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Travel inspiration:
Events

New Year in Rio de Janeiro

New Years Eve in Rio de Janeiro

31 - 31 Dec 2016

The tradition Révellion bonfire show in Copacabana beach with millions of eager onlookers dressed in the traditional white, is a staple image shown across the world in the New Year.

Cartagena Hay festival

Cartagena Hay Festival

26 - 29 Jan 2017

Literati from around Latin America and the rest of the world come together in the beautiful old town of Colombia's colonial city of Cartagena for this famous literary festival.

Talks and readings by authors and poets amongst other events take place in venues including the Plaza Santo Domingo, Casa Mapfre and Adolfo Meija Theatre.

Translations are made where necessary for both English and Spanish speaking audience members. Film screenings and music concerts take place in the evenings, and art, photography and science exhibitions also take place elsewhere around the city.

Easter Island

Tapati Festival

27 Jan - 12 Feb 2017

During the first two weeks of February each year, the whole of Easter Island  comes together for a unique celebration of their culture, involving music, dance and traditional sports. 

The festival has always been organised by the locals for the locals: it is not merely a commercial show put on for tourists.  Nevertheless, visitors are strongly encouraged to attend, and even participate, and if you can arrange your stay to coincide with the festival, it’s certainly an un-missable experience.  

Pisco Sour Day

Pisco Sour Day

4 - 4 Feb 2017

After much harassment by its masses, the Peruvian government agreed to name a day on which the people of Peru could formally celebrate the invention of its favourite drink, the pisco sour.

Made by mixing Pisco, lemon juice and egg whites with crushed ice and finished with an all-important touch of Angostura bitters, the Pisco Sour is one of Peru’s greatest national treasures. A celebration of tastings, competitions and Pisco parties abound in Lima on the first Saturday of February each year.

Carnival

Carnival

24 - 27 Feb 2017

Rio Carnival is South America’s biggest street party, lasting a total of four days. To join the main festivities you must head to the 'Sambodromo', the main arena where the various samba schools show off their flamboyant costumes and jaw-dropping samba steps.

With direct flights from London to Rio, you can leave Heathrow at 10pm be checking into your Copacabana hotel by 7am the next morning. February is the height of summer in Brazil so expect temperatures in the mid-thirties.

Fair of the sun

International Fair of the Sun

24 - 24 Feb 2017

Venezuela's Andean city of Merida spends all year preparing for its huge annual International Fair of the Sun carnival. Great floats with beautiful flower-covered women parade the streets as famous toreros bull fighters entertain packed arenas.

The traditional 'crowning of the Sun Queen' also takes place as revellers party long into the night. Agricultural exhibitions, musical and sporting competitions also occur throughout the celebrations. Please note: if you find bullfighting distasteful, you can avoid it.

Manaus Opera House

Manaus Opera Festival

1 Apr - 30 Jun 2017

The Amazonas Opera Festival takes place at Teatro Amazonas, Manaus’s opulent belle époque opera house, April - June annually. The building opened in 1896 at the zenith of Brazil's rubber boom, constructed from materials from all over the world and with an eclectic design reflecting Manaus’s importance. It holds 701 spectators. The theatre was restored in 1990.

You can tour the evocative building at any time but nothing beats attending an opera there. (Dates are approx, please enquire.). May is a popular month; the city hosts both the Opera and the Ponta Negra Music Festival, and it’s as good time to visit local jungle lodges. 

Semana santa

Semana Santa

9 - 16 Apr 2017

Semana Santa (Holy Week) is celebrated all over Latin America but is at its most spectacular in Antigua, Guatemala. The celebrations begin on Palm Sunday and run throughout the Easter weekend and are a visual feast not to be missed.

The streets are carpeted in brightly coloured designs made from sawdust, fruit and flowers depicting the last days of Christ and there are thronging processions of religious floats accompanied by locals dressed in bright purple robes.

Dia de los trabajadores

Labour Day

30 - 30 Apr 2017

If you are traveling in Latin America on the first day of May, you can expect to find banks, government offices, stores, post offices and businesses closed for the day as people celebrate the Día Internacional Del Trabajo with parades, demonstrations and other symbols of solidarity with the worker.

It is  celebrated in Central America, for example Costa Rica and Panama, and in some parts of the Caribbean, including Cuba. It is also a national holiday in Mexico. In South America, it is observed in countries such as: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de mayo

5 - 5 May 2017

Cinco de Mayo is a regional holiday limited primarily to the state of Puebla held every year on the 5th May. It commemorates the unlikely victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla on (that day) 1862.

The celebrations are principally focused in the town of Puebla, but it is also celebrated throughout the United States. The actual date holds little significance these days, but the holiday has now become a celebration, particularly in the US, of Mexican heritage and pride, much as St. Patrick's Day is used to celebrate those of Irish ancestry. The celebrations in Puebla are still well worth seeing, despite the event becoming more of an American festival with celebrations taking place in more than 150 locations throughout the country.

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