From flamboyant festivals and harvest fairs to honouring ancient deities and venerating the ancestors, South Americans certainly know how to celebrate! Whatever time of you decide to go, you’re never more than a few days away from the party of a lifetime. Check out this year-round guide to some of the best festivals in South America.
Fiesta de la Santa Tierra, Lake Titicaca, Peru
Taking place alongside the placid waters of Lake Titicaca, the Festival of the Sacred Land celebrates Mother Earth at the Temple of Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the Temple of Pachatata (Father Earth). Traditional dance, colourful costumes and a footrace to find out what next year’s harvest will be are just some of the highlights.
Santiago a Mil, Santiago, Chile
This vibrant performance arts festival goes on for a whopping 17 days, with every moment packed with dozens of theatre performances, dancing and music shows.
Rio Carnaval needs no introduction. Famous all over the world for its fanciful costumes, infectious samba beats, street parties and beautiful people – this is one festival you definitely don’t want to miss.
Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria, Peru
Taking place in Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, this cultural extravaganza features thousands of dancers and musicians parading through the streets in celebration of Peru’s wealth of arts, traditional dance, patron saints and rich heritage.
National Grape Harvest Festival, Mendoza, Argentina
Held in the first week of March in Argentina’s wine-growing heartland, this lush festivals offers a vibrant blend of live concerts, streets parties, blazing fireworks and, of course, plenty of wine.
Semana Santa, Peru
This unforgettable religious festivals takes place the week before Easter and continues for 10 days until Easter Sunday. Visitors from all over the continent flock here to take part in huge parades, religious rites and a procession in honour of La Virgen de los Dolores. Unsurprisingly, the festival ends with a massive all-night party that goes on well beyond dawn.
Snow Star Festival, Peru
Held on a remote Peruvian glacier in the breath-taking Andes, this three-day festival known as Qoyllur Rit’I sees thousands of pilgrims ascend into the peaks to celebrate centuries-old religious beliefs with music, dancing and a dramatic torch-lit parade.
Inti Raymi, Cusco, Peru
This extravagant Inca Festival of the Sun has been celebrated in the ancient city of Cuzco for over 600 years. Taking place over the winter solstice on the 24th of June, Inti Raymi honours Inti, the Sun God, with elaborate cultural performances, street parties, dances and fiestas in and around the city.
Septenario Festival, Cuenca, Ecuador
Celebrating Corpus Christi, this religious event offers a week-long festival filled with traditional cuisine, dance and rites, while impressive fireworks displays light up the sky at night.
World Tango Championships, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Has the tango rhythm got you? Put on your party shoes and hit the dancefloor with your best moves! The tango world cup sees the very best tango dancers converge to win the crown, while aspiring tango fans can enjoy free dance lessons, workshops and competitions.
Feria de las Flores, Medellín, Colombia
This fragrant festival celebrates everything floral in the streets of Medellin. Be sure not to miss the impressive horse parade and gleaming antique car procession.
Mistura, Lima, Peru
A true taste sensation! The biggest culinary fair in South America, this delectable event celebrates Peruvian food in all its glory, bringing together hundreds of chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, vintners and many other food gurus to wow visitors with their tasty fare.
El Señor de los Milagros Lima, Peru
The Lord of Miracles festival is a 24-hour whirlwind celebration where tens of thousands of purple-clad people gather to celebrate and dance in honour of a famous image of Christ.
Dia de los Meurtos, South America
Don’t let the name fool you. This vibrant festival is all about celebrating the beauty of life and honouring those who have passed on. Painted faces, colourful parades, cemetery vigils and plenty of partying set the scene for this unique festival celebrated across the continent.
Feri de Cali, Santiago de Cali, Colombia
This one’s for the real party people. Held from Christmas to New Year’s Eve, this all-out festivals sees the streets of Cali come to life with parades, live music, dancing, theatre and pageants.
Ready to celebrate? Speak to one of our Flight Centre Travel Experts to book your amazing holiday in South America! Or take a look at our fantastic holiday deals