.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The earthquake and the painting
In 1746, a massive earthquake struck Lima, leveling everything in its path. It was recorded as a 7.8 magnitude, one of the largest ever to strike the city of Lima. The building that housed the painting was devastated, along with all the neighboring buildings, and the only thing not to crumble to the ground during the earthquake was the wall where the mural was painted. Due to the massive damage done to the surrounding buildings, which had completely collapsed, it was seen as a miracle that a painting of Christ survived the earthquake, and it was viewed of a sign of good fortunes to come.
On October 18, 19, and 20, thousands of Limeños take to the streets dressed in purple and holding the image of the painting to celebrate the miracle. The purple is a sign of reverence for the Lord of Miracles and a way to pay respect to the painting and its story. On one day, followers parade for 24 hours, in one of the largest parades in the Americas.
As legend has it, the painting was done by an African slave, who painted it on a wall in a building in Lima. The image was of Christ nailed to the cross and is now venerated all over Peru and has become something of a unique obsession here. There is no information on who the artist was, or what his intentions were in painting the mural.
Perhaps needless to say, an already traffic-riddled city will see even more traffic during these celebrations. Getting around in cars will be nearly impossible, and if you do decide to brave the snarling bumper-to-bumper roads, you’ll be stuck in a cab for hours. The best way to get around Lima during this time would be by taking the Metropolitano, Lima’s express bus system, and any other method will be almost pointless. If you do happen to be in town for the celebration, join in the celebrations, and go by foot. You’ll get a safe tour of Lima for free this way, and a great cultural experience to remember.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.