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Presione Aqui Para Ver El CARNAVAL DE PANAMA desde Las Tablas, Los Santos en Vivo!

Su Majestad Reina:
Gabriela Alejandra Garrido

Calle Abajo Las Tablas Carnival Reina/Queen
Su Majestad Reina:
Andrea Valeria Batista
Reina Calle Arriba Las Tablas Carnival Queen
Calle Abajo, Las Tablas
Reina Carnaval Queen, 2015
Calle Arriba, Las Tablas
Reina Carnaval Queen, 2015
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Mojadera during Carnival in Panama
Carnaval de Panama

Visit the Forum and start your own thread to ask questions or make comments about the carnival.
Carnival in Panama is a celebration that takes place in just about every town of the country. Even though this is a yearly celebration, an often asked question even by locals is: "When is the carnival this year?" That's because the celebration is always 40 days before the christian holly week. The most famous of all towns is Las Tablas in the province of Los Santos which is also located in the Azuero peninsula. Panama city, the capital of the country, and Penonome are also places to celebrate it in all its glamour.

The celebration is a huge party, yes that's exactly what it is. In fact it is the most famous of all parties in Panama. You might be familiar with carnival of Rio de Janeiro, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Well the carnival in Panama is also celebrated on the same dates and it is celebrated in one way or another by the whole country.

If you are wondering about when is the carnival this coming year, Click Here to See. So gear up and separate those days ahead of time.


Carnival in Azuero is by far the most exhuberant and most popular celebration where in Las Tablas, in particular, two streets in the same town battle it out to outdo eachother on parades during the day and night for the 5 days that the carnival lasts. Calle Arriba (High Street) and Calle Abajo (Low Street) put out excellent shows with very expensive thrones and dresses for each of their queens that rival those in Rio de Janeiro. This carnival is one you will never forget if you attend. In Azuero, Chitre, Guarare, and La Villa de Los Santos are also known for celebrations but cannot compare to the one in Las Tablas.

Carre Abajo Carnival Queen in Las Tablas, Los Santos

Carnival Calle Arriba, Las Tablas, Los Santos


Carnival Queen in Panama City Carnival

Panama City also celebrates the carnival by closing main arteries of the city for parades and the traditional "mojadera" (people throw water at eachother) which a characteristic of every carnival celebration throughout the country. Eighteen-whellers with water tanks show up and pump water out of it to throw it at the crowds celebrating the parades. This, you might think, is weird but if you attend this carnival, you will soon find out that it is actually nice because Panama is hot and the carnival takes place during the summer ( dry season in Panama takes place in February...yes February!) a good splash of water is very welcomed to beat the heat of the radiant sun.

The government is very involved in this carnival, settingg up huge stages where salsa, merengue and local "Tipico" music singers perform for crowds as large as 20 thousand strong. Gilberto Santa Rosa, Juan Luis Guerra, Don Omar, Olga Tanon, Calle 13, Wilfrido Vargas, Eddie Herrera, Oscar De Leon, El Gran Combo, Celia Cruz(rip), Marc Anthony and many more have performed in stages.

Click on the following videos to see how is the Carnival in Panama.


At Las Mendozas de Penonomé there is a parade that takes place in a river and the floats actually float carrying their Queen in all their elegance and beauty.
Santiago de Veraguas, David, Dolega and Las Lajas (Chiriquí); La Pintada de Coclé, Colón and Bocas del Toro all also celebrate carnival.

Mojadera en Las Tablas Carnaval de Panama

Music Group, called "La Murga" playing songs for the singing crowdElegant carnival float
Beautiful Lady in Panama Carnival

The Las Tablas carnival days is organized in the following way. Friday night kicks off the party with the formal presentation and crowning of the queens and a parade follows. Everyone is dressed nice and the all attend the parade celebration and the crowning. Following the parade there is a fireworks show which lasts tor about 30 minutes. Afterwards, everyone is free to either hang out at the park or go to various parties organized around town. Drinking is of course allowed on the streets but drunks disturbing the peace are quickly round up by police and locked up until the end of carnival because the government courts are shut down. The party doesn't stop until about 5am.

Saturday morning comes with the start of the "mojadera" at 10am. By that time the eithteen wheelers with are lined up around the town's central park and the crowds are already showing up. An ocassional short pants, a shirt you might not be wearing again, cheap snickers, sunglasses and a cap or hat is all you need to wear.You don't need to worry about how clean you look after the party because everyone will be wet, maybe dirty from colors people use to color other people's cloths among other things. Dancing, drinking, hanging out while you get wet is mostly what is going to happen all day until 5pm. There is a parade with the Queens rolling by that come through while people standing on top of the water trucks spray the water over tons of people. After 5pm, everyone except the drunks start heading out to go home to change into nice clothes to go have dinner and then go back to the central park to enjoy the night parade, followed by more of what happened on Friday night. This is basically repeated through Tuesday.

Every carnival day is themed as follows: Friday is the Opening, Saturday is the International Day, Sunday is Pollera day, Monday is costume day, Tuesday is Queens day and on the hours before 5am on sunday is the "entierro de la sardina"(the sardine burial).

Reina de Carnaval de Panama

The next question you might ask yourself is: "How do get to the best carnival and where do I stay?"

Well, the question is answer with two short words: Plan ahead. In reality you need to plan ahead well in advance if you want to participate in any of the carnivals. Understand that the whole country is participating and ALL hotels are going to be booked to capacity just like you would expect any city in the world preparing for any carnival. Reserve your hotel months in advance you can stay at a nice one.

In Panama City, there are very many hotels and it might be easier to find accomodations that if you decide to go to Las Tablas or any other city. Consult the Hotels section of to book your stay at your desired city.

We recommend that you make friends in Panama and try to go in a group to any of the cities in the country. That will be the best way you will reassure yourself to have a blast while staying safe.

Visit the Forum and start your own thread to ask questions or make comments about the carnival.

Enjoy it!

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Last modification January 10, 2015