Many have expressed wanting to experience carnival but are nervous about the advance commitment (and cost!) necessary for popular carnivals such as Trinidad and Jamaica.
Don't fret. There are several stateside carnivals that will deliver a similar-ish-kinda-sorta-perhaps experience. It is certainly not the same, but can be great for someone who is trying to get their feet wet.
Carnival: October 7, 2018
Prime Dates: October 4, 2018 - October 9, 2018
The first thing you should keep in mind in your planning is that Miami Carnival happens towards the tail end of hurricane season. So, plan accordingly by purchasing travel insurance just in case.
how to get there
Flying into Miami’s International Airport (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) are your best options. Depending on where you are coming from within the United States, flights usually start at $200 and can go up to $500, especially after band launch season.
Where to Stay
Many of the events take place in Miami proper, so finding a hotel or Airbnb downtown is your best bet. If you don’t mind being a little further out, you can find accommodation in nearby areas, like Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Coral Gables and Dania.
You can easily get around with Uber or Lyft. If you are staying further out, you may want to consider renting a car. Standard size cars are going for $30/day at the moment.
WHERE TO PARTY
Miami Carnival has a variety of parties and fetes, with both local and international promoters and DJs. Be on the lookout for early bird tickets.
Some bands have already launched and more will be launching over the next few weeks. If you plan to play mas, make sure you have your deposit money ready to lock down your favorite costume. Here is a list of Miami Carnival Bands (the ones starred are recommended).
TENTATIVE BUDGET (costs per person)
- Accommodations: $350 - $900
- Flight: $200 - $500
- Transportation: $200 - $400
- Fetes: $50 - $500
- Costume: $300 - $700
TOTAL: $1,100 - $3,000
See you there!