Who thinks and finds that the Rio Carnival is losing its roots becoming too commercial, I have a proposition: The Montevideo Carnival!
Uruguay was long time overshadowed by its powerful neighbors Argentina and Brazil. The same thing happened to the city of Montevideo comparing with the megacities of Buenos Aires , Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo. This is outrageous, unfair and unjust. Uruguay is in my opinion the jewel of South America, and Montevideo is nowadays the best South American city to live in.
Montevideo lies in the middle of a plain, on the estuary of Rio de la Plata (La Plata river). On the other side of the estuary lies Buenos Aires, and 140 km away is the renowned resort Punta del Este. Not far from Montevideo Montevideo there are some hills, which gave the name of the city at its beginnings. The city was founded in the XVIIth century by the Spanish through the administrator of Buenos Aires. In 1776 received from the Spanish crown the exclusive right to administrate the slave trade, and this made the neighbors over La Plata very angry. This intense slave trade is an originating motive for the carnival: the slave should have a period of their own when they could dance, celebrate life and sing. Ever since the carnival has been regularly held in every year and nowadays is lasting 55 days.
Imagine 55 days of dancing and partying on the streets. Apparently, these people have nothing else to do than celebrating! It is the paradise on Earth for tourists and locals ( no one complains that he can’t sleep!). The Carnival from Montevideo is very similar to the Rio Carnival, keeping the right proportions (Montevideo only counts 1600000 inhabitants). This thing doesn’t mean that the Montevideo carnival is less spectacular. On the contrary: it is more genuine, keeping the joy of life as the more important thing.
During these 55 days of Carnival in Montevideo wou will have no time to get bored! Montevideo is such a nice city, still keeping an european colonial flavor. There are exquisite hotels and fine restaurants in the city and large spectacular avenues, there are theaters, there are beaches. There are so many tourists flocking the city every year during the Carnival, that you might need to book your stay in advance.
if not, come back tomorrow on journeyetc.com and see what's new :)