Argentina for Carnaval? Don’t miss Gualeguaychú
comment Comment Written by on March 4, 2010 – 8:00 am

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Gualeguaychú – the name hardly trips off the tongue (or off your fingers when typing). Maybe that’s why Argentina’s carnaval remains so little-known?

Argentina’s carnaval festivities are concentrated here, in this riverside town, four hours outside of Buenos Aires. I went last Saturday and was absolutely astounded by how much it exceeded my expectations. Last year I briefly went to ‘carnaval’ in Buenos Aires. It consisted of just one roped off street, a small band, and lots of people spraying cans of foam. It was fun for an hour or so, but hardly Rio de Janiero.

Gualeguaychú, by contrast, did feel like Brazil. There were giant floats; an exuberant, extrovert crowd; booty-shaking music; and gorgeous lithe women in teeny-tiny bikinis. It felt like an X-rated Disney parade.

It also struck me as the ideal carnaval experience for first timers. It’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s safe (if you exercise normal, big-crowd caution). And, if all the decent hotel rooms are booked up, just go for the day. Around $220 pesos gets you a daytrip from BA with Ayres Viajes.

The carnaval parade itself takes place in a sort of make-shift stadium with a runway where the action takes place. There was certainly a lively atmosphere but there were also a lot of empty seats. Surely not enough is being done to spread the word? I was in BA all of last Jan and Feb and yet I never ‘got around’ to going.

I clearly didn’t know what I was missing. Here are some more pics….

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