February; the unpredictable month on Tenerife in so many ways. Carnival (carnaval here) totally dominates the northern scene. February is usually the coolest month of the year, most noticeably in the evening – although that doesn’t stop carnaval goers wearing costumes you could throw together with the material from a handkerchief. Carnival and rain often go hand in hand, the question is will it be light showers or monsoons strong enough to cancel events? With carnival following at the end of the month, temperatures should be starting to creep up, helping keep down carnival queens’ goosebumps. Normally daytime temperatures are in the low to mid 20s.
It’s one of the busiest months for visitors to Tenerife because of Northern Europeans escaping winter and people who want to rave it up at the biggest party in Europe. If you want a tranquil breal away from the men in fishnets and street parties head into the south west hills, especially around the Santiago del Teide area to see the almonds trees in glorious bloom.
The best fiestas on Tenerife in February and March.
Carnaval on Tenerife
There’s often some confusion about carnival on Tenerife with the outside world thinking that carnival on Tenerife just means Santa Cruz. It is the biggest by far but there are lots of other carnivals that would be considered flamboyant events by most people’s standards. Puerto de la Cruz comes second in the carnival stakes, attracting revellers from along the north coast. But all the decent sized towns on Tenerife hold their own carnavals. Once the north has had its fun, a couple of places in the south of Tenerife hold their versions. Because this year carnivall starts in late February, the carnivals there will be in March.
The big carnavals tend to fall into two parts, the parades and the street parties. The street parties take place most nights with Monday being a particularly lively night whereas the parades are spread over carnaval week.
Carnival in Santa Cruz (Theme – Cartoons)
Election of Carnival Queen: 26 February, 9.30pm
Cabalgata (opening parade): 28 February, 8pm
Coso Apoteosis (closing parade): 4 March, 4pm
Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine): 5 March, 9pm
Although the carnaval closing parade is on Tuesday 4 March it really continues until Sunday 9 March.
Carnival in Puerto de la Cruz (Theme – Way Out West)
Not quite so overwhelming as Santa Cruz – if you can call 35,000 people and packed streets not overwhelming. Puerto’s carnival is a more compact affair, focussing around the harbour and Plaza del Charco area. Most of the ingredients are the same but it does hold at least one ace card in the shape of the High Heels Drag Marathon.
Election of Carnival Queen: 27 February, 9pm
Cabalgata (opening parade – usually a very small affair in recent years): 1 March, 7.30pm
Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine): 5 March, 9.30pm
Mascarita Ponte Tacon (Drag High Heels Marathon): 7 March, 10pm
Coso Apoteosis (closing parade): 8 March, 4pm
Carnival in San Cristobál de La Laguna
Election of Carnival Queen: 2 March
Cabalgata (opening parade): 3 March
Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine): 5 March
Carnival in La Orotava
Coso Apoteosis (Grand Parade): 4 March 4.30pm
Entierro y Quemo de Crispín (Funeral parade and burning of Crispín): 5 March, 9pm
Carnival in Los Realejos
Election of Carnival Queen: 28 February, 8.30pm
Entierro de Señor Rascayú (Burial of Señor Rascaayú): 5 March, 9.30pm
Coso de Carnaval (main parade): 3 March, 5pm
Carnival in Guímar (The battle between witches and angels)
Las Burras de Güímar: 7 March, 9pm
Carnival in Los Gigantes (Theme – The 80s)
From 13 to 17 March. More details later.
Carnival in Los Cristianos, Arona (Theme – Africa)
From 21 to 31 March. Details later.
There are other events on around Tenerife in February but with carnival involving exhibitions, live concerts, parades, food stalls, all night street parties and all sorts of weird events from killing snakes to witches dancing naked around a town plaza , they all play second fiddle to the best parties of the year until the end of March.
Whilst these are our pick of the most interesting events on Tenerife, there is an overwhelming amount of interesting activities on Tenerife each month. Cultural Centres are excellent places to find out what’s happening wherever you are on Tenerife.
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+