Here’s What You Need to Know About Carnaval 2024 on the Yucatán Peninsula

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From the dazzling parades and elaborate costumes of Mérida to the smaller-scale but still extremely entertaining boardwalk celebrations in Progreso, each carnival has its charm. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Mérida

The largest celebrations are to take place in Mérida at the Xmatkuil fairgrounds from Feb. 7 to 14, as well as at several key points and neighborhoods around the city. 

The slogan for this year’s festivities in Yucatán’s capital is “De la fantasía a la innovación,” which translates as “From Fantasy to Innovation.”

Mérida’s Carnaval is by far the largest in México’s Southeast, but several communities, including nearby Progreso and Kanasín, have made it clear that they want in on the action. Photo: Courtesy

The main events include the traditional Viernes de Corso Parade, the Saturday Fantasy Parade on Feb. 10, the Bachata Parade featuring Kim Flores and Cecilia Galizano on Feb 11, a traditional Yucateco Parade on Feb. 12, and the Battle of Flowers on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13. (Full schedule here)

Mérida will also host a series of large-scale concerts featuring artists, including one featuring world-famous DJ Steve Aoki on Feb. 9 and Laura León on Feb. 12.

Many in Mérida look back fondly on the days when the city Carnaval was held on Paseo de Montejo, though say “good riddance.” Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Earlier: Progreso’s Carnaval is giving Merida’s a run for its money

Progreso

Festivities in Progreso will be held along the coastal city boardwalk from Feb. 1 to 17 and will feature parades on Saturday, Feb. 13 and 14. Not to be outdone by Mérida, Progreso is also hosting several large events featuring concerts by popstar Belinda on Feb. 3 and Banda El Recodo on Feb. 11, as well as the comedy stilings of La Tía Chayo on Feb 12. 

Progreso’s Carnaval in northern Yucatán is fast becoming one of the most popular and best-attended in Mexico and with good reason. Its beachfront setting, ease of access, great food, and atmosphere make it the perfect place to enjoy Carnaval.

Campeche

Campeche Carnaval celebrations will last Feb. 1 to  24. The first few days will feature the coronation of the kings and queens of the carnival and a performance by DJ Steve Aoki (just like in Mérida) on Feb. 7. 

Campeche’s Carnival will also be hosted by two of Mexico’s most popular LGBTQ+ entertainers, Wendy Guevara and Nicola Porcellla.

Though Carnaval in Campeche tends to be a good deal smaller than in Mérida, its gorgeous several-mile-long boardwalk adds to the overall experience. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Other large events in Campeche include free concerts by Criminal Sounds on Feb. 10, La Original Sonora Dinamita on Feb. 11, and Los Caracoles on Feb. 13.

Cancún, Cozumel, Champotón, Kanasín, and Ciudad del Carmen are also planning celebrations, and we are waiting for a calendar of events to become official. 

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
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