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Montevideo Carnival 2017 dates

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Carnival in Uruguay is uniquely different to anywhere else in the world. And what’s really special for a visitor is that it is still an event primarily for the locals.

Check out Montevideo carnival 2017 dates here.

January 19   Desfile inaugural, the Inaugural Carnival Parade (down 18 de Julio Avenue) from 8.30pm

January 23   Tablados start across the city for the next 40 nights. Tablados are nightly shows featuring anything between 4 and 7 of carnival groups.

February 9 and 10   Las Llamadas, the amazing Llamadas Parade (down Isla de Flores street between Barrio Sur and Palermo)

The dates of carnival change each year, but what is guaranteed in Montevideo is that from the first day it’s going to go on for FORTY nights – longer if it rains. You can expect to catch a carnival show up until and including early March.

In December and up to the start of carnival, you can go and see carnival groups rehearsing. These rehearsals (ensayos, in Spanish) take place in public spaces or in community centres where you can enter for a small fee. When the rehearsal schedules are available, we’ll post them here.

MORE INFO

Murga La Mojigata 2012 in a Montevideo tablado
A murga performing at a tablado. Murga is probably the carnival genre most appreciated by the locals. You may not understand the lyrics or the social satire, but the music and costumes will thrill you.
Montevideo lives and breathes authentic music and culture any night of the week Photo: Jimmy Baikovicius
One of almost hundred drum comparsas parading during Las Llamadas, a parade started by enslaved Africans. They chose Isla de Flores, a narrow street so that the sound of the drums reverberates and builds to a huge crescendo.

Source: http://carnavaldeluruguay.com/fechas-del-carnaval-2017/

Photos: Jimmy Baikovicius and Guru’Guay

18 Comments

  1. julie

    February 25, 2017

    Hi Karen, Any advice for people in Montevideo on the 27th/28th of Feb while everything is closed? Many thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      February 26, 2017

      Hi Julie, what type of advice would you like? Restaurants continue to be open in most cases, though some do close. Carnival shows will continue. All the best, Karen

      Reply
  2. sophie

    February 1, 2017

    Hi! We are traveling from Punta del Este to Colonia on Sunday 2/26 or Monday 2/27. An Argentinian friend told me that Colonia is great for Carnival but I can’t seem to find any information online. Is that true? And do you think it would be worth it to stay in Montevideo on Sunday night for Carnival?
    Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      February 3, 2017

      Hi Sophie, Colonia is a small town so carnival will just be a day or so, I suspect. I looked online and see that the Colonia Llamadas (annual drumming procession) is on February 11. The place where carnival goes on for forty nights is Montevideo, the capital. So, yes, I would definitely say for you to stay in Montevideo for at least one night to be able to experience a carnival show (tablado). The Carnival Museum is the only venue with a roof if it rains, and they have tablados every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so plan to head there. If it rains all other venues cancel their tablados. Best, Karen

      Reply
  3. Daniel

    January 22, 2017

    Hi, making last-minute plans to go to the Llamadas Parade on 9 February, have 2 questions:

    1) If we arrive by boat from BA at 18:00 on the 9th, does that give us enough time to drop bags at our hotel (it’s nearby), buy a ticket at an Abitatb store, and find a place to sit/stand?

    2) Is there any place we can go to rent a seat/balcony space at a private residence on Isla de Flores?

    Gracias!
    Daniel

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      January 22, 2017

      Hi Daniel, you must buy tickets for the LLamadas at least 24 hours before the parade. All tickets have seating numbers. However unfortunately you have to be here or have someone buy tickets for you. Christine Dulin at Uruguay Autentico offers great options for people wanting to rent balcony space overlooking the parade. Contact her at experience@uruguay-autentico.com. You’ll have an amazing time! — Karen

      Reply
      • Daniel

        January 22, 2017

        Hi Karen, thanks for the quick response. We were planning to do a day trip to Colonia the week before, would we be able to buy the tickets at an Abitab store there? Will definitely follow up with Christine on your tip, thanks so much.

        Reply
        • The Guru of Guru'Guay

          January 22, 2017

          Yes! You can buy tickets at any Abitab anywhere in Uruguay for any show regardless of location. Good plan!! Christine tells me she has places left for Thursday night – best, Karen

          Reply
  4. Peter

    January 18, 2017

    Hello,

    I will be visiting March 7th through 10th. Do you believe Carnival could be going on then?

    Thanks,

    Peter

    Reply
  5. Mirka

    January 17, 2017

    “January 23 Tablados start across the city for the next 40 nights. Tablados are nightly shows featuring anything between 4 and 7 of carnival groups.”
    Do you have any details for 23-27 January?

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      January 17, 2017

      Hi Mirka, details for tablados usually come out a day or two before the night. It is always possible to get seats on the day. I suggest you check the Guru’Guay Facebook page around midday on the day you want to go to a tablado. I post recommendations for what I consider the “best” tablado of the day. — Karen

      Reply
  6. Jono

    December 17, 2016

    Hey Guru-Guay,

    I am thinking about flying into Montevideo on Febuary 26th or 27th, 2017. Unfortunately, due to plans that are set in stone, i can not make it any earlier than that. I just wanted to confirm that Carnival will still be going on by that time. Based on the 40 days from January 23rd calculation, and the date that ‘Entrega de Menciones del Concurso de Agrupaciones Carnavales 2017’ is supposed to be (based on this website – http://carnavaldeluruguay.com/fechas-del-carnaval-2017/), I think i should at least have a week (until march 4th), and maybe as much as 2.5 weeks (until march 17th) of carnival in Montevideo.

    I know everything is a little flexible, but any info you can provide regarding my question would be much appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Jono

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      December 17, 2016

      Hi Jono, yes, you can be confident that carnival always includes a few days in March. It really depends on the number of rainchecks there are. I don’t recall it going beyond the first ten days of March though… Hope this puts your mind at rest and enjoy! — Karen

      Reply
  7. Kate

    October 25, 2016

    If I arrive in Montevideo from BA on the 9th of Feb, will I be able to buy tickets for Las Llamadas on the 10th?
    I read that carnival is on every night, are all nights the same(ish) or are some nights better than others -weekends etc?
    Is carnival on every night for the season- weather permitting?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • The Guru of Guru'Guay

      October 28, 2016

      Hi Kate, I would expect tickets for the Llamadas to be sold out several days in advance of the parade. Every night is great and every night is a carnival night until the season ends. Only rain brings things to a halt.

      The tablados are longer on weekends (eg the show will go on from 9pm or earlier till 2 or 3 in the morning), but to be honest that may be too much for a newcomer. So you can feel confident that any night is going to be great for you. What I do suggest is that you follow me on the Guru’Guay Facebook page where I recommend which tablado is the best on a particular night.

      Reply
  8. mascha

    October 14, 2016

    And still I wasn’t able to find the official days of Semana Carnaval this year. Do you have any idea?

    Reply

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