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Join the Party at Cayman Carnival Batabano 2020!

Events |

There is no better time to visit the Cayman Islands than during the Cayman Carnival Batabano festival. Held annually in May, the weekend-long Batabano celebration offers visitors an opportunity to witness one of the world’s most incredible parties and experience the true essence of West Indian culture through music, dance and contagious energy. 

Cayman Carnival Batabano takes place on Grand Cayman in George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands. This year’s Batabano celebration is scheduled for Thursday, May 7-Sunday, May 10, 2020, with Junior Batabano organized for Saturday, May 2, 2020

What is Cayman Carnival Batabano?

Sun, sand and soca are the main elements of Carnival Cayman Batabano. Featuring a colorful explosion of extravagant costumes, dizzying performances, rhythmic island music and family-friendly activities, Batabano (pronounced BAH-tuh-buh-nu) is a spirited showcase of Cayman’s local folklore, culture and religion. Similar to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras and Rio de Janeiro’s carnival, Batabano proudly blends Cayman’s diverse cultural past with its modern-day sophistication.

The word “Batabano” is a salute to the island’s turtling heritage and refers to the tracks left in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest. What was launched in 1983 by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman has become one of the Caribbean’s most highly anticipated events.

The festival is especially famous for its “mas bands,” or masquerade bands, that feature elaborate costumes dripping with jewels and feathers. Each band wears a different costume designed to reflect Cayman’s tropical landscape and the country’s African, Caribbean and European roots. Another identifying aspect of Cayman Carnival Batabano is the electrifying soca music, a fusion of African and East Indian musical elements. 

Batabano is divided into two celebrations: the more traditional, adult-focused events and the family-friendly programming that includes festivities especially designed for young attendees.

Adult Batabano: Thursday, May 7-Sunday, May 10

Thousands of domestic and international visitors flock to Grand Cayman to embrace carnival culture and get a taste of the non-stop action. Along with dusk-till-dawn parties and J’Ouvert—an early morning celebration that signals the countdown to Cayman Carnival Batabano—the biggest part of the weekend is Saturday’s grandiose street parade that winds through George Town. Here, visitors can cheer on tilt walkers, musicians and acrobats or actively participate in the parades and “jump” as they say in Caymanian lingo.

Junior Batabano: Saturday, May 2

Cayman Carnival Junior Batabano is a carnival for all ages. With a lineup of activities suited for younger generations, such as face painting, carnival rides, mask decorating, costume competitions and a kid-centric parade through George Town, children can join the fun and discover the joyful Carnival vibe.

Events Not To Miss

  • Le Masque Ball is an elegant masquerade ball with intricate costume displays and live entertainment by local and visiting musicians.
  • Batabano Food Festival is the ultimate street food extravaganza with a lip-smacking array of Caribbean fare to satisfy every palate.
  • Cayman Carnival Batabano Street Parade boasts one of the best parade routes in the Caribbean with million-dollar views of the world-famous Seven Mile Beach. Visitors can find a shady spot along the parade route or don an exotic headdress to join the energetic mas bands. (Pageantry hopefuls must contact their specific mas band of choice to purchase their outfit.) 
  • Batabano Las’ Lap is a fete that follows Saturday’s parade. With international artists, local DJs and soul-stirring soca music, it’s a perfect conclusion to Saturday’s festivities. 

Check out the full lineup of events: https://www.caymancarnival.com/scheduleofevents

What Grand Cayman accommodations are available during Batabano?

Stay close to the Carnival action at one of our South Sound and Seven Mile Beach villas. With private pools, elegant appointments and intimate gathering spaces to relax and recharge between festivities, our collection of spacious, luxury villas have everything you need for the ultimate getaway!

Where do I buy tickets for Batabano 2020?

Batabano revelers can watch the parade and attend the street fetes and food festival for free. For all the other carnival events, purchase tickets from https://eventpro.ky/.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience!