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La Diablada Carnival - Oruro - Bolivia Travel Information

Photos from La Diablada Carnival

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One of the most authentic carnivals in South America is La Diablada carnival, which takes place in the city of Oruro, in central Bolivia. The carnival is being celebrated in honor of the Saint patroness of the miners - Virgen de Socavon (the tunnel's virgin).

The carnival is celebrated in a parade of over 50 dance groups that dance, play and sing over a 5 km long course. The groups dress up as demons, Satans, Incas and Spanish conquerors. The parade is celebrated every day from morning until late night (18 hours a day).

The carnival takes place every year in parallel to the carnival in Brazil, and is a great option for those who are not interested in visiting the carnival in Brazil or can not make it there. The costumes in the Oruro carnaval are less impressive than the ones in Rio, but many view this carnival as much more authentic.

Since Oruro doesn't have a lot of accommodation to offer, and since the city is full of visitors that arrive from all over Bolivia, it is recommended to make reservation for accommodation well in advance or to arrive with a tent.

The only disadvantage of the carnival of Oruro is the love of the locals for water fights. It is an impossible mission to stay dry during the carnaval, and it is especially hard for those who are carrying cameras (though it is still feasible to take photos during the carnaval).

The great advantage of the carnival is that after the first day the viewers can choose to join one of the Tourpes and dance with it along the way of the parade.