Want to avoid the carnival in Costa Rica and Mexico

Mar 15th, 2016, 11:29 PM
  #1  
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Want to avoid the carnival in Costa Rica and Mexico

My wife and I are planning a trip to Costa Rica and the Yucatan in Mexico for next February (2017). Our dates are still flexible, but we do want to travel in mid or late February, because we will end the visit in the US, and we want to be there in March, rather than February. (February is too cold!)

My concern is that Shrove Tuesday is February 28 in 2017. That’s carnival time in many places, although the peak day is usually on the nearest previous Sunday, which in this case would be February 26. We want to avoid the carnival wherever possible. Prices are higher, and availability may be a problem, but that’s not the main reason. It’s mainly a situation of “been there, done that”.

Can anyone tell me how big (if they exist at all) the carnival festivities are in Costa Rica and the Yucatan? Where should we avoid being on the days leading up to February 26-28?
Or perhaps, are the festivities not a big deal and we don’t have anything to worry about?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
sssteve is offline  
Mar 16th, 2016, 05:03 AM
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This won't be an issue at all in Costa Rica. Carnaval takes place in October and only in the Caribbean city of Limon. There may be a few small-town celebrations to mark the days before Lent begins, but nothing that would impact your travel.
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Mar 16th, 2016, 05:10 AM
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In Mexico, the biggest pre-Lenten carnival celebrations are in Mazatlan and Veracruz, neither of which is in the Yucatan. Merida does have a week-long celebration.
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Mar 17th, 2016, 08:10 AM
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TC
 
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I have been to Cozumel, Mexico almost every year for Carnival for the past 25 years. In 2017, Fat Tuesday falls on 2/28. So the celebrations will be the week before. On Cozumel that means a parade on Saturday 2/25, another on Sunday 2/26 and the final (and largest) parade on Tuesday 2/28. I'm not sure why anyone would want to avoid those dates. It is so much fun. The festivities on Cozumel, at least, are very family oriented and wholesome. If one wants, all the activities can be avoided if you simply stay out of the downtown area at night when the parades are happening.

My photos of Carnival in Cozumel:

www.tonna.zenfolio.com
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Mar 17th, 2016, 01:41 PM
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Jeff:

We plan to be in Merida. From what you say, we should visit there after Feb 28...

TC: We've been at carnivals and Mardi Gras enough. We've been traveling for many years. As I said: "Been there, done that".
Now we try to avoid the festivals, and just enjoy the "normal" local ambiance.
sssteve is offline  
Mar 17th, 2016, 06:19 PM
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I can only speak about Merida and will tell you that Carnival should be a non issue here.
The biggest draw was always the parade and that hasn't been in the city for more than a few years. Many promoters pulled out at that time and the attendance dropped enough that rumor has it that it may not continue.
cybor is offline  
Mar 17th, 2016, 09:26 PM
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Thanks to all the posters.
sssteve is offline  
Mar 18th, 2016, 06:42 AM
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For those interested in the Carnaval Parade I neglected to state that the parade does still exist in the fairgrounds outside the city.
Hotels/rentals will be busy at that time of the year regardless of the parade because of those wanting to escape NOB (north of the border) winter.
cybor is offline  
Mar 18th, 2016, 07:14 AM
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TC
 
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I respect the "been there, done that" point of view. However, you really needn't worry about Carnival. I was just responding to your, "are the festivities not a big deal and we don’t have anything to worry about?" As I said, if you simply stay off the main waterfront street during parade nights (at least in Cozumel) it is quite easy to miss the whole of it.
TC is offline  
Mar 18th, 2016, 07:51 AM
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TC,
I agree. I've been to Cozumel during the Carnival Parade (which btw, is quite sweet with many children dressed in traditional clothing and proud parents off to the side). It's easy enough to avoid unless you plan on driving down the street during the parade.
It's really nothing like Mardi Gras in New Orleans and other places where the entire city is taken over by rowdy tourists and craziness.
cybor is offline  
Mar 18th, 2016, 08:00 AM
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TC,
Just saw your stunning Carnival pictures. I take such horrid photos at when there's a lot going on. I appreciate that your photos are clear and that you captured the spirit of each event.
The last picture of the sleeping babe in the push car is perfect.
I love that all ages attend these events.
cybor is offline  
Mar 18th, 2016, 08:19 AM
  #12  
TC
 
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Thanks, Cybor. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Many are from the kindergarten costume competition. Its one of my very favorite things.

TC
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Mar 19th, 2016, 12:37 AM
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In any case, we won't be in Cozumel at all. We are going primarily to visit Mayan ruins. Merida will be a base for part of the time.

Thanks again.
sssteve is offline  

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