Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Tenerife Carnival 2024, Santa Cruz

12 January - 18 February

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They sure know how to throw a fiesta in Spain, and the annual Tenerife Carnival (Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife) is a shining example of a pumping party. As Tenerife’s alternative to the Sitges Carnival, this is a feast of colour, music, dance and a dazzling array of extravagance.

This year’s edition of the second-largest carnival in the world and one of its greatest, the Tenerife Carnival, will honour New York.

The Tenerife Carnival, which has been designated a “Festival of International Tourist Interest,” is anticipated to welcome thousands of visitors to Santa Cruz, the island’s main city, beginning on January 12, when it will begin in earnest.

The contests as well as the street celebrations are the two components of the Tenerife Carnival.

The fairgrounds in Santa Cruz will play host to a broad range of competitions, such as “murga” street music groups and “comparsa” bands, as well as the perennially famous Carnival Queen Election Gala. On that evening, more than a dozen applicants will compete in amazing costumes. The Carnival Queen will be chosen by an expert panel as the contestant with the most attractive outfit.

Tenerife Carnival
Join the carnival in Tenerife

Programme for the Tenerife Carnival 2024

Beginning with the Carnival’s Opening Parade, there will be street celebrations. A variety of floats, adorned automobiles, and musical ensembles will march through Santa Cruz’s principal streets under the direction of the Carnival Queen. Méndez Nez Street and Pilar Street are excellent locations to view the Opening Parade. Late at night, they and other locations will transform into impromptu dance platforms where residents and guests may enjoy the night party – dressing up is required.

The “Ritmo y Armona” event, one of the carnival’s most well-liked “comparsa” band competitions, will take place on Saturday night. Drums will be used to accompany the colourful choreographies performed by the competing dance groups. This is a totally free event that will take place on Avenida Francisco La Roche.

The “Coso Apoteosis” parade, an undoubted highlight of Tenerife Carnival celebrations, will take place on Shrove Tuesday. The procession will feature the Carnival Queen, maids of honour, and all “murga” and “comparsa” street music groups. A spectacular fireworks show will round off the evening and, in theory, finish the carnival.

A full schedule of events can be found here.

santa cruz carnival
Burial of the Sardine

The Sardine Burial

Nothing could, however, be farther from the truth. After the “Coso Apoteosis” procession, there will still be a lot to enjoy during the Tenerife Carnival. The “Burial of the Sardine” will occur on the evening of 14 February. Locals participate in this absurd and ugly parade to lament the “death” of the carnival, which is presented in the shape of a sardine to honour Santa Cruz’s fishing heritage.

Can’t make this carnival, then try our round-up of the best carnivals around the world.

santa cruz carnival

Tenerife Carnival History

The Carnival is a religious annual celebration and Santa Cruz’s outing is considered by some as the world’s second-best after the Rio Carnival. Written documents date back to the early-17th century and describe carnival-type fever erupting on the streets of the island’s capital.

The celebration has even defied bans. During the Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1935) and General Franco (1940-1960) dictatorships, the festival was officially banned. Despite this it carried on under the guise of Winter Holiday. In 1980, the festivities were officially bestowed the title of Tourist Festival of International Interest.

When is the Tenerife Carnival 2024?

It’s from 12 January to 18 February.

Accommodation in Santa Cruz

If you are looking for accommodation during the Santa Cruz Carnival, please fill in the form below.

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Things To Do in Tenerife

For travel inspiration either visit or read Mark Bibby Jackson’s 4 Eco Things To Do in Tenerife.

For more information on the Santa Cruz Carnival

Click here. You can also download the Carnival App at: www.carnavaldetenerife.comPhotos provided by Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz and the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. 


12 January
18 February


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Marissa Carruthers

Marissa inherited her love of travel from her parents, who would entertain her as a child with exotic tales of their adventures across the globe. Her first solo leap into foreign lands was an Inter-railing trip across Europe and North Africa during her first summer at university and, despite two muggings, several dices with death and a terrifying encounter with the monkey mafia, she was hooked. Has made Southeast Asia her home.

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