February is the time of year when South America comes alive with the contagious rhythm and dancing of Carnival. While Argentina’s neighbour, Brazil, is home to the world’s most famous carnival, Argentina has its very own version – on a smaller, but no less enthusiastic scale. The streets of Buenos Aires come alive every weekend in February, and although it isn’t quite as extravagant as Rio de Janeiro’s feather and sequin-wearing samba antics, it’s still a great event to take part in if you’re travelling to Buenos Aires.
The parades go on until the small hours of the morning / Image Source
How does Carnival in Buenos Aires work?
Carnaval Porteño consists of Corsos, or street parades, with neighbourhood communities coming together to present spectacular Murgas: groups of dancers and drummers parading in extravagant attire. With bright colours and naturally the odd sequin here and there, Carnival in Buenos Aires has more of a circus influence, and it feels more similar to European carnival equivalents. But this is South America, so everything comes with a touch more excitement and passion!
Starting in early February, you’ll find many streets throughout the capital cordoned off at weekends to give way to Buenos Aires’ Carnival parties. The main celebrations begin on the official Carnival weekend, a public holiday in Argentina.
When will 2017 Buenos Aires Carnival take place?
Here’s a list of the most popular Corsos or Carnival parades in Buenos Aires that take place in the most accessible and popular areas of the city throughout late January and February. So, find the one nearest to you and don’t miss it! The parades all start at 19.00 and run through the small hours of the morning.
Dates: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th February.
Hours: Saturdays – from 19.00 to 02.00; Sundays and Holidays – 19.00 to 24.00
Buenos Aires Carnival is comprised of Murgas, Corsos, and a whole lot of revelry / Image Source
Neighbourhoods and streets
Abasto: Plaza Monseñor Miguel de Andrea
Almagro: Av. Corrientes between Bulnes and Medrano; Anfiteatro Parque Centenario
Balvanera: Av. Belgrano between Saavedra and Matheu
Barracas: Herrera between Quinquela Martin and California
Boedo: Av. Boedo between Independencia and San Juan
Coghlan: Av. Congreso between Donado and Lugones
La Boca: Benito Perez Galdos between Necochea and Pedro de Mendoza
Palermo: Darwin between Cabrera and Gorriti; Scalabrini Ortiz and Soler
San Telmo: Av. Independencia between Bolivar and Chacabuco
Villa Crespo: Scalabrini Ortiz between Corrientes and Padilla
A top tip: make sure you wear clothing you don’t mind getting wet, as water bombs are everywhere during carnival. And watch out for kids with spray cans of foam, as squirting any passer-by with foam is all part of the fun.
If you’re looking for more information on Carnival in Argentina, have a look at our post about Argentina’s biggest Carnival celebration in Gualeguaychu.
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If you are visiting South America for carnival this summer, we can help you enrich your travel experiences. Check out our tours and activities in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Buenos Aires, and across Argentina.
By Nicole Eberhard