Behind the Scenes of the Carnival Parade on Tenerife

Some carnival parades on Tenerife have a better atmosphere than others. The opening carnival parade in Santa Cruz generally has more energy and fun than the city’s closing parade, the Coso Apoteosis, which often comes under criticism from Santa Cruceros.

For a number of reasons I prefer the Coso in Puerto de la Cruz. It’s a smaller affair with less murga and comparsa groups, but because it really does mark the end of carnival, there’s a last blast vibe that gives the whole shebang an electric atmosphere that can be absent from the Coso in Santa Cruz.

From Playa Martiánez, more tourists than locals line Avenida Colón to watch the parade. As the route travels through the older part of town, the locals to visitors ratio switches the other way.

My favourite part is the section before the official starting point of the parade. The place where coaches drop off the various carnival troupes; younger carnival goers congregate beside floats blasting out music and carnival queens are fitted into their elaborate costumes.

It is here that the spirit of carnival feels strongest. It’s also a great place to get some candid carnival shots.

Foto, Foto

Foto Foto, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
This pose is always preceded by the carnival battle cry of ‘Foto, Foto’. I reckon male Tinerfeños must be taught this pose at school as they all do it.

Carnival Queen

Carnival queen, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
This isn’t the carnival queen but one of her beautiful dames. The carnival queen at this point had fainted and was lying on her back with her legs up in the air – a pose I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have wanted shared with the world.

Having a Laugh

Comparsa Group, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
It’s just such a nice atmosphere before the parade. People laugh, joke and down a few combinados.

Dancing Queens

Dancing Queen, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
The Tinerfeños just love to dance. Even though they’re waiting to dance their way through town over the next couple of hours, some just can’t stand still when the volume is pumped up on those Latino sounds.

Last Minute Adjustments

Final Adjustments, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
Sometimes it can seem like a weird and wacky production line as everyone helps with the last minute adjustments.

Family Affair

Mouse family, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
Like most Tenerife fiestas, carnival is a family affair. Some of these mice seem much happier to be there than others.

Bizarre Land

Cowgirls, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
You never know what you are going to get in the one frame. I was trying to focus on the guy on the mini motor cycle but it was a snatched shot and the focus fell elsewhere.

Tenerife Reds

Flamenco Red, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
Sometimes the blast of colour at carnival is so intense that it can scorch your retinas.

Phone a Friend

On the Phone, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
I don’t know what ancient civilisation this chica is meant to represent but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have had mobile phones. Useful for a selfie though.

Carnival is Fun

Having fun, Coso Apoteosis, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
This is my favourite photo from this year as it simply represents what carnival is – colourful and cheeky fun. The expression on the little girl’s face says it all really.


Jack is co-owner, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+


  1. Love these images. My favourite is Tenerife Reds. They look so calm and ready, they could be waiting for a bus. And then of course there is the sad mouse in Family Affair.

    I found this post on Travel Blog Chronicles group.

    • A very sad mouse 🙂 Thanks Sophie. I was really pleased with the Tenerife Reds shot. I particularly like seeing people in fantastic costumes behaving as they would normally.

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