Ten Tips for Enjoying Carnaval on Tenerife

Fri, January 13th, 2012 - By Andrea Montgomery

If you’re planning your holiday to Tenerife for any time in February or March, there’s a good chance Carnaval dates for 2012 may overlap with your trip. If they do, it’s an opportunity to see one of the biggest carnivals outside of Rio. Here are a few tips to help you get the most from the experience.

Bring an umbrella. Carnaval and bad weather are old friends. Regardless of the fact that the default setting for Santa Cruz is wall to wall sunshine, when it comes time for the Opening Parade, you can almost guarantee it will rain, just a little.

Wear sensible shoes. Whether you’re planning to wear a costume or not, comfortable shoes are a must. You’ll be on your feet for hours and you’ll soon regret those killer heels.

Get to the Start. The parades are drawn out affairs and dancers can begin to flag as the heat (or rain) and delays take their toll on them. Position yourself near the start of the route where the dancers will be fresh and your parade watching experience will pass considerably faster.

Bag your Spot. Get to your chosen spot in plenty of time and stand your ground. As the parade draws nearer you’ll find diminutive Canarian women elbowing their way in front of you before beckoning to their 6 foot nephews to join them. Stand firm.

Park your political correctness. Particularly important if you’re planning on watching the High Heels Marathon in Puerto de la Cruz where some of the costumes would have an Equal Opportunities Officer reaching for the heart pills. Prepare to be mildly shocked and just enjoy the spectacle.

Wear black for the Burial of the Sardine. Whilst it’s not obligatory to wear full widow’s dress and wail loudly like a Banshee (I’m talking to the men here), you really should wear something black. It’s disrespectful otherwise, even if the corpse is a giant sardine.

Wear fancy dress. If you’re planning on joining in with the nightly street parties you’ll feel out of place if you’re not wearing some element of fancy dress. If baggage allowance forbids you bringing your gorilla suit, pick up something from one of the carnival kiosks. A pair of false breasts goes a long way.

Go out on Monday night. In Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz, Shrove Tuesday is a local holiday which means Monday night is promoted from hair washing and telly watching to one of the best street party nights of the week. Don’t miss it and don’t expect to get home much before the cat does.

Be prepared. Make sure you have plenty of free space on the memory card and that the camera and video are fully charged. You’ll be clicking and whirring for at least an hour and a half and you want to have plenty of footage with which to bore entertain the folks back home.

Choose your Carnaval wisely. If you don’t like big crowds you should give Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz a wide berth and opt instead for Los Gigantes or Los Cristianos where proceedings are far less frenetic. If you don’t like loud noise, stay away entirely. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone with their fingers stuck in their ears, it’s the height of bad manners – and it doesn’t work, those drums still get through 🙂

Posted : Friday, January 13th, 2012 at 2:44 pm
Category : festivals & carnivals
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3 Responses to “Ten Tips for Enjoying Carnaval on Tenerife”

  1. […] are often served at mobile stalls during Carnavals such as Santa Cruz, at fiestas like Arona, Adeje, or at the harbour in Puerto de la Cruz. Marcos […]

  2. […] spot on, the museum and bar awaited with a glass cabinet wall full of bottles through the years, Carnaval specials are always collectable and the latest set of seven features scenes from the islands. Even […]

  3. […] Carnaval being so ingrained in the life of Tenerife’s capital city it’s surprising that it was as recent […]

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