Carnaval in Tenerife 2012

Update 11 March: Just a reminder that the main parade of the Los Cristianos carnaval is today, starting from Paloma Beach at 5pm.

Update 29 February: Arona carnaval is about to start, and the full programme of events is HERE. It’s a pdf file, and I find the text very small, so I’ve cut out and reproduced the English version of the programme below.

Update 21 February: If anyone wants to watch the parade live, click HERE, and then click on the “televisión en directo” link in the box to the right of the screen.

[youtube][/youtube]Update 20 February: Tomorrow is martes de carnaval (carnival Tuesday – our Shrove Tuesday) and the main parade, the Coso Apoteosis, will take place, as every year, down the Avenida Francisco la Roche and the Avenida Marítima, both roads being lined with banked seating for the tens of thousands of visitors expected to view the spectacle. Above is a short video of a tiny part of last year’s parade – and it’s easy to see why this carnaval is second only to the famous Rio de Janeiro one!

Tomorrow’s parade will start at 4pm, but crowds will start gathering long before that, not least to see the murgas performing at 11am in the Plaza del Príncipe (just about 200m or so from the Plaza de España with the fountain walking with your back to the sea). There will be a firework display at the end of the parade around 8pm, followed by a dance in the Plaza de la Candelaria (to the side of the Plaza de España) with music by Dinacord and Pepe Benavente & Trío Diamante.

Update 16 February:  The Santa Cruz Carnaval Queen was chosen last night, and the winner was Carmen Gil, representing the Zona Comercial Tranvía in the fantasia “Imperio” designed by Santi Castro. The video below shows her appearance in the competition.


Update 30 January: The programme for the Los Cristianos carnaval has now been published and is HERE, though the final details are said to be subject to modification.

The main events are:

  • Opening parade on Saturday, 3 March at 7pm, from Avenida Francisco Andrade Fumero, to Centro Comercial Gala, Playa de las Américas.
  • Carnaval Queen competition in the Fairground on Friday, 9 March at 9.30pm.
  • Main parade on Sunday, 11 March at 5pm,  from Paloma Beach apartments through Avenida Juan Carlos I to the Fairground. To be followed by the carnaval dance with music from Orquesta “Wamampy” in the Fairground.
  • Burial of the Sardine on Monday, 12 March at 8pm, followed by a dance in the Fairground.

Update 20 January: Tickets for all the competitions and shows in the Santa Cruz carnaval will go on sale tomorrow, 21 February, at 10am, at the Recinto Ferial box office. Tickets are priced between €2 and €19 depending on event; as might be expected, the adult murgas and carnaval queen gala will be the most expensive.


Original post 19 January: It’s Carnaval time again, and the Santa Cruz event, the first and biggest of the three main Carnavals in Tenerife, will start next Wednesday. It isn’t just the largest in Tenerife, however, it is widely considered to be the second largest in the world, with only the world-famous Rio de Janeiro Carnaval bigger. The official site for the Santa Cruz Carnaval is HERE; the full programme with dates is HERE.

The Carnaval runs from next Wednesday 25 January for a whole month to 26 February, and February often feels like the summer holiday season when trying to get anything done in Tenerife! There is huge interest in it, and many things grind to a halt, not least because of the murga competitions, a sort of combination of farce, satire and music (particularly involving a type of kazoo) with outlandish costume and group singing. They are phenomenally popular and there is saturation television coverage of all the stages and groups taking part. I’ve posted videos in previous years of them, e.g. HERE.

The two other Carnavals of great local interest are in Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz. This year, the Los Cristianos Carnaval is between 2 and 12 March, and the Puerto de la Cruz one between 12 to 26 February. There is more information on these and other Carnaval events throughout the Canaries from the official Canary Islands Tourism site HERE (Click on “idioma”, the top right link, for the English option).


  1. hi, do you have the los cristianos program too??
    kind regards koen:)

  2. Author

    No, as far as I can see there’s nothing published yet.

  3. Author

    It has been published now, and I’ve posted above.

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