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Batabano Carnival, Cayman Islands

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CayMAS Carnival, Cayman Islands
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Junkanoo Carnival, The Bahamas


What is the Batabano Carnival?

Batabano Carnival is an annual celebration that takes place during the first week of May in George Town. This celebration is the national carnival of the island, whose name originates from the trace or footprints left by turtles walking on the sand when they nest. The Batabano Carnivals are a unique experience that is celebrated full of color, music and next to the white sandy beach and crystal clear water.

People from every corner of the country and the region congregate to be part of the carnivals, filling the streets with hundreds of colorful, extravagant costumes, performances, Caribbean music like no other and activities for the whole family. The Batabano Carnival is a reflection of the mestizaje found on the island, resulting in a folklore show involving the cultureand music in George Town.



TheCarnival of Caiman Batabano celebrations take place over two weekends and is divided into two parts: The Junior Carnival for children, which is suitable for the whole family and the Adult Carnival with entertainment and events for seniors.



The carnivals are held thanks to the collaboration of certain sponsors, who support both theJunior and Adult Carnival events. Among the sponsors of the adult carnival there are 3 categories: Gold, Silver and Bronze. In the Gold category are The Ministry of Tourism and Transportation, Cayman Airways, Cayman Compass, Pinnacle Media, Cayman Port among others. In the Silver category are Le Classique Shoe & Leather Boutique and finally, in the Bronze category, there is DHL and Rent A Car Andy’s..

For theJunior Carnivals sponsors include Cayman Turtle Farm, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Tourism and Transportation, Ministry of Community Relations, Cayman Airways, Butterfield, Sagicor, among others.


Batabano Carnival is one of the most important celebrations for the Cayman Islands. People wear large and colorful costumes.

Batabano Carnival is one of the most important celebrations for the Cayman Islands. People wear large and colorful costumes



When is Batabano Carnival

Batabano Carnival takes place the first week of May, spanning 2 weekends of celebration.



History of the Batabano Carnivals

Carnivals arrived in theCayman Islands due to the arrival of the colonists, who as in the rest of the Caribbean countries, introduced religious customs, including festivals such as carnival. Caribbean peoples began to absorb the traditions of carnivals, which were mainly celebrated privately and in salons. However, over time the carnivals acquired more of their own, Caribbean elements, resulting in the carnival festivities they celebrate today.

The Rotary International Organization or Rotary Club is a company that is responsible for bringing together the different important figures of the business world, professional, university and non-university in order to provide humanitarian services to different communities or societies in an ethical manner and in order to contribute to world peace.

Said organization first held the carnival in 1983, taking place in the first week of May. One of the most emblematic characters in the founding and development of the carnival is Donna Myrie-Stephen, who is the president of one of the volunteer committees that has been organizing the carnival for about 15 years.

The name Batabano Carnival comes from the name attributed to the small footprints or marks that turtles make in the sand when they approach the beaches to nest. The turtles have been an important part of the island’s culture despite the fact that their population has decreased due to excessive hunting of these animals.


Where is the Batabano Carnival?

Batabano Carnival is held in George Town, capital of the Cayman Islands which is located in Great Cayman. The Cayman Islands are a British overseas territory dependent on the United Kingdom and has approximately 60,000 inhabitants.

The islands are located in the Caribbean, between Cuba and Honduras.


The costumes of the Mas Bands of the Batabano carnival are made of multiple colors, feathers and sparkles

The costumes of the Mas Bands of the Batabano carnival are made of multiple colors, feathers and sparkles



How the Batabano Carnival is celebrated

As previously mentioned, the Batabano Carnival is held in two stages, one of which consists of the Junior Batabano Carnival and the second is the Adult Batabano Carnival. Both carnivals comprise a series of activities and events that are aimed at different audiences. However, the activities encourage and develop the cultural aspects of the island through dancing and music.


Batabano Junior Carnival

This carnival event was integrated into the festivities in 2002 with the objective of establishing a family atmosphere for the youth of Grand Cayman to enjoy the carnival through different recreational activities. The activities that make up the children’s carnival are face painting, rides, creation and mask decorating, contests and the parade.



The carnival parade runs through the city along the main thoroughfares and ends again at Glass House. It is followed by various performances of dances and other family-friendly entertainment suitable for all audiences.

Batabano Junior Carnival begins its activities at 1pm on the grounds of the Old Glass House in the city. The parade takes place at 3:00 and the entire celebration culminates at 6:00pm.


Adult Batabano Carnival

The carnival comprises a more extensive and complete celebration with entertainment aimed primarily at seniors. It has a wide participation of both locals and visitors from all parts of the region and the world.

The Batabano Adult Carnival comprises the following events:


Le Masque Ball

The event takes place from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am.

It is one of the most important events of the carnivals. It comprises a big dance event that is accompanied by the variousbands and local artists. In addition, people attend the event with themed costumes and outfits.



The event runsfrom 12:00 am until 4:00 am..

It is one of the most iconic events of the Batabano carnivals and the rest of the Caribbean carnivals. It is a celebration with great own and cultural feeling, since it is a celebration of liberation that comes from the abolition of slavery. In event people go out to party wildly in the streets of the city during the early morning to welcome the day. The celebration is accompanied by lots of music, painting and joy.


Food Fair

The celebration takes placefrom 12:00 pm to 11:30 pm..

The Cayman Islands are known to represent theCulinary Capital of the Caribbean, which is why it celebrates the title with a great event where you can find a lot of traditional street food. Local vendors serve differenttraditional dishes of national, international and Caribbean cuisine.


The event takes place from 12:00 pm until 6:00 pm..

This is an old Cayman Islands tradition where people board a Mas Bandas cruise ship to Rum Point. You can also use your own boat or a private boat and continue the celebration in some swimwear or costume.


Batabano Last Lap

The event takes place from 6:00 pm until the body holds out.

It is a celebration that follows the Grand Parade and is the last chance people have to celebrate the carnivals before they end. The atmosphere consists of 3 stages of music, fun and good entertainment.


Grand Parade

The event takes place at 1:00 pm until the end of the parade..

The parade goes through the main roads of the city with great cheer, music and fun. People wear their traditional outfits or costumes of the Mas Bands, which are made with beautiful colors, feathers and brillies..

We recommend you to purchase the Mas Bands outfits to live the full carnival experience.


Mas Bands

Fresh Carnival

This is a band that has been victorious for three years in a row. One of the characteristics of the band is constant work and innovation every year.


Iconz Cayman

Founded in 2013 with the purpose of offering more spaces to the media through the help and participation of different social and radio media. The Mas Bands outfits are colorful and unique in order to make you stand out from the crowd. The band is inspired by the beauty and cultural diversity of the Cayman Islands.


Kaotic Mas Band

This is one of the newest bands with a more complete vision of carnival. Their goal is to provide first class experiences and entertainment to the participants.


Local Carnival Mas Band

It came about thanks to the participation of two young locals, who wanted to merge the beauty and natural elements with the art and celebration of carnival.


Mas Azúcar

The band has its beginnings in a much more Latin carnival experience with the inclusion of musical genres such as reggaeton, merengue, salsa and fusing them with the soca.


Party Animals

The group was founded in 2005 and was known as Super Heroes. It emerged as an initiative to counteract the strict commercialization of carnivals. In doing so, they created a line that resembled their favorite superheroes. The group won the Spirit of Carnival award in 2006 and has continued to grow ever since.

The Mas Band offers a varied line of T-shirts and costumes.


Renegade More

It is characterized by its colorful and highly detailed costumes. It has been one of the fastest growing bands at parties.


Revel Unit

The group was created with inspiration from the Soca, with the purpose of granting the spectators the true essence of the carnival.


Tribal Carnival Cayman

The band was founded in 2007 and has continued to be a part of carnival ever since. The group participates in carnivals around the world, positioning itself as one of the most famous and important Mas Bandas in the world.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.


Tips for going to the Batabano Carnivals



During the carnivals of Batabano, the city is congested with thousands of visitors, so the lodging service is somewhat scarce for the dates. For this reason, we recommend that you plan your trip in advance, make a travel itinerary and book your preferred lodging in advance.

If you decide to bring a car, plan ahead and walk the streets to know where you can leave your car during the event. If possible, leave your car at your hotel or home and walk or take public transportation to the event.

Please bring a small bag with you so that you can collect your waste such as cups and papers so that you do not leave them on the street.

Finally, you can buy your carnival tickets through different media and websites such as Eventpro.



Due to the weather conditions and characteristics of the Batabano carnivals, we offer you a series of tips to make you have the best carnival experience.

You are going to be under the imposing sun of the Cayman Islands during the carnival celebrations, especially during the middle of the day when the temperature is usually much higher. That is why we recommend you to apply sunscreen every so often to avoid sunburn.

Partying all day long, consuming large amounts of alcohol and the island’s embracing heat can take a toll on your body. We advise you to stay hydrated during the holidays, you can bring your own thermos of water and carry it with you at all times.

Be sure to pack comfortable clothes and shoes to celebrate the carnivals in Batabano, as you will probably be moving all the time and you will need appropriate shoes that are suitable for the physical activity you will be doing during the festivities. Also, remember to pack good sunglasses to protect your eyes.



Remember to keep your valuable belongings such as phone, keys, money, passport and documentation in a safe place to avoid any theft or loss. You can carry a small bag to carry all your belongings or keep them at the hotel.



Be sure to bring with you camera or your cell phone to document everything that happens at the carnival to materialize your memories forever.



Events in Batabano Carnival

The carnivals follow the following schedule:

The Children’s Carnival is held prior to the official start of the carnival, taking place in the streets of George Town from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm.

After the Children’s Carnival, the official carnival festivities begin.

The first day of the carnivals takes place Le Masque Ball from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am at Pedro St. James Castle..

The J’ouvert is held onthe second day of carnival from 12:00 am to 4:00 am. The location is announced the days before.

The third day features the Food Festival on Cardinal Avenue, the Grand Parade to George Town beginning at 1:00 pm and finally the Las’ Lap on Harbour Drive at 6:00 pm.

Day 4 takes place on Batabano Boating from the harbor to Rum Point at 1:00 pm.


The groups go out to celebrate in the Batabano carnival parade

The groups go out to celebrate in the Batabano carnival parade



Batabano Carnival Parades


The Batabano carnival comprises two parades:

The first takes place in the Batabano Junior Carnival or Children’s Carnival. The parade features the participation of the youngest children of the city and various recreational activities for all audiences are held.

The Main Parade takes place on the third day of the celebration and is made up of all visitors and locals who group together to party big with entertainment of the highest quality, music and joy. People wear their outfits or Mas Band costumes of their choice and party all day long.


Parade route


The Batabano carnival comprises two parades: one of the Children's or Junior carnival and the other of the Adult carnival

The Batabano carnival comprises two parades: one of the Children’s or Junior carnival and the other of the Adult carnival



The Grand Parade runs from Public Beach West Bay Road to Harbour Drive.

The Children’s parade starts and ends at Glass House, going around several roads in the city of George Town.


Heavy cake is a traditional island cake

Heavy cake is a traditional island cake



What to eat at the Batabano Carnival

One of the most traditional sweets of the Cayman Islands is the heavy cake, a cake made of sugar, cassava and coconut milk. You can also try the conch stew, a broth made of vegetables and mollusks.

In addition, George Town offers you some options for eating out, such as Seven Mile Burger, Casanova by the Sea and Bread and Chocolate Vegan Bistro..


Conch Stew is a Caymanian dish

Conch Stew is a Caymanian dish



Travel Insurance

From we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurance. Read more information about all insurance offers here:



What to see and do inside the Batabano Carnival

Once you find yourself in the carnivals, you have a lot of activities you can do. If you brought children with you or just feel like it, you can watch the Children’s Parade that takes place a few days before the carnival. In addition, you can also see the different games and activities they perform.

Once the carnivals begin, you can participate in Le Masque Ball or masked dance, in the Food Festival, in the Las’ Lap or the Batabano Boating. You can’t miss for anything in the worldthe J’ouvert or the Grand Parade, as these are the main attractions within the carnivals.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world


What to see and do outside of the Batabano Carnivals

Some of the attractions in the city of George Town are:


Coral Beach

It is one of the most popular beaches in the city. It consists of white sands that are always clean, clear water that stretches across the horizon and various food and beverage outlets that are located in the vicinity.


St Ignatius Catholic Church

This is one of the Catholic temples in the town. It is a simple church with clean finishes and inside most of the decorations, beams and ceilings are made of wood.


Cayman Islands National Gallery

In its facilities you can find a large number of works by local artists dealing with themes of the identity of the locals, economic activities or even nature.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your ticket in advance through Tiquets:.

Book tickets in the city you are visiting


Safety at the Batabano Carnival



The city of George Town and Cayman Islands are quite safe places so you should not worry if you decide to walk the streets of the city both day and night. You only have to implement basic safety measures and that will be enough to have a good experience in the locality. Also, we recommend the following products to store your belongings safely:



Weather at the Batabano Carnival

The weather during the Batabano Carnival celebrations is generally hot, with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.


People dress in Mas Bands outfits at the Batabano Carnival

People dress in Mas Bands outfits at the Batabano Carnival



How to get to the Batabano Carnival


How to get there by plane

The closest airport to the city is Owen Roberts International Airport, which is the main air gateway to the city and theCayman Islands. The airport receives direct flights specifically from some cities in the United States and England. Once here, you can use the different means of transportation to get closer to the city center.

We recommend buying airline tickets through or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review


How to get there by ferry

Grand Cayman has its own port where it receives large cruise ships from various parts of America and Europe.


How to get there by bus

From the Airport take a bus to Agnes Way..


How to get there by car

From the airport take a private car or cab to George Town. The drive is approximately 5 minutes.


Where to stay at Batabano Carnival



The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa

4-star resort 3 miles from downtown. Rooms feature balcony or patio, private bath and television. Facilities include fitness center, bar, private beach entrance, swimming pool, parking and free wifi.


The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

5-star resort 4.7 km from the city center. Rooms feature air conditioning, living room and private bathroom. Resort features pool, fitness center, bar, beach entrance, parking and free wifi.


Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman

3-star resort 6 km from the city center. Rooms feature TV, kitchen, living room and private bathroom. The resort has 2 swimming pools, bar, gym, beach entrance, parking and free wifi.

We recommend you use to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.


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