San Baltasar Carnival parade – January 6
The Llamadas de San Baltasar is a traditional festival of Uruguayan candombe which takes place every January 6. It’s a truly authentic spectacle as tens of drumming and dancing comparsas parade through the streets of Barrio Sur and Palermo flanked by locals.
My friend Soledad who I call ‘carnival royalty’ loves San Baltasar. She says it is just how carnival was when she was a child.
Though carnival isn’t touristy at all in Uruguay, San Baltasar is really how carnival in Montevideo was thirty years ago—so expect simple outfits, no tickets and no security presence. Just people enjoying themselves.
Why January 6? The date is chosen to celebrate Three Kings Day (when Uruguayan children typically receive gifts) and the Afro-Uruguayan community.
Click on the Guru’Guay map of the San Baltasar Parade to see the start and end points of the parade
The procession starts around 4pm and lasts till after sundown.
Photo: Jimmy Baikovicius
One of the best things to do in Montevideo is visit the horse races. Fun for the family and for architecture buffs the art-deco stadium. Fridays & Sundays.
Montevideo has the world’s longest carnival starting January thru early March. We’ve got the links you need in English about where to go and what to see.
It’s virtually unknown to people outside of Uruguay, but in Montevideo you’ll get to experience one of the most authentic carnivals in the world.
Bringing together more than 80 foodie initiatives and live music over one weekend, Degusto takes place in May and October each year in Carrasco, Montevideo.
Your tour guide will be Christine, the “carnival whisperer”. A long-time Uruguay & Montevideo resident, German-American she has a real passion for carnival.