WHEN TO GO: OCTOBER
Cirio de Nazare
If you can’t make it to Carnival in Brazil but want to be part of a huge parade the next best thing is to come to Cirio De Nazarre the second biggest in the country. The famous procession usually takes place on the second weekend in October in Belem, the North of Brazil. A statue of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré is returned from Icoaraci to Belem surrounded by hundreds of boats along the river. The next day the holy statue is placed on a chariot decorated with beautiful Amazon flower and returned to the Basilica where a carnaval atmosphere surrounds the statue. Whilst in North Brazil the Parnaiba delta and the flooded dunes of the Lencois Maranhenses National Park are now much more accessible.
El Señor de los Milagros
Ever utter the phrases “modern art just isn’t as good as the classics” and “they don’t make them like they used to”? Well the people of Lima would definitely agree with you and celebrate this fact by showcasing a 350 year old mural that miraculously survived untouched an earthquake that completely destroyed the chapel in which it was displayed. Follow the fascinating procession where thousands of bearers carry the two tonne artwork through the streets, everyone wears the purple of the nuns that tend the mural so pack those lilac shorts and join the crowd.
Thank you, Mr Columbus!
Puerto Limon is one of the first cities in Latin America. Columbus first landed here back in 1502 and to celebrate the city comes alive when an annual carnival (Dia de las Culturas) is held. This carnival is hugely popular with locals who love to dance, enjoy wild parties that go into the night. Much of the population are of Afro-Caribbean ancestry and have a distinct culture and dialect than that of the rest of the country. From Puerto Limon it is easy to get to Parque Nacional Tortuguero a significant turtle nesting site on Costa Rica’s beautiful Caribbean coast.