6 Carnivals in the Dominican Republic that you really must not miss

By | 15 February, 2017 | 0 comments


The Dominican Carnival is probably one of the most joyful and most anticipated festivals in the country. In all corners of the island, different traditions compete in terms of color, musicality and fun.

Depending on the region and the year,the dates of the Carnival may vary slightly in each location, but they are usually celebrated between the end of February and the beginning of March.

One special thing about the Dominican Carnival compared to other carnivals around the world is that it is celebrated at the same time as Dominican Independence Day, making it a double celebration.

Another thing that is special about the Carnival is that it usually revolves around “Cojuelo”, a devil-like figure which is interpreted in different ways depending on the region.

In hotels such as the Bávaro Princess or Punta Cana Princess we join in this double celebration every year, bringing together the colorand joy of Carnivalwith patriotic commemoration and pride. That is why our customers should not be surprised if they seeboth things combined in costumes and flags displayed in our hotels.

carnival in princess caribe

Another aspect that makes the Carnival exclusive and originalis that each region in the country has its own special way of celebrating it, which is why they sometimes also try to have slightly different datesto make it easier for people to visit them all and enjoy the party to the full. The most famous and original are:

  1. La Vega Carnival

One of the oldest and most typical, filling the streets of La Vega with color and joy every Sunday in February. In this case the Devil Cojuelo is represented by participants in intricate, costly and colorful costumes that take a long time to create, particularly the expressive and detailed masks which represent the Devil Cojuelo as a mocking, frightening and impulsive figure. The disguise is completed by ostentatious costumes in very bright colors,sometimes with accessories to intensify the effect.

  1. The Guloyas of San Pedro de Macorís:

The Guloyas are part of Dominican culture and history and have also been declared a world cultural heritage. Without any doubt, they are the most representative figures in the San Pedro de MacorísCarnival. The Guloyas are folkloric dance groups that act out different scenes, one of the most famous being that of David and Goliath, from which it is believed they take their name. They are easily recognizable by their unique and original dresses, with very bright colors interspersed with bows and feathers, stones and mirrors, which bring joy and rhythm to the celebrations.

cabalgata de carnaval

  1. The Carnival of Santo Domingo:

Being the capital, this is a Carnival which tries to bring together all the different themes in the other carnivals.It is a very big festival with a lot of movement, making it the Carnival with the most performances and personalities in the entire island.

  1. The Cachuas of Cabral:

In this Carnival, the Devil Cojuelos is represented by the Cachuas, dancing characters that crack their whipsand stroll proudly through the streets of towns in the south west of the Island. The costumes are colorful and original, but not expensive, and are always accompanied by very striking and colorfulmasks that cover their faces.

  1. SantiagoCarnival:

Probably one of the most important on the island.In this case the representations of the Devil Cojuelo are known as Lechonas (Piglets) given that it is said that their masks look like the face of a pig, even though when you look closely they actually resemblea duck with flashy horns. The costume can consist of one or several items of clothing, all colorful and decorated with bells, ribbons, mirrors … and any other eye-catchingfeatures. As we said before, the heads are covered with striking masks with big horns.diablo Cojuelo

  1. Punta CanaCarnival:

Probably one of the youngest carnivals as it only began in 2008. Aiming to bring the best of all of the country’s carnivals to tourists, that is the reason why it is also the last one to be held on the Carnival calendar. It mixes participants from La Vega and Santiago, the Guloyas with modern DJs, a celebration of light and color that has united traditions with the modern world, and that takes over the boulevard in Punta Cana for an afternoon of enjoyment and participation.

The Dominican carnival is something that you have to experience and for which you have to let yourself go. The activities teams at Princess hotels in the Dominican Republic will be celebrating it in style, making it one of the best times to be staying with us and a perfect excuse to enjoy the sun and the beach from another point of view.


Categories: Caribbean, Be inspired, Punta Cana


  1. ig says:

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    • Fiona Campbell says:

      I’m not sure what has happened but thank you for your comment

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