Planning for Trinidad Carnival 2017

You know something? While I’m melting in the sun in Trinidad, I’m always thinking I can do without this heat — “i eh playing mas next year” LOL (yeh right) and then band launch dates come out, we review pictures and it’s like.. YES!! WE DEY! Mas in Trinidad next year! But the happiest and most frustrating time is here – Planning for Trinidad Carnival 2017.

Trinidad is easily one of THE most attended carnivals in the WORLD and for good reason. Carnival and soca, our addiction, started in Trinidad and Tobago. Let’s get into it though, plan to attend for a week, February 22 to March 3, 2016 to have THE most enjoyable time and attend all the best fetes. (Save yuh money from now to buy fete tickets from November)

GETTING THERE 

FLY  – Flying into Piacro International Airport (POS) is your ONLY option. (Unless you somehow get into Tobago but that’s just doing the most).  We recommend buying flights before band launch to avoid paying outrageous airfare costs or waiting until November/December when flights go down a bit. Flights from JFK are currently in the $595 – $630 plus range right now.

ACCOMMODATIONS 

Part of what makes planning to attend Trinidad carnival frustrating, is the lack of accommodations. Thousands of people are coming into the country and so the demand is way higher than the supply, which is how you end up with hotels that are $400 a night. Here is a list of some lodging locations to help you best plan for your carnival experience. 

Hotels

Guest Houses

COSTUMES 

The big bands typically launch in the late early to mid July time frame. The Global Carnivalist team will alert it’s readers as to when, but be on the look out for the best bands like Tribe, YUMA and Fantasy. 

  • Paparazzi is scheduled to launch their “Sky Gazers” theme on July 2
  • Tribe & Bliss is scheduled to launch on July 16
  • Passion is scheduled to launch their “Spectrum” theme on July 22
  • Fantasy is scheduled to launch their “1001 Fantasies” theme on July 23
  • Ronnie and Caro is scheduled to launch their “Fearless” theme on July 23
  • YUMA is scheduled to launch their “The Origins” theme on August 6
  • Harts is scheduled to launch their “Beat of Carnival” theme on August 7
  • Island People – IP does NOT have a 2017 presentation

FETES 

Originator of fete concepts and all inclusive events, Trinidad has the best soca party scene hands down. Fete info will be available in October. Of course the Global Carnivalist will have a fete list on hand to make everything easier for you. Stay tuned! 

BUDGET 

  • Flight: $400 – 900 (depending on dates and location)
  • Hotel: $480 – $600  (double occupancy)
  • Costumes: $700 – $1600 (depending on backline/frontline and band)
  • Transportation: $100 – $700 (depending on if you hire a driver or get a car rental within a group)
  • Fetes: $500 – $1000 (depending on how many fetes you choose to attend, fetes are as low as $50 and as high as $400) 

Overall Budget: $2,300usd – $4,500usd 

Yours in Mas

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Carnival from a masquerader perspective - Where to fete? Band reviews? What to wear? I got you!

8 thoughts on “Planning for Trinidad Carnival 2017

    1. When traveling with a large group I strongly recommend breaking the requests up into manageable numbers (say 3 or 4 at a time) and spreading them across multiple committee members. Making a single request for 20-anything will likely get you nowhere. Good luck!

  1. Hi – I just booked Carnival with my boyfriend from February 24 to March 1st. Began looking at festivities now. If we don’t march with a band, will we enjoy watching the parades? Can we go to parties if we’re not associated with a band? What other info can you provide for novice revelers? Thanks. Linda

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