Carnaval is a holiday that depending on the country it’s absolutely crazy fun and just wacky. I guess many places celebrate it butfor instance, I have been to the ones in Venice, Italy and let me tell you it is very different from those here in Panama.

Venice is much more organized I think for obvious reasons, it is very cold so people are in costumes, bundled up and drinking a lot to stay warm.

Here in Panama, Carnaval is just mayhem. People take it very seriously. It can be quite fun but trust me it is not clean and pristine. Carnaval in Panama lasts 4 days and has two stages every day. The first one is during the day where people go to get wet (culeco), dance and drink. Then at night you get a bit more dressed up and go to the dances and see the queens (every town has 1, 2 or 3 queens) of the town parade through the streets, depending on the town, the queens and the parade in itself is gorgeous.

But during the day it can be very hot, tight and very dirty. So, I wanted to list the main things to pack when going on this carnaval journey.

  1. Tennis shoes, you do not want to go into carnaval wearing flip flops. I recommend tennis shoes because even if they step on you, your feet will be well taken care of, if not, make sure you wear closed shoes.
  2. Hat, sunglasses and sunblock. The peak hours of carnival is from 10am until 3pm when the sun is at its worst. So you want to make sure you are protected. Just make sure the sunglasses you are taking with you are not your most special, unique glasses. Make sure that if you loose them, it will not break your bank account.
  3. Workout clothes. I prefer to do carnaval during the day with my workout shorts, swimsuit underneath and workout t-shirt. Because of technology these clothes have, it dries fast, light weight and even protects you from the rays of the sun.
  4. Bubba thermos is the way to go. Once you reach the park where the carnaval is held and you find a good spot, trust me you will not want to move. Finding a good spot is hard so a bubba comes in handy. First of all, it can fit a ton of alcohol (my choice is champagne or cava) without having to refill, ice doesn’t melt and it does the trick. You do not want to do carnaval sober, you will get flustered and want to leave immediately
  5. A plastic bag that you can hang on the inside of your clothes. It will protect your cellphone, ID and money. Plus, helps that by having it hanging from your neck on the inside of your clothes, it will not get stolen.

Hope this list helps when going to carnivals. Be safe and remember to have an open mind and enjoy the moment.




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