Carnival Guides

Tobago Carnival 2022: A quick guide.

By Posted on 5min read62 views

tobago carnival 2022, when is tobago carnival, carnival in tobago, tobago carnival

Tobago has been widely known as a cool-down spot after Trinidad Carnival. You may not know this, but Tobago Carnival has been around for quite some time. But unfortunately, Trinidad carnival’s festivities have long overshadowed Tobago. 

Tobago Carnival 2022 will be held October 28th-30th this year. According to an interview with the committee chair, The Tobago Carnival Committee has proposed a three-day festival including a Steel Pan event, J’ouvert, and Night Mas before the parade of the bands on the 30th. 

Ritual, Revelry, Release….!

This blog will give you what you need to know to plan your trip!

tobago carnival 2022, when is tobago carnival, carnival in tobago, tobago carnival

Getting to Tobago

Tobago Airport
Photo Credit: Newsday TT.

There are a few ways to get to Tobago. First, you can fly into Port of Spain (POS) and catch a short flight to Arthur NR International Airport (TAB). Depending on your departure flight, you might be able to fly directly into TAB. Alternatively, you and catch a ferry to Tobago out of Port of Spain. 

Many flights going into Tobago have been sold out, but Caribbean Airlines recently published more flights a few days ago. A round-trip flight from Port of Spain to Tobago is $48. Check out Caribbean Airlines to see what’s left. 

The ferry schedule for October has not been published yet. However, I encourage you to check the schedule frequently as tickets will sell out quickly once available. Round trip ferry rides from Port of Spain to Tobago cost $100, and take up to 3-4 hours. To book ferry rides, click here. Caution: ferry rides have their shortcomings, so I encourage travelers to get to Port of Spain and leave Tobago via ferry a day before their departing and returning flights.

tobago carnival 2022, when is tobago carnival, carnival in tobago, tobago carnival

Where to Stay

Tobago is 30 miles long and 10 miles wide. There are plenty of accommodations to choose from, but many are already sold out. Find out what’s left by checking the widget below.  I can’t find much information about the location of the events, but I will update accordingly.

Booking.com

Carnival Costumes

What I really like about Tobago carnival costumes is the price point!  Carnival costumes for this event are pretty budget friendly, and are still available.  Click the names to visit their sites.

Events

Event details are still loading. Check back periodically.

September 25 – Soaked at Roxborough

October 1 – Dream at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex

October 22 – The Hideout at the Argyle Waterfall

October 23 – Revel on the Harbour Master

October 26 – Waddap Wednesday at Canoe Bay

October 27 – Pink Brunch (venue to be announced)

October 28 – Pan in the Gayelle,  Floats and Bikinis on the Harbour Master, Daylight (venue to be announced), Finesse on board the Embassy.

October 29 – J’Ouvert, Night Mas, Emerge Carnival Mud Festival in Crown Point, TUCO Tobago Lime at Tropikist Hotel. Soiree (venue to be announced)

October 30 – Parade of the Bands

Culture and Tourism

Pigeon Point Beach Tobago
Pigeon point beach.

Tobago is well known for its beaches. Pigeon point beach is by far the most popular, but there are plenty locations to consider, such as Buccoo Bay, Mount Irvine Bay, and No Man’s Land.  For a list of beaches and water activities, click here.

Eat Like a Local! Tobago Tourism Authority has a comprehensive list of local restaurants to visit. To check out the list, click here. X

Nature and Other Adventures – Check out the rainforests, and waterfalls! For more information, click here.

Getting around in Tobago

Tobago does have a regulated taxi service.  Their license plates start with an “H”.  You can also look for networks of unofficial taxi services to get around.  Tobago does have an inexpensive bus system, but don’t use it if you are in a rush to get anywhere.

Tobago safety information

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  It is a free service that allows US citizens and nationals to register their overseas travel with the nearest US Embassy. 

The benefits of enrolling in STEP include: 

  • Receiving important safety information about your area of travel.
  • Establishing a means for the US Embassy to contact you in an emergency back home.
  • Help the US Embassy contact you in a natural disaster or civil unrest.

Important Numbers:

  • Emergency: 911
  • Police: 999
  • Fire: 990
  • Ambulance: 811
  • Scarborough Police Station: 868-639-2512
  • Crown Point Police Station: +1 868-639-0020
Hospitals/Clinics:

There are quite a few! Check out the google maps widget of all the hospitals below:

Travel advisories

According to the Department of State, Trinidad and Tobago has a level 2 travel advisory.  Avoid Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite and the Interior of Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain.  Violent crime, such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion, and kidnapping is very common, along with gang activity and narcotics trafficking.

Bottom line: Do not travel alone to these areas and do not draw attention to yourself if you must go.

US Embassy:  The nearest US Embassy is in Trinidad, located at 15 Queen’s Park W, Port of Spain. Hours of operation are: 8am-4pm Monday – Friday. +1 868-622-6371 If you lose, your passport, you will need to go there.

Randoms about Tobago you need to know.

Random, but need to know:

Mosquitoes: Zika, dengue fever and yellow fever can be spread by them, so bring insect repellant.

Currency:  TT (Trinidad Dollars).  Currently 1USD  = 6.79 TT.  There are currency exchange booths at the airports, and many locations will take your USD and give back TT.

ATMs: Not all ATMs take debit cards.

Credit Cards: Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, American Express not as much.

Electricity: In Trinidad and Tobago the power plugs and sockets are of type A and B, which is standard in the United States. The standard voltage is 115 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. You won’t need an adapter.

Communications: Your US based cellular provider often has international plans that cover Trinidad and Tobago.  The most commonly used service provider in that area is Digicel. You can purchase SIM cards from the airport and digicel locations.

VAT: 12.5%

Tipping: 10%.  Many restaurants include the tip in the bill. 

Duty Free Shopping: There is duty free shopping in POS and TAB airports.

Customs Regulations (that apply to most of us):

–  Leave the camo print anything at home.

– Trinidad requires all feather imports to have a health certificate. That includes feather pieces for costumes. If you arrive in Trinidad and Tobago with feathers, it is subject to confiscation.

Excited to venture somewhere new!

I skipped a cool down in Tobago in 2020 and ventured to Grenada instead. I look forward to checking out its beautiful beaches and the festivities. 

I will be checking out Fog Angels this year. If you are attending, be safe, and have fun! I hope to see you on the road!

If you have any questions or comments, please comment below, or contact me at hello@americanwinesmatter.com. Alternatively, I can also be reached via DM on Instagram. Finally, subscribe to my website to stay updated with my upcoming blogs.

American Wines Matter Logo

Share

By

Latest Posts

Tobago Carnival 2022 Costumes

Tobago Carnival 2022 Costumes

By Posted on 1min read70 views

when is tobago carnival, tobago carnival 2022Tobago carnival 2022 is in 57 days, but there is ...

Picking your Carnival Costume

Picking your Carnival Costume

By Posted on 3min read67 views

Pick your carnival costume, pick your carnival outfit, carnival costume selection, how to pick your carnival ...

Choosing your carnival band

Choosing your carnival band

By Posted on 3min read60 views

So you have decided to participate in Carnival and now you are overwhelmed trying to decide ...

Charlotte Caribbean Carnival 2022

By Posted on 2min read42 views

I had no clue about Charlotte Caribbean Carnival until I moved back to the east coast.  For the most part, I knew only of Caribmask, as I had played mas there in 2019.  So, if you didn’t know, the festival is happening this year June 24-26, 2020 at the Victoria Yard in Charlotte, NC.  Here’s all you need to know, including where to stay, events, buying tickets, and participating in the parade.

Charlotte Caribbean Carnival Logo

Charlotte Caribbean Carnival returns for its second year in June, to commemorate national American-Caribbean heritage month. During the festivities, you can expect to enjoy a festival village of local artists and performers, along with food, exhibits, and other vendors. 

Where to stay

The organizers of the festival recommend the Courtyard by Marriott Charlotte City Center.

Festival Events

The Carnival Parade

Charlotte Caribbean Carnival Island Buzz CLT
Check out Island Buzz for Charlotte Carnival 2022. How cute is this costume?!

I currently have no information on the parade route or duration, but I have been told the route is a mile long.  I will participate in the parade and give my feedback later on the route. Stay tuned.

If you would like to participate in the parade, you can register with a mas band or bring your own costume.  Below is a list of participating bands:

Alter Ego

Evah Livin (T-shirt band)

Island Buzz (I will be playing with them this year).

Spyce Trybe (T-shirt band)

If you would like to register to bring your own costume, click here.

I’m pretty excited to check out Charlotte and give you my honest review!  If you have any questions or ideas of the next small carnival events I should go to, please leave a comment below, or contact me at hello@americanwinesmatter.com.

Hope to see you on the road!

 

American Wines Matter Logo

Share

By

Miami Carnival 2022: The ULTIMATE Guide.

By Posted on 9min read49 views

The Miami carnival parade will take place on October 9, 2022, from 10 AM – 12 AM.

Everyone is eager to set eyes on this year’s costumes at the SFCBLA carnival showcase on June 4th.  Miami carnival is known as the “warm-up” or introduction to Trinidad carnival’s festivities, gathering approximately 30,000 revelers in 2021.  If you are new to carnival, this experience is the one to exercise your FOMO on.  Since this blog will be lengthy, I have added hyperlinks to take you exactly where you might want to go.  Otherwise, read on!

Note: This blog contains affiliate links, but I love to showcase brands and services that I have used and been happy with.  Thank you for your support!

Table of Contents

How is Miami Carnival different?

Miami Carnival 2022
Miami Carnival 2021 Costume

If you have ever participated in Carnival in other states or island countries, you would be used to the feeling of an open road with spectators to your left and right.  There is something magical about witnessing smiling faces and taking pictures with infants and children.  You might even buss a wine on a spectator! Some of my fondest memories of Mas are the kind words and celebrating with the onlookers.

One of the most important things you should know is that Miami Carnival is NOT A STREET PARADE.  The festivities are held within the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, an 80-acre facility that accommodates shows, festivals, and concerts.

In the United States, many carnival parades are just a few hours long, ultimately leading to a Carnival Village, so the city roads reopen while the festivities continue.  In contrast, Miami Carnival’s venue accommodates an ALL-DAY PUMP, which is why many will argue it is a great test to see if you can withstand Trinidad Carnival’s rigor.

Getting to Miami Carnival

Miami Carnival Airports

Miami hosts an international airport (MIA), so getting there at a reasonable price point is possible, even with raging ticket prices.  Alternatively, you can also fly into Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), which gives you good commute time, especially if you are staying near that area.  Orlando International Airport (MCO) is almost four hours from Miami, so I don’t recommend you fly there unless you have other plans with benefits that outweigh the potential inconvenience.

 

Driving

If you drive to Miami, know that your traffic laws may differ from your home state.  You CAN turn right at a red light (unless indicated).  School zones are 15mph, and residential districts are 30mph.  All passengers must wear a seatbelt, and children under 5 must be in a car seat. It is also okay to pass other vehicles on the left AND right.

TOLLS.  Miami is full of them.  The Palmetto Expressway (826) and Interstate 95 (I-95) are free highways.  Note that I-95 ends south of downtown and turns into US Highway 1, also free.  Miami’s toll roads are the Florida Turnpike, Dolphin Expressway (836), and the Airport Expressway (State Road 112). Most, if not all, rental car companies in Miami already have the electronic SunPass device attached to the windshield. If you are driving a rental, you will pay the bill after turning in your vehicle, and the rental car company will charge your card on file without advanced notice.  If you are driving a personally owned vehicle, you will be sent a bill.

I-95 may be a free road, but paid express lanes are available if you want to bypass heavy traffic.  To use I-95’s northbound express lanes, you need a SunPass and meet carpool rules (2 people in a vehicle).  Just know that once you hit that express lane, you won’t be able to exit the highway for seven miles.

Where to Stay

miami carnival hotel stays

When people ask where they should stay, I often ask them what is most important: Do you want to be close to the fetes, or do you want to be close to Carnival?

The booking.com widget below will help you find accommodations near the parade.

 

Booking.com

Many people also stay near the Hollywood area, about 45 minutes to downtown Miami, but a reasonable drive to many popular parties, especially J’ouvert and SSS Blue.  You can check out the Booking.com widget below for a map of accommodations in that area.

AirBnB’s are also a great option, but I am personally not the biggest fan as a solo traveler. 

Booking.com

Participating Masquerade Bands

miami carnival photo
Miami Carnival 2021. Photo Credit: miamicarnival.org

To participate in Miami carnival, you MUST register with a band by purchasing a costume package.  If you are interested in spectating this year, you can purchase a ticket here.  Detailed below are the participating Miami Carnival 2021 Bands (listed in alphabetical order).  Yes, I said 2021! The asterisk next to the names annotates confirmed participating bands for 2022.  Check back regularly for updates:

  • Bajan Fuh Evah
  • D Junction Mas
  • Euphoria Mas*
  • Freaks Mas*
  • Fusion Mas (sponsored by Stronjeh International)*
  • Generation X (GenX)*
  • K-Paya Carnival*
  • Mascots International
  • One Island Mas Band*
  • Party Room Squad
  • Ramajay Mas*
  • Revel Nation
  • Savage Mas*
  • Wassi Ones

Participating J'ouvert Bands

  • Cocoa Devils International
  • Dutty Pleasures
  • Dysfunctional Chaos
  • Jab in D’junction
  • Jamdong Management
  • JuJu Nation
  • Last Band Standing
  • Lily White J’ouvert
  • Ram Jam 4 Life
  • Red Antz*

Cultural Activities

Island Space Caribbean Museum in Plantation, FL.

It doesn’t always pan out for me, but I do my best to get some culture outside of carnival.  Check out my blog for cultural activities in Miami here.

Hair and Makeup

carnival glam hub photo
Face beat and the photo shoot were all done by Carnival Glam Hub! Highly recommend!

Carnival costumes are beautiful, so it’s no surprise that many strive for that highly polished appearance.  Having used this service in Trinidad and Miami, I highly recommend Carnival Glam Hub (GCH)! To read my review, click here. 

Carnival is definitely not the place or time to stress over a makeup artist stuck in traffic, or one that cancels at the last minute.  Eliminate that stress and book with them instead!  

GCH offers carnival hair and makeup services, including access to a changing room and dressing assistants.  I was served mimosas while I got my makeup done, and had the option of ordering breakfast.  After my makeup was done, I got to do a mini photo shoot and received photo proofs in four days. You will NOT regret it.  To book with CGH for Miami Carnival 2022, click here.

Photography services

Not to sound biased, but Kourage of Favor Films has been my go-to shooter since 2020.  I stick to what I know! Kourage will be out at Miami Carnival 2022 and offers some of the highest quality carnival photos and videos I have seen to date.  Getting in front of a camera can be nerve-wracking. Kourage does a fabulous job of lowering your anxiety and gassing you up to show out! You can check out Kourage on his IG page. Shoot him a DM or email at: 1favor.films@gmail.com to book. Tell him AWM sent you!

Fete List

In my honest opinion, the fetes surrounding Miami carnival are what make the experience so great. Below are a few of my favorite fetes.  Be sure to check back here frequently for updates:

  • SSS Blue
  • Citrus
  • Soca Brainwash
  • Viva la Carnival

Other well-known fetes for Miami Carnival include:

  • Bacchanal Beach
  • Big Phat Fish
  • _uck Work
  • Entice
  • Glasshouse
  • Revive
  • Travis World
  • Tribe Ignite
  • Trini Jungle Juice Arrivals
  • Vale

Accessories/Necessities

Carnivalista Bagcessories
Flex bag by carnivalista

Having the right accessories will make carrying your things around while you fete an absolute breeze. Click the names below to check the websites.

Check out my Amazon idea lists (click the hyperlinks below):

Tips

Below are some general tips to mentally prepare you for the Miami Carnival experience, including, travel, fetes, and accommodations.

Travel Tips

  • Get a rental car. Getting to and from the airport, fetes, your accommodations, and costume distribution points will prove lengthy rides.  If riding in an UBER during the Columbus Day holiday, the rides will definitely rack up and exceed the cost of a rental.
  • Expect a lengthy drive to EVERYTHING, and understand that the roads are packed at all times of the day.
  • Traveling with a crew? Rent an SUV. You can take down the trunk space for luggage and leather backpacks.
  • Book everything early. You are already at a disadvantage because Miami Carnival is held during a federal holiday.  The sooner you book, the lower your travel costs will be.  (To learn how to save money by accruing airline miles, click here).

Carnival Tips

  • Pack a masquerader kit (click to go to my amazon idea list).  It contains essential items to ensure you are prepared for mishaps that can happen with your costume. You will find below my YouTube video on 
  • Mentally prepare to do some walking before the parade begins. Depending on when you get to the fairgrounds, you may be in for a seriously long walk. Wear comfy shoes!
  • Get yourself mentally prepared for “choke” points at the fairgrounds. There are 2 or 3 points where security validates wristbands as you move through the carnival experience.  This creates a bottlenecking situation where people can push or shove to get through.  If you cherish your large feather pieces, you may decide to wait at the back of the crowd to get through. OR! To be honest, Miami Carnival may not be the place for you to wear one.
  • Depending on how large your band is, things may get a bit tight. If you have claustrophobia or PTSD (like me), you may want to register with a smaller crew.  Some of your much larger bands include Ramajay Mas, Freaks Mas, and One Island.
  • Although October is not one of the hotter months in Miami, the humidity there is very real. Stay hydrated, and consider packing a portable fan to keep you cool. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. When will the band ship my costume?

Mas bands do not send your costume to you. You must pick up your costume at designated distribution dates and times.  Expect the mas band to release their distribution schedule two weeks before the carnival parade.

  1. Can I wear a costume I already own to participate?

Nope! You must purchase a costume package from a mas band participating in Miami Carnival this year. When you pick up your costume, you will be provided wristbands for food/drinks and parade access. The fairgrounds are strict. No wristband, no entry. Even with a costume on!

  1. I purchased a costume, but now I can’t go. What are my options?

So sorry to hear! Unfortunately, your funds are not refundable once you place an order. Get in touch with the band immediately. Most will help you sell your costume via social media posts. Some bands may also have resold portals. Miami Carnival is in high demand, so your chances are selling are good if you are persistent.

  1. I bought a ticket to a fete, but my band scheduled their distribution at that time! What do I do?

This is a widespread occurrence with Miami Carnival. No fete overrides making sure I get what I paid for. A fete isn’t jumping right away, so maybe you can pick up your costume and head over. Alternatively, you can consider leaving the fete early to go to distribution. Oftentimes, mas bands will hold distribution makeup dates. If your fete is a boat ride… Well, that is another story. 

There are some costume concierge services.  They will collect your costume for you and deliver it to your door.  The first time I used a concierge service, I received it after 4 am because she had so many to deliver. To top that, they picked up the wrong sizes, and I had to make it work, as the band was not willing to help (because once you sign that you got what you were supposed to, it’s a done deal).  Running a concierge for an event as significant as Miami requires an extensive logistical system. I am not 100% confident that everyone using a concierge service will be satisfied with their experience. To be fair, the success of a costume concierge heavily depends on timely costume delivery from the bands.

Alternatively, if you are going to Miami under a travel concierge, they will likely collect your costume for you.

 

  1. How much do costumes typically cost?

The lowest I have seen for a costume (backline) was about $400, and the highest I have seen for an ultra-frontline costume was $1800. A men’s costume starts at about $400. The good news is that you don’t have to pay it all upfront for most bands. Some bands require a $250 deposit, some ask for 50%, and some may ask for a base deposit plus the cost of your add-ons.

Whew! That was definitely a lot of information to go through! I hope this gets you well on your way for getting down the logistical aspect of Miami Carnival.  If you want to know about what necessities you might need, click here.  I can’t wait to see you on the rod!

American Wines Matter Logo

Share

By

Caribmask: Carnival in Raleigh, NC

By Posted on 2min read59 views

I attended the 2019 Caribmask festival on a whim. Stressed out from work, I registered within two weeks’ notice of the event. I purchased what was in stock:  The bra I got was too big, so I stripped an old wire bra and prepared to take the fabric and gems off the new bra once I got it. I took a red-eye out of California the day before the parade and had a TIME!  Here’s all you need to know about Carnival in Raleigh, NC (Caribmask), including dates, where to stay, events, and participating bands.

All about Caribmask Carnival

Caribmask 2019 Raleigh
With masqueraders in Unity Mas Band, Caribmask 2019.

The Raleigh-Durham Afro-Caribbean Association (RDACA) will be presenting its 9th annual Caribmask Carnival Festival on August 20th, 2022 from 12PM – 8 PM.  Those attending will be afforded the opportunity to enjoy food and artisan vending.  Look out for Destra Garcia, Tricky T, and Nessa Preppy on the Main stage.

The Parade Route

Caribmask 2022 Parade Route
Caribmask 2022 Parade Route

The festival parade route is relatively short, which makes this particular festival a great one to attend if you are looking to see if participating in carnival is right for you.

The parade will start at the State Capitol Building and End at S. Salisbury and Lenoir Street.

Participating Mas Bands

Caribmask will be hosting the following mas bands this year.  You can click the hyperlinks below to view costume options if you’d like to participate.  Costume prices range from about $400 – $1150:

Getting to Raleigh, NC

You can fly to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) if you are traveling by air.  Alternatively, you can fly into Charlotte (CLT), but it’s a 2.5-hour drive to Raleigh.  I would recommend you fly into RDU if you can.

Where to Stay

I personally like to stay near the parade routes. The parade is so short you could easily walk back to the start point.  All that said, I would recommend you stay near the state capitol building.  Check out the booking.com widget below.  

Booking.com

Tourist Activities

Raleigh NC is a beautiful area FULL of African American History.  If you have never gone to Raleigh, here are some tourist activity ideas for you to enjoy:

I am so super excited to be heading back to Raleigh this year! I hope to see you on the road! 
American Wines Matter Logo

Share

By

Saint Lucia Carnival 2022: The ULTIMATE guide.

By Posted on 5min read65 views

Ever since I saw the social media footage from Saint Lucia Carnival 2019, I knew I had to be there.  Unfortunately, COVID did its thing, but outside is open… and so is Saint Lucia (SLU).  And so, ya’ girl is on a mission to experience “bam bam wall” AND explore this stunning island country. I see some drone footage in my future. Anyways, 

St. Lucia carnival will be on July 18th and 19th this year.  The first day of Vaval will be in costume (pretty mas), followed by Monday wear on day two.

This blog will give you more than carnival and fete details. I will provide you with information on tours, CDC recommendations for travel, important phone numbers you should save, what to do if you lose your passport, etc. So read on!

I also wrote a blog on safety tips for solo travelers, but many of them apply to groups.  Be sure to check it out here.

 

Saint Lucia Carnival 2019 Masquerader
Photo Credit: Fire Online Radio

Getting to Saint Lucia

There are two airports that you can fly into.  Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) lies on the southernmost part of the island, and is about 90 minutes from Gros Islet and Rodney Bay.   George FL Charles Airport (SLU) is approximately 25 minutes south of Rodney Bay and Gros Islet.  If you are looking for flights now, I will say a prayer for you, because the ticket prices are through the roof.  To learn how to save money by accruing airline miles, click here.

If you are coming in through UVF like I am, mentally prepare yourself for a LONG ride, as traffic is frequently heavy. A follower detailed her experience of a three-hour ride.

Where to Stay

Based on the feedback of various SLU revelers and tourists, it is recommended you stay in the Rodney Bay or Gros Islet area.  The island may be small, but traffic is expected to be difficult (and lengthy) to navigate.  Apart from Airbnb, some recommended hotels include:

  • Bay Gardens Hotel
  • Hideaway at Royalton
  • Mystique Saint Lucia
  • Royalton Resort & Spa
  • The Harbor Club
Saint Lucia Carnival SLU

Carnival Costumes

The cost of travel to Saint Lucia Carnival has increased, and the costume prices are commensurate with the change of times.  Based on the bands I have evaluated, I have seen the prices of female costumes range from $700 – $1400.  Many sections were already sold out as they rolled over 2020 masqueraders into this year. But trust me, there are PLENTY options available. Click the names of the bands to head to their websites.

The Fetes

Suits Saint Lucia Carnival 2022
Not being the biggest fete-goer, I know suits is a DO NOT MISS. Click the photo for tickets!

I have never gone to SLU, and there is no way I will spend all my time partying and not experiencing this beautiful island and culture. But Icebox Entertainment has been known to produce premium events, and I will be checking them out to see for myself. Click the event names to purchase tickets:

Global Carnivalist has a comprehensive list of fetes surrounding Saint Lucia Carnival 2022.  Be sure to check it out. 

Culture and Tourism

Saint Lucia Pitons

Experiencing the island and its culture is an absolute must.  There is so much more to this island than Saint Lucia Carnival! I will be in SLU for more than a week and have a few experiences on my list.  Here is a list of things to do while on the island:

  • Hiking the pitons
  • Marigot Bay
  • Snorkeling in Anse Chastanet
  • Tet Paul Nature Trail
  • Sulphur Springs (Soufrière)
  • Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens (Waterfalls and Mineral Baths)
  • Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure Park
  • Pigeon Island National Park

Safety information

Saint Lucia Taxi Plate
SLU Taxis are marked with a baby-blue license plate.

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  It is a free service that allows US citizens and nationals to register their overseas travel with the nearest US Embassy. 

The benefits of enrolling in STEP include: 

  • Receiving important safety information about your area of travel.
  • Establishing a means for the US Embassy to contact you in an emergency back home.
  • Help the US Embassy contact you in a natural disaster or civil unrest.

 

Saint Lucia is known to be safe, but you should always practice safety measures.

Authorized Taxis in Saint Lucia have light blue license plates with a “TX” prefix.

Important Numbers:

  • Fire and Ambulance: 911
  • Police (Emergencies): 999
  • Castries Police: +1 (758) 456 3871
  • Gros Islet Police: +1 758-456-3830
  • Marigot Bay Police: +1(758) 456 389
  • Rodney Bay Police: +1 (758) 456 3832
  • Soufrière Police: +1(758) 456 3627

Many hotels have a doctor on call. In-house visits are $15 USD

Hospitals/Clinics

  • Victoria Hospital: +1 758-452-2421/7059
  • St. Jude’s Hospital Vieux Fort:+1 758-454-6041
  • Soufriere +1 758-459-7258/5001
  • Dennery +1 758-453-3310
  • Tapion Hospital +1 758-459-2000
  • OKEU Hospital: +1 758-458-6500
  • Gros Islet Polyclinic: +1 758-450-9661

There is no US Embassy in Saint Lucia, which is problematic if you lose your passport. You will need to first file a police report before contacting the Consulate General of Saint Lucia in New York.

For a health packing list and recommended vaccines before traveling to St. Lucia, click here.

 

Randoms, but important to know.

Currency in Saint Lucia: 

XCD (Eastern Caribbean Dollar). As of April 28th, 1 XCD =.37 USD. Saint Lucia accepts USD, and currency exchange booths are available at airports.  Some hotels and resorts also do currency exchange.

Electricity (A BIG DEAL): 

Most visitors will need a converter/transformer.  St. Lucia
uses 240 Volts and 50 Cycles AC. You can find budget converters on Amazon here.

Communications: Digicel and FLOW

VAT: 10% on hotel and restaurant bills

Tipping: Customary 10-12%

Customs Regulations:
Duty-Free Shopping: Pointe Seraphine, La Place, Carenage, Departure Lounge
of UVF and Shopping Malls.

Major Import/Export Restrictions that may apply to you: 

Don’t bring weed, and don’t try to leave with it.

Leave your camo prints at home. Camo print is authorized only for military and may be confiscated.

Im so excited!

Traveling to Saint Lucia has been on my bucket list for YEARS.  Add Carnival into the mix? I’m over the moon!  

I hope you find all of the information provided useful to you. Please share with others planning to attend.  Be safe, and most impotantly, have fun!

See you on BAM BAM WALL!!!!!

American Wines Matter Logo

Share

By

South Carolina Carnival

By Posted on 3min read53 views

I had no idea there was a Caribbean carnival in South Carolina until I moved back into the area.  Lucky for me, the South Carolina Carnival (SCC) takes place just a few blocks from me in downtown Columbia.  All you need to know about South Carolina Caribbean Carnival includes dates, where to stay, events, buying tickets, and participating in the parade with Karikolorz Mas or Pandemonium Mas.

All about South Carolina Carnival

south carolina carnival block party
Caribbean culture took over Main Street in 2019. Photo: South Carolina Carnival

South Carolina Carnival consists of five events from June 10 – 12, 2022, in Columbia, SC (the state capitol).  Downtown Columbia can be described as a beautiful balance between hustle and southern charm. 

South Carolina Carnival’s events include:

  • J’ouvert ( June 10th) – Venue TBA
  • Carnival Parade (June 11th) – Downtown Columbia, SC
  • Block Party (June 11th) – Main Street, Columbia, SC
  • Soca is Life (June 12th) – Venue TBA
  • Punch’D (June 12th) – Robert Mills House and Gardens

Play Mas at South Carolina Carnival

South Carolina Carnival Parade
Photo Credit: CLTV.

You can’t have a carnival without a carnival parade! This year, the SCC will host two bands: Karikolorz Mas and Pandemonium Mas.

The carnival parade will take place on June 11th in downtown Columbia, leading to Main Street’s block party. There will be live entertainment, food, and other vendors.

2022 Carnival parade Route
2022 South Carolina Carnival Parade Route

Getting to South Carolina

If traveling by air, you can fly directly into CAE, a 10-15 minute drive to Columbia, SC.  It is by no means an international airport, and you may find the prices to be a bit higher.  Alternatively, many people will fly into Charlotte International Airport (CLT) and take a 90-minute drive to South Carolina. I use Columbia Charlotte Shuttle Service frequently when I don’t feel like enduring that drive to and from the airport.  Many people overlook Augusta (AGS) airport, a 45-minute ride to Columbia, SC.  

To get around, ride-share apps such as Uber, Lyft, and Taxis are available to you.  Also, look into the Comet Bus system and Soda Cap Connector to ride around the area for as low as $2.

Where to stay for Carnival

Since most festivities take place downtown, I highly recommend staying in that area.  West Columbia is literally on the other side of a bridge, and you may find cheaper accommodations.  Feel free to use the booking.com widget below!

Booking.com

Tourist Activities

Columbia, SC sits on the banks of the Congaree River and its surrounding areas are filled with lush greenery, tranquil countryside and the Congaree National Park. Columbia is an intriguing and lively city filled with history dating back to 1805.  I love taking walks on the Three Rivers Greenway Trail.

There are several attractions worth visiting, including the South Carolina State House, which was once home to America’s Supreme Court, as well as the Columbia Museum of Art.

South Carolina carnival is only a few steps from me, and I can’t wait to indulge in this local experience! Hope to see you there!

But before that, you will see me at Atlanta Dekalb Carnival.  For more information, click here.

 

American Wines Matter Logo

Share

By

X