I started out an Events Calendar on the blog, and quickly realized it would be a ton of work and not enough time to list all the amazing things that take place around the DR.

So instead, I’m bringing something that’s more useful: a curated, once-monthly blog post highlighting the most exciting events that are coming up for the month (and leading into early the following).

So here it goes for February!

February Events

1. Carnaval Dominicano – Countrywide, every Sunday in February

February is known in the DR as “el mes de la Patria” – the month dedicated to the Nation. Four to five weeks of cultural events–mostly thanks to carrnival parades–and leading up to Independence Day on February 27.

Carnaval Dominicano kicks off all over the country today, Sunday February 4, 2018. La Vega, Puerto Plata, Santiago, are just a few of the major cities putting on a parade every single Sunday, usually kicking off around 4pm (flyers usually say 2pm but prepare for Dominican-time). Nearly every major town participates–for example Santo Domingo Este, San Cristobal, La Romana, Montecristi, Rio San Juan–so you’re sure to catch  one wherever you are. Even Punta Cana started their own version a couple of years ago.

If you are in La Vega, ask about the brand new carnaval museum just opened there.

And don’t miss the grand, national finale parade on Santo Domingo’s Malecon, usually the first Sunday of March. You can also view my photographs from last year’s national parade at this link. The children’s parade is also one of my favorites.

To read more about the significance of Dominican Carnival, read up on this article I wrote recently for Moon Guides.

2. Master of the Ocean Festival – Cabarete, February 24

The popular Master of the Ocean competition is making a massive comeback after being on hiatus in 2017. It starts with a festival event on Cabarete Beach, which is sure to be lots of fun. And stay tuned to their year-round calendar leading up to the competition in 2019.

3. Whale-watching season in Samaná – daily tours through March 31

They’re here – these gorgeous mammals return to the DR’s northeastern coast every year from mid-January through end of March to court, mate, give birth, and nurse their calves. It’s one of the most splendid nature shows in the DR. You can hop on a memorable whale watching excursion from the town of Samana nearly every day (pending weather).

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4. Cultural Profética comes to Santo Domingo – Hard Rock Cafe, Blue Mall in Santo Domingo, March 2

Santo Domingo’s favorite rock band, Cultura Profética, from Puerto Rico, is making an appearance at a stand only concert–at Hard Rock Live–which is very likely to sell out ASAP. If you haven’t heard them yet check out some of their tunes here. I love them because they have a hint of reggae in their beat.

Lebawit Lily Girma

A former corporate attorney, Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning travel writer, photographer, and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for US-publisher Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize and Moon Dominican Republic. Originally from Ethiopia, Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–fluent in four languages, she has lived in eight countries besides the U.S., including Belize, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Her articles and photography focusing on culture, adventure, and sustainable travel in the Caribbean region have been published in AFAR Magazine, CNN, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, and others. She is the recipient of the 2016 Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

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