The colourful vitality of South American culture is palpable as soon as you arrive. And what better time to go than festival season!
With February marking the month of epic festivals, destinations such as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay are a MUST.
Brazil’s Carnival, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, is definitely the best known, but more and more Aussie travellers are discovering that carnival festivities extend all over the continent. Each country has its own unique expression of the tradition, with a locally flavoured blend of dancing, street parties, incredible food and feathered costumes. If it’s not there already, here are four February festivities that will put South America at the top of your bucket list.
brazil – Rio carnival
Rio’s Carnival is proudly known as the biggest and best in the world and brings the city to a standstill for a week. It’s a riotous celebration that fuses Brazil’s indigenous, European and African heritage through dance, drums and debauchery.
The annual parades are hosted in the Sambadromo, where the cities best Samba schools are decked out in glitzy and glamorous costumes on top of lavishly decorated floats.
What’s more is you can experience one of the world greatest parties with everything organised through Chimu Adventures. Their Rio Carnival Package guides you through the best part of this lively carnival.
Argentina – The Gualeguaychu Carnival
For a Spanish speaking take on carnival head down to the Argentinian state of Entre Rios on the highlights of Argentina and Uruguay itinerary. The huge street parades rival those of Brazil with even more elaborate arrangements of feathers and sparkles; with the distinctive tones of Murgas bands mixing rhythm with sharply satirical lyrics as backdrop.
Bolivia – La Diablada
Bolivia’s Carnival de Oruro adds the La Diablada – a dance with the devil – named after the devil suited and masked performers who lead the parade. It’s a hypnotic fusion of traditional Andean highland culture and Spanish Christian influences, which expresses the passion, history and politics of the region.
This can be easily included on a tailor made itinerary with Lake Titicaca and the Salt Flats.
Uruguay – street parties in Montevideo
Rio might be the best known carnival, but Uruguay’s is the longest at a whopping 40 days. The biggest street parties in the country are in the capital, Montevideo, which is also home to some of the best street food in the world, from asado and empanadas to chivito and choripan. Food, culture, football and gorgeous colonial cities mean Uruguay will continue to increase in popularity.
If you’re looking for a vibrant overseas experience then get yourself over to South America. Whatever the season, there’s a genuine party atmosphere year round which means it’s easy to engage with one the world’s most welcoming and accessible cultures. And what better way to explore the colours, culture and the festivities than with Chimu Adventures, offering itineraries to suit whatever festivities you’re in the mood for.
Don’t forget that heading to South America for Carnival season means it will be busy – so book early!
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What festival in South America is on your list?
Written by KARRYON contributor Josh Cranston
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