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El Carnaval de Puerto Vallarta

Mexican folkloric ballet in Puerto Vallarta
Credit: Pedro J Pacheco | Wikimedia Commons

For expats and tourists looking to have a great time in Mexico this month, we highly recommend that you visit Puerto Vallarta to help us celebrate our El Carnaval de Puerto Vallarta.

El Carnaval, which begins February 13th, starts at the Sheraton Buganvilias Hotel just north of downtown and winds its way along the Malecón to Zona Romantica’s Olas Altas Street. The colorful parade includes local firefighters, mariachis bands and even a kid’s choir, among other participants.

Also called the Puerto Vallarta Mardi Gras Parade, El Carnaval is a tradition started in 2009 by Vallartense Peter Deep. Initially, it was more focused as a gay pride parade, and at that time there were only gay businesses supporting it. But in its fourth year the city of Puerto Vallarta got involved in the celebration to help make it an annual event for the entire population of the city, including local people and expats, both gay and straight communities.

Carnaval is an official Mexican holiday that kicks off a five-day celebration of the libido before the Catholic lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Beginning the weekend before Lent, Carnaval is celebrated throughout the world. The largest and most famous of all is Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval, which attracts over 2 million people a day and features the dancing of Rio’s samba schools, elaborate floats and samba music.

El Carnaval de Puerto Vallarta is not the only pre-lent celebration in Mexico. The Mazatlán Carnaval is said to be the third largest Carnaval in the world and has been celebrated well over 100 years. Over a half million people flood the Avenida del Mar each year to watch the floats hear Banda Sinaloa music and watch the crowning of the Carnaval king and queen.

On Mexico’s East coast, Veracruz also has a long history of celebrating Carnaval. On the Sunday befote Ash Wednesday, the biggest celebration takes place along the city’s Malecón, featuring hundreds of dancers, large floats and, of course, Latin music. Three other parades continue the fun.

We hope you can join us for this unique event and let yourself go to enjoy the colors, music, happiness and dances on the streets of beautiful Puerto Vallarta.


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