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Montevideo Carnival 2018 dates


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 2018 dates here.

January 25   Desfile inaugural, the Inaugural Carnival Parade (down 18 de Julio Avenue) from 8.30pm

January 29   Tablados start across the city for the next 40 nights. Tablados are nightly shows featuring anything between 4 and 7 of carnival groups.

February 8 and 9   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.

Carnival rehearsals

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 and usually go on from 8pm till midnight. Check this page for Montevideo carnival rehearsal locations.

The legendary murga Falta y Resto rehearsing (above) at a trade union centre near the Palacio Legislativo. This year they are raising expectations (and some machista hackles) by aiming at gender parity amongst performers. Murga has been a traditionally men-only carnival musical form.

More reading on Carnival and tours

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.


Photos: Jimmy Baikovicius and Guru’Guay

The article was first published on August 7 2017.


  1. patrick

    February 8, 2018

    hola……………todo esto parece inolvidable, encantador e mucho mas com uma liberdade feliz e uma seguridade evidente, que parece ser casi bem outra en outro lugares no mundo.. soy francês habitando actualmente en Portugal.

    • The Guru of GuruGuay

      February 13, 2018

      Hola Patrick, la verdad es que carnaval en Uruguay sigue siendo muy especial, aunque se va cambiando. Gracias por tomar el tiempo de escribir desde Portugal! Saludos calidos, Karen


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