One of the most direct ways to experience a culture is music. Carnaval, celebrated in most Latin American countries and the upcoming Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz festival are two wonderful opportunities to do so between
Feb – April 2012:
Carnival (written Carnaval in French, Portuguese and Spanish): Starts Feb 17th and ends on Wednesday Feb 22nd.
Although the majority of countries in the Latin America region with a strong catholic faith celebrate Carnaval in some form, the most popular ones (even among natives of the region) are:
In Salvador da Bahia, Recife, Rio – Brazil ( the majority of cities in Brazil celebrate Carnaval – those listed just happened to be the ones most talked about and popular)
Barranquilla – Colombia ( hidden cultural gem of Colombia)
Jacmel – Haiti ( perfect mixture of a huge public beach party the day before everything starts)
Las Tablas (3 hours away from Panama City) and Panama City (underrated wonderful carnaval experience)
Trinidad and Tobago ( Must experience the selection of the Socca Queen and King the Thursday before and the Jouve kickoff celebration)
Annual Puerto Rican Heineken Jazz Festival
This year it is from March 29th – April 1st. Many international visitors make this event an annual ritual.
See you in Carnival (Carnaval for us the natives)