StayUnico’s Pick of the Month: Carnival Season is Here!
For those of you thinking Carnival is Brazil’s exclusive deal, we’re here to prove you wrong. In Argentina we have a reputation for knowing how to party, and Carnival is no exception. Find out more!
Celebration spirit never lacks in this country. From the Murgas in the hoods to the must-experience-once-in-your-lifetime carnival in Gualeguaychú, you’ll find yourself surrounded by ample options to pick from.
First, you need a ‘lil background. The carnival tradition first started in Argentina back in the 18th century. You’re probably familiarized with the story: a mix of immigrants, typically within the working class, trying to escape their social reality through music and dancing. A new way of expression is born and the rest is history.
But Tango –in case you still hadn’t figured it out– was not the only result from that artsy outburst. Murgas were also a subsequent outcome. Their trademarks being lively costumes that represented a way to laugh at the imperialist power.
Today, less politically charged, Murgas keep the outstanding attires and spread over the porteño barrios (neighborhoods), with one different group representing each hood and preparing to compete in the festival throughout the year.
Here’s how it plays out: the main thing you need to know, if you’re into the city’s hustle, is that every weekend of February and during Carnival holidays (27th and 28th this year), the main streets of dozens of neighborhoods –click on LINK to see detailed list– brighten up with colorful parades becoming February’s highlight in Buenos Aires. Every year, the Murgas, these marching percussionists and dancers with waving flags, take to the streets in gated-off sections around the city making it really easy for you to stumble upon one –or quite a few.
The costume-logged streets become free eye candy for tourist and locals alike, and allow everyone to channel their inner toddler scurrying through the streets spraying others with canned foam.
Now if you want to experience the REAL deal and are willing to go the long way (not that long by the way, only 3 hours away by bus), then Gualeguaychú’s Carnival is what you’re looking for. Often called one of the biggest spectacles of the country, Gualeguachú is the scenario of an open sky, resplendent with brightness and colors, Carnival. Bashed out by lively drums, the energy runs high in this parade that resonates loud to the sound of Latin rhythms in the Corsódromo de la Ciudad runway.
Gualeguaychú can be accessed from several locations within the country or you could also book a tour that includes bus fare, accommodation and the parade tickets. Ask us for recommendations!
What better way to combine your dose of winter sun with a killer celebration? Get some face paint, grab your camera and join in the Carnival fun.