Carnival 2019 Dates & Events

Are you ready for Carnival 2019 in Panama? While this year the party officially begins on Saturday March 2rd, you can count on Friday Mar 1 being busy in the Pacific Beach areas.

Here are the dates for Carnival 2019 in Panama: 

Friday March 1 - not officially a Carnival day, but expect heavy traffic toward the interior of Panama 
Saturday March 2 - not officially a Carnival day, but expect heavy traffic toward the interior of Panama 
Sunday March 3 - the first day of Carnival 2019 
Monday March 4 - second day of Carnival 2019 
Tuesday March 5 - National Holiday in Panama 
Wednesday March 6 - Ash Wednesday (The end of Carnival) 

NOTE:  Even though the official holiday is the 5th, many businesses in Panama shut down for the entire time. Businesses that are not likely to close their doors include restaurants, hotels and grocery stores. However, the shelves and the Coronado Rey will be sparse!  

Where in Panama do you want to be for Carnival 2019? 

While that depends who your asking? Chitré in Herrera and Las Tablas in Los Santos are the most popular places to celebrate Carnival in Panama. But these days many Panamanians and foreigners, are choosing less crowded locations. This year, Carnival is expected to bring more tourist to rivers and beaches in Panama West during the holidays, with families enjoying the last days of summer vacation from school. 

TeleMetro published an article called "Alternative places for Carnival" highlighting Panama West, specifically Gorgona, Punta Barco, Punta Chame, San José, La Ermita and El Palmar. 

What to expect if your attending Carnival this year 

Carnival is a long standing tradition in Panama, dating back to colonial times. Some of the traditions that still exist today include the battling queens, parades and of course the element of water. 

If your looking for a taste of the true Panamanian way to celebrate Carnival in Panama West you are more likely to find it in the towns of Bejuco, Capira and Chame. These towns are known for having parades, and water trucks offering a smaller version of a traditional Panamanian Carnival. While the floats will not be as impressive as those that can be seen in the more popular areas to celebrate, the crowds will be more manageable

What’s new for Carnival 2019 in Panama?

If you are celebrating in Panama City this year the Cinta Costera is expected to bring a huge crowd with an impressive stage and musical line up. This year the city is preparing for more than just the party, but also the aftermath. With a cleanup team planned for the Carnival route during the fiesta days. The crew includes mechanical sweepers, grid trucks, and a 25-yard packer. 

Furthermore this year food and beverage stations are required to provide bins for waste and signs are calling for citizens to dispose of their waste in the correct places.