🇲🇽 Cozumel Carnival

The Carnival of Cozumel is considered the best Carnival in the Mexican Caribbean and is one of the oldest in the country. It is divided in two parts: Pre-Carnival and Carnival. This Carnival has over 140 years of history and lasts approximately a month.

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    When is Carnival celebrated in Cozumel in 2023?

    cozumel carnival

    It is important to note that there is a Pre-Carnival and a Carnival, and most likely what is of greater interest is the Carnival, which is when the biggest parties and parades take place.

    The Carnival of Cozumel takes place from Wednesday the 15th till Tuesday the 21st of February, 2023.

    Where is Cozumel?

    cozumel carnival

    Cozumel is an island, and it is one of the largest and most populous islands in Mexico with an area of 500 kmlocated in the heavenly Mexican Caribbean. Given its geographic location, many cruise ships stop at its port.

    At more than 30 kms long, it’s reef is one of the most famous and largest in the world. With few mountains its highways area pleasant to drive on, and you can stop nearly anywhere and have a swim and enjoy the beautiful natural sights of the island.

    What is the Carnival of Cozumel?

    The Carnival of Cozumel is a family-oriented Carnival basically because entire families prepare for months for this spectacular event.

    This incredible Carnival has floats, contests, and, obviously, loads of costumes and entertainment for everyone, including pets.

    The Carnival of Cozumel is divided into Pre-Carnival and Carnival; Carnival lasts for seven days of intense partying where you’ll need to pace yourself for what’s to come.

    You may be interested: 15 Amazing places in Mexico to Celebrate Carnival

    How is Carnival celebrated in Cozumel?

    cozumel carnival

    Although the Carnival of Cozumel boasts several events and lasts for many days, the most important days for the celebration are Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Mardi Gras. The city completely shuts down from the early morning hours all through the night due to the parades and parties.

    If you can make it to the Guaranducha Cozumeña, don’t pass on the opportunity, together with the live parodies and the troupes of poets.

    The fantasy troupes, mainly composed of young people, transmit that joie de vivre that only the youngest among us feel, although more mature audiences also get caught up in the fun. These troupes perform up to 10 times a day, hence the need for some youth and endurance if you want to take part.

    Another attraction to consider are the decorations in the city, which help it take on a unique appearance. In fact, it is a tradition to decorate the promenade in addition to the two stages located in the main parks of the city where the best performances take place with allegories that reference the theme of Carnival for that year.

    Without question, Cozumel lives for Carnival.

    Related: Veracruz Carnival in Mexico

    Pre-Carnival in Cozumel

    cozumel carnival

    The main objective of Pre-Carnival in Cozumel is to crown the king and queen of Carnival. It is a beauty pageant that lasts for weeks and features three male and three female contestants.

    From these contestants the King and Queen of Carnival, the King and Queen of Happiness, and the King and Queen of Fantasy will be chosen. For three weeks they do their best to earn these awards of the Carnival of Cozumel.

    In addition to these awards, there are also categories for Child King and Queen, Youth King and Queen, and Nominees for Diversity.

    Something to keep in mind is that this contest involves the whole town as the residents are the ones responsible for voting for the Kings and Queens of Carnival of Cozumel, something that rarely happens at other Carnivals in Mexico.

    For four weekends, the contestants face different tests, explained below:

    • 1st Weekend:Introduction of all the contestants to the rulers.
    • 2nd Weekend:Unveiling of all candidates for the King and Queen of Carnival in individual costumes.
    • 3rd Weekend:Presentation and election of the King and Queen of Carnival together with their troupes.
    • 4th Weekend: Presentation and election of the Youth King and Queen, the Child King and Queen, and the King and Queen for Diversity.

    The night the King and Queen of Carnival are chosen is a special occasion where excitement and tension fill the air, making for an unforgettable experience. The contestants are introduced and must put their best foot forward in a dance competition to prove they are worthy of the crown.

    At 4:00 a.m. after the dance competition, the votes are tallied and the king and queen of Carnival are announced.

    This is how Pre-Carnival in Cozumel works every year and is definitely worth the experience if you have the opportunity.

    Cozumel Carnival Parades

    cozumel carnival

    Once all the kings and queens have been crowned and the Momo King has given his speech, the biggest party in the Mexican Caribbean begins: the much anticipated Carnival of Cozumel.

    Seven intense days of Carnival will be sure to provide you with nonstop entertainment.

    • First day of Carnival: Children’s Thursday is when the children of the city play the leading role in a splendid parade full of children, which plants the seed for their future love and pride of the Carnival of Cozumel.
    • Second night of Carnival: On the so-called ‘Troupe Friday’, schools, workplaces or groups of friends form troupes and come out in costumes and perform choreographed dances. There are two categories for this event: Youth and Open.
    • Third night of Carnival: This is known as Fantasy and mask Saturday. On this third day the whole city grinds to a halt to enjoy the music, atmosphere, and colors. Troupes can be seen everywhere, and this is the first of four days, we could say its the first big day, where the city truly stops.

    The float parade is held in the afternoon on the main street, and all the troupes are involved making for a very crowded event. For the most spirited, there are events and musical performances into the early hours.

    • Fourth night of Carnival: The second float parade known as Sunday of Tradition and the second Carnival dance.
    • Fifth night of Carnival: Third Carnival dance, however on Regional Tropical Monday there is no float parade.
    • Sixth night of Carnival: The third and final float parade is known as Tuesday of Apotheosis, and on this night the festivities come to a close with a free, open-air concert.
    • Ash Wednesday: The Burning of ‘Juan Carnival’, a reading from the testament, and awards ceremony. After a reading of the testament by the Momo King, a doll representing the same is burned.

    Related: Mazatlan Carnival in Mexico.

    Where to stay in Cozumel?

    Cozumel is an island that can be seen in one day and has options available for all budgets. With this in mind, you can choose to stay in the heart of the action or stay a bit further away and enjoy other things the island offers besides Carnival.  You can find plenty of options at Booking.com that will be sure to meet your needs.

    Book your Hotel and Flight for the Cozumel Carnival

    Booking.com

    How to get to Cozumel?

    Cozumel has an International Airport and direct flights that arrive from Canada and the United States. You can also land at the International Airport of Cancun, an hour away from Playa del Carmen.

    From Playa del Carmen there are several ferry lines that will transfer you to Cozumel in approximately 30 or 45 minutes that land at San Miguel de Cozumel.

    What to see and do in Cozumel?

    cozumel carnival

    San Miguel is the largest area of the island where the majority of the shops, accommodations, nightlife, and restaurants are located.

    On the western part of Cozumel you will find the San Francisco and Playa del Sol beaches, incredible white sand beaches with calm, crystal-blue waters. This is where the majority of the aquatic activities are located, such as scuba diving and snorkeling to observe the incredible marine life nearby.

    The eastern side of the island completely contrasts with this, boasting rough, open sea and extreme caution is recommended when swimming on this side of the island.

    There are other beaches and some isolated but charming bars and restaurants on the San Miguel highway heading south, as well as some areas to scuba dive, as well as the Chankanaab Park, which is a restored Mayan archeological site.

    At the southernmost tip of the island is the Punta Sur Eco-Beach Natural Park where the El Caracol Mayan remains can be found as well as the Faro Celarain lighthouse. The park safeguards a habitat for birds including watchtowers, crocodiles, turtle nesting areas, and the Navigation Museum.

    On the extreme north end of Cozumel is a small plot of paradise only 1 km long known as Passion Island or Mukyaj Peten, in Mayan. The Mayans considered this a sacred place, and here they paid homage to Ixchel, the goddess of love and fertility.

    The island has plenty to offer, both for submarining enthusiasts as well as lovers of catamarans looking to scuba dive around Cozumel; here is a selection of activities available at Viator.com.

    Carnivaland recommends tours, events and accommodation based on our extensive experience and knowledge of them. We may earn affiliate commission from affiliate links in this article. Read more about our policy.

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