Bolivia hosts a pagan-Catholic blend of a party that has secured its position as one of the most important Carnivals in the world alongside Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Tenerife (Spain).
This carnival party has its origin in the age-old incantations the Andean people made to Pachamama (Mother Earth), Tío Supay (Incarnation of the Devil) and the Virgen of Socavón (Virgin of the Mineshaft). It’s one of Bolivia’s richest cultural manifestations where the whole world can enjoy this blaze of colour and imagination that connects Spanish ancestry religious traditions and purely indigenous beliefs.
The Oruro Carnaval is a party of international significance that was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001. More than 50 groups of folk dancers perform 18 dance specialities that bring together Bolivia’s different regions as part of its pilgrimage to the Santuario del Socavón (Church of the Mineshaft), in a tradition known as the “Entrada”.
Oruro’s big party takes place this year from February 9-12, but the two main days are on Saturday 12th with the Pilgrimage to Socavón and on Sunday 10th with the “Entrada al Corso”. There are also a series of parties beforehand called “Convites” in preparation for the big event.
In 2017, approximately 60,000 dancers took part in the 8km long pilgrimage parade to the feet of the Virgin of the Mineshaft. The success and popularity of Carnival increases every year, and the city of Oruro at 3700m above sea level is now one of Latin America’s cultural nerve centres. In fact, it’s literally impossible to find a hotel in the city during carnival with occupancy rates at 100%, so it’s recommendable to book someplace several months in advance.
If you’ve just learned about the Oruro Carnival and fancy visiting, you have to work hard to find accommodation. From LookOut Magazine we recommend you book at the Hotel Eden by BlueBay*****, a recent addition to the BlueBay Hotels portfolio in Bolivia.
This hotel represents the maximum exponent of luxury and quality in service in Oruro in an unbeatable location with the city’s main shopping streets and tourist areas all nearby. It is a hotel with the very best quality standards, 34 rooms with everything you need to live life to the fullest at the beautiful, picturesque Oruro Carnival.