Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Dominican Republic Carnival 2024

3 March

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Get ready to be swept away by a whirlwind of vibrant colours, pulsating music, and infectious energy! The Dominican Republic Carnival is an immersive cultural explosion, promising an unforgettable experience that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.

History of the Dominican Republic Carnival

The vibrant tapestry of The Dominican Republic’s Carnival boasts a rich history, dating back to the 15th century. European influences from Spanish colonists intertwined with African traditions brought by enslaved people, resulting in a unique celebration brimming with cultural fusion. Today, it’s a cherished expression of Dominican identity, a time for dancing and community revelry.

What to Expect at the Dominican Republic Carnival 2024

Imagine streets transformed into kaleidoscopes of movement and sound. Elaborately costumed dancers, known as Diablos Cojuelos, take centre stage with their intricate masks and devilish attire. Witness awe-inspiring stilt walkers, be captivated by hypnotic merengue rhythms, and feel the contagious laughter bouncing off every street corner. The air thrums with the beat of conga drums, while brightly coloured floats weave through the crowds, showering them with confetti and good cheer.

There is also a more formal side to Carnival celebrations with organized marches by the armed forces of the republic.

Dominican Republic Carnival Pixabay

When is the Dominican Republic Carnival 2024?

Mark your calendars! Sunday 3 March 2024 is the Dominican Republic Carnival. Though in the run up to the big day, there will be much practicing on the Sundays through February, with scattered towns and cities erupting in celebration. This culminates in the grand finale of Independence Day on Tuesday, 27 February.

Where Does It Take Place?

While the entire island pulsates with the Carnival spirit, some hotspots stand out. The capital, Santo Domingo, boasts magnificent parades and electrifying nightlife. It starts around 2pm on the Malecon.

Santiago’s Carnival is renowned for its energetic revelry and “lechones” – devil characters with unique pig-inspired masks. La Vega offers a thrilling experience with vejigantes, costumed individuals armed with vejigas (inflated animal bladders) that they playfully tap against onlookers.

What to Eat and Drink

Indulge in a culinary cornucopia! Savor the crispy “chicharrón” (fried pork belly), melt-in-your-mouth “pastelitos” (savory pastries), and refresh with icy “piña coladas”, some excellent rums, or tangy “limonada.” Don’t miss the iconic “mangú,” a hearty mashed green plantain dish that’s a Dominican staple.

What to Do in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Beach Pixabay

Beyond the Carnival’s electrifying pulse, the Dominican Republic offers a treasure trove of adventures. Dive into the turquoise waters and explore vibrant coral reefs, trek lush rainforests teeming with exotic wildlife, or relax on pristine beaches basking in the Caribbean sun. For history buffs, colonial cities like Santo Domingo whisper tales of conquistadors and pirates.

How to Get There

From London British Airways fly via Madrid and Miami to Santo Domingo, whilst JetBlue change planes in JFK, New York.

From the USA there are direct flights Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Atlanta, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas and Washington DC, amongst others. You are unlikely to need a visa, but remember to fill in the electronic travel form for both entry and exit.

Weather and the Best Time to Visit Santo Domingo

From November to April the city is drier and though you may still occasionally need to shelter from the rain, May to June is good too, but wetter.

August to October is the hurricane season and so it is better to avoid travel at this time.

Further Information on Santo Domingo

For the Dominican Republic in general: https://www.godominicanrepublic.com/


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3 March

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Mike East

Mike East

Mike began his career in travel writing by writing his own guide on his holidays. He sent this manuscript off to a range of travel guide companies and got a range of rejection letters — all except one. Getting a contract to write for Roger Lascelles Publications on Trinidad and Tobago, and The Bahamas was how his career began. With this opportunity came other pieces for British magazines, The Sunday Telegraph and now Travel Begins at 40.

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