We’ve all heard of the most wild party on the planet, Carnaval. But did you know there are other Carnaval festivals outside of Brazil? Every May, for two weeks straight the town of La Cieba transforms into the largest party event in Central America. Streets, bars and discos are filled to the brim with eager locals and tourists alike waiting to pay tribute to the Patron Saint, Isidore the Laborer in a fun and vibrate parade and party.
About La Ceiba
Despite the fact that La Ceiba is a the fourth largest city in Honduras, is has managed to maintain a small town feel typical of any Caribbean town. In 1877, La Ceiba was declared a town after quickly gaining recognition as a port town for exporting bananas.
Today the town is known as an eco-tourist destination for the surrounding jungles, mountains, rivers, and beaches. Look one direction and you’ll see warm turquoise waters ideal for swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving. Look another direction and you’ll see the 7,988 foot (2,435 m) peak of Pico Bonito National Park with lush green rainforest, waterfalls and breathtaking landscapes.
The Cangrejal River is great for whitewater rafting, kayaking and and canoeing.
Carnaval de La Ceiba
La Ceiba’s Carnaval is hosted every May for two weeks to honor Isidore the Laborer, who was a Patron Saint known for his goodness to the poor and animals. Exact dates range each year, but generally last around May 15th, the day Isidore the Laborer passed away, to the the third or fourth week in May when the big parade takes place.
Two weeks before the big event, a queen is crowned and different neighborhoods start to host smaller celebrations leading up to the main event. The parties are non-stop. Bar and restaurants along the Avenida San Isidro and around town offer live music, games, food, and drink (of course).
The biggest night of the event, “Gran Carnaval de la Amistad,” is when the entire Avenida San Isidro transforms into a parade with dancing, decorated floats, colorful costumes, live music, and roughly half a million visitor celebrating the festivities.
Credit: Alaskan Dude
When To Go
The best time to celebrate Carnaval de La Ceiba is in May when two weeks of celebrations take place.
In May, the average high temperature is 88.3°F (31.3°C), low temperature is 72°F (22.2°C), and precipitations is 3.2 inches (76.9mm).
Getting There & Around
La Ceiba is located along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.
The fastest way to get there is to fly into Golosón International Airport and then take a taxi 4 miles (6.7km) north to La Ceiba.
- Mid-range accommodations: $50-100
- Meals: $10-15
- Bottle of beer: $1.50
- Book your accommodations in advance as rooms can fill up fast.
- Have fun but be safe.
- Try the bread in La Ceiba that has Bulgarian decent.
- Be a drunk tourist. Carnaval is fun but can also be a dangerous situation if you’re not alert.
- Bring any valuables to the festivities.
- Stay for just Carnaval. Check out the many fun things to do in and around La Ceiba.
- Carnaval is held in honor of the La Ceiba’s Patron Saint Isidore the Laborer.
- In 1917, La Ceiba hosted its first fair called “La Feria Isidra.”
- Carnaval is thought to be the largest event in Central America gathering over half a million visitors.
Feature Image Credit: Fede Racchi