Argentina Travel Pictures

Gualeguaychu Carnaval - Entre Rios, Argentina
Pictures, videos & visitor info from a trip to the Gualeguaychu Carnaval held in the Entre Rios Province of Argentina.

 

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Environmental Protesters
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No A Las Papeleras
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Flecha Bus Promotion

The Gualeguaychu Carnaval is Argentina's smaller scale version of the world famous event that takes place in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro each year.

To get to Gualeguaychu and to obtain admission tickets into the carnival, we paid about $40 US per person to a Buenos Aires tour company named "Argentina Go". We took a taxi from our vacation rental apartment in Palermo to the bus pick up point in downtown Buenos Aires.

The trip to Gualeguaychu, which is about 200 kilometers from Buenos Aires in the province of Entre Rios, took about three hours.

We arrived well in advance of the carnaval's start time of 11 PM and were able to walk around the calm rural town of Gualeguaychu. For a traditional Argentinean dinner, we chose the Campo Alto Asador Libre restaurant and ate grilled beef.

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Brahma Beer Bikini Girls
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Brahma Beer Promo Van
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Rapipago Promoter Girls
The Gualeguaychu Carnaval is called "El Carnaval del Pais" (the country's carnival) since it is the largest and most popular in Argentina. It is held at the city's "corsodromo" parade stadium every Saturday in January, February and sometimes also during the first week of March.
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Rapi Pago Promo Truck
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Fernet Promotoras
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Fernet Capri Drink Promo
We paid a little bit extra to have front row seats, which afforded a great view of the parade but it was next to impossible to get out for a bathroom break or to buy food or drinks. There was at least one intermission that I can recall during the several hour long carnival. I'd highly recommend going to the bathroom and buying a bottle of water before the parade begins. There were also vendors walking around the parade path selling huge plastic cups of beer, water bottles hamburgers, and French fries.
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Fiat Promotional Van
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Pinturerias del Centro Mascots
The Gualeguaychu Carnaval began with an assortment of vehicles and people promoting companies, products or environmental causes. The first was a group of youths protesting the possible construction of a paper mill across the Uruguay river in the country Uruguay, which would have a negative environmental impact on the Entre Rios Province of Argentina. Then there was a large Flecha Bus, some Brahma beer promoter girls in red bikinis, a group of "Rapipago" ("fast pay") promo girls, a group of "promotoras" for the Bonesi chain of electronics store, a Fernet Capri beverage promo van, a Fiat car company van, and finally a pair of dancing paint cans promoting the Pinturerias del Centro chain of paint stores.
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Giant Paint Can Float
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Eager Crowd of Spectators
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First School or "Corso"

Throughout the event, the various samba clubs called "comparsas" compete for the title of "kings of the carnaval". Each club consists of 100's of scantily clad female & male dancers wearing elaborate costumes and several extravagant parade floats. The comparsas each choose a decorative theme for their floats and costumes along with a selection of music. To fill in the other parts of the show with music, the organizers play the Gualeguaychu Carnaval theme songs repeatedly throughout the night. You'll be able to hear some of the music and get a sense for what it's like to be at the event by watching my Gualeguaychu Carnaval Video Clip.

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Queen & Leopards
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Elaborate Feather Headdress
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White Wings

Some of the names of the samba clubs or "comparsas" are Mari Mari, Papelitos, and Kamarr. Each comparsa also chooses it's queen or "reina" for the year.

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If you'd rather get to Gualeguaychu on your own and be able to stay for a few days, there are several options. To arrive by rental car, take Ruta 12 North out of Buenos Aires and then follow Ruta 14 North into the province of Entre Rios. Buses operated by various companies leave from the Retiro Bus Station in Buenos Aires and arrive at the Gualeguaychu Terminal de Omnibus located in the town at the intersection of Artigas Blvd and Jurardo Blvd. Flecha Bus, one of the carnival's sponsors, is a good choice if you plan on coming by bus since they have a good selection of departure times. Once you arrive in Gualeguaychu, you can purchase admission tickets at the corsodromo shorty before and during the carnaval.
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During the Gualeguaychu Carnaval, I took several hundred pictures and also captured some short video clips with my Canon S3 IS digital camera. I edited those video clips together into one short movie that can be viewed by clicking on the large blue link below. The video is encoded in the Windows Media Video (WMV) format, runs about 3 minutes long, and has a file size of 56 MB. To download the movie to your hard drive, right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As".

Gualeguaychu Carnaval Video Clip - Entre Rios, Argentina, South America
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Large Golden Wings
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The carnaval in Gualeguaychu may be the biggest, but it's not the only one in the country of Argentina. The city of Corrientes is generally known as the home of the second largest celebration in Argentina with about a hundred thousand spectators each night of the event. Some of the other carnavals that take place in Argentina include the ones in Salta, Jujuy, and Buenos Aires.

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Colorful Costumes
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Huge Parade Float
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Carnaval is a popular tradition all across Latin America and also in some European countries. Some of the locations that host similar events include Spain, Venice (Italy), Venezuela, Barranquilla (Columbia), Bolivia, Guyana, and of course Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

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Ballroom Dresses
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Inca Inspired Bikini
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Spectator In Parade Route
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Posing For A Picture

As can be seen in the pictures above, sometimes the spectators would jump into the parade route to pose for a picture with the dancers. The police officers patrolling the corsodromo would allow it for a few seconds and then usher the people back over the barrier to their seats. Near the end of the night, it began getting a bit excessive as small groups of intoxicated young men would jump over together to pose with the sexy female dancers wearing skimpy bikinis. The police had their hands full escorting the guys back into the spectator stands. I noticed at least one person was arrested for being uncooperative.

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We spent several fleeting hours enjoying the thumping music, watching the dancers in colorful costumes, and admiring the massive parade floats. Then it finally came to an end at around 4 AM and we headed back to our tour bus for the long ride back to Buenos Aires.
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To view more Gualeguaychu Carnaval pictures, please click on the "Next" or "Last" buttons below. Alternatively, you can visit the home page of Argentina Travel Pictures for all of my South America photo galleries.

 

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