Carnival in Oruro
Oruro city was founded during the colony as silver mining center in the region of the Urus. Today, it is one of the smallest cities of the country, but it retains its attractive aspect of European design of that period. The most important tourist activity is the Oruro Carnival, declared by UNESCO in 2001 as a ‘Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ due to its great religious and cultural value which is shown in the folk dance parade during two days.
One of the most important dances performed at Oruro Carnival is called Diablada (Dance of the Devils) that started in the ancient Andean cult in honor of the being living in the depths of the mines, which subsequently was adapted as ‘the devil’ from the colony.
Gran Poder festivity
It is celebrated in the city of La Paz in May. The most representative dance is morenada, which comes from the surrounding communities of Lake Titicaca.
Departure at 5 am by tourist bus from the center of the city of La Paz towards Oruro, thousands of people from all over the country are heading towards the city of Oruro to experience the biggest cultural event in Bolivia, so the traffic it is not carried out normally, the trip duration is estimated in 4 hours by the road that connects both cities of the Bolivian Altiplano.
Once we are in Oruro our bus will get as close as possible to the location of our seats at the bleachers, were we will access by a short walk. In the environment we can already hear the loud sound of the drums and trumpets that announce the beginning of the folkloric parade of the Oruro's Carnival.
Already accommodated in our bleachers we will enjoy the spectacle of the fraternities (gourps of dancers and musicians) that make beautiful demonstrations of the most representative dances of Bolivia, among them: Diablada, Morenada, Tinkus, Caporales, Tobas and many more that will parade throughout the day.
At night we leave our bleachers to return to La Paz, arriving at the center of the city around midnight.
Please contact us if you wish to include a transfer to your hotel.
Dates of the 2019 Oruro Carnival:
The full program of the Carnival takes place between February 23 and March 4, 2019. From February 23th the "Convites" will be held, where dancers and musicians practice and get prepared for the festival. The days in which the most important activities will take place are March 1, 2, 3 and 4, the Great Pilgrimage to the "Virgen del Socavón" will take place on Saturday, March 2nd and the parade of "El Corso" on Sunday, March 3rd.
Day 1: La Paz - Oruro
Transfer from the city of La Paz to Oruro, it is a 4 hour trip at the road that connects both cities of the Altiplano.
On our arrival to Oruro we will enjoy a typical local lunch, among the most known dishes are: "Charquekan" and lamb.
In the afternoon we will enjoy a walk through the city to learn more about the history of the Oruro Carnival and observe the preparations for this festival, the most important cultural event in Bolivia. Night in Oruro.
Day 2: Oruro Carnival
After breakfast, we walk towards our seats in the bleachers with preferential location, which will allow us to experience one of the biggest folkloric parades of South America, the Carnival of Oruro, recognized as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It has this recognition due to the wonderfulness of the show, the quality of the embroidery of the costumes of the dancers and the colorful choreography of the dancers.
Day 3: "El Corso"
The previous day, Saturday, the parade of each of the fraternities (groups of dancers) is carried out as a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Candelaria that is in the church of the Socavón, so it has a very important religious meaning for each one of the dancers. And Sunday is called "Corso" because the fraternities make a second entrance at the festival as part of the carnival activities, no longer as a pilgrimage.
In the afternoon, return to the city of La Paz.
Dates of the Carnival of Oruro 2019:
The full program of the Carnival takes place between February 23 and March 4, 2019, from February 23th the "Convites" will be held, where dancers and musicians practice and get prepared for the festival. The days in which the most important activities will take place are March 1, 2, 3 and 4, the Great Pilgrimage to the "Virgen del Socavón" will take place on Saturday, March 2nd and the parade of "El Corso" on Sunday, March 3rd.
Enjoy the complete experience, you can participate in the rehearsals of a local fraternity to present yourself at the Festival of the Great Power, the largest folkloric event in the city of La Paz.
You must be in La Paz city 7 days before to participate in the rehearsals, get your costume and be ready to be a dancer throughout the parade in the streets of La Paz, towards the Church of "El Gran Poder".
The folk parade is done in devotion to the "Lord Jesus of the Great Power", which refers to the "Holy Trinity". The celebration takes place on the Saturday following Pentecost, the eighth after Easter, the following day (Sunday) the Catholic Church celebrates the "Holy Trinity".