Another Carnival for the books! This was my 2nd year doing Carnival in Trinidad. I have only done Carnival in Jamaica and Trinidad (Brazil is still on my bucket list), but I love going to the one in Trinidad. I love everything about Carnival. The music, the dancing, the culture- it’s an event that brings people together no matter where you’re from with good vibes all around.
This year I had so much fun. I played with Harts both years because I love their costumes and the energy of their band, I’ve met so many amazing people in the past two years. This year I brought my good friend Racquel with me and we had a blast. I wrote a blog post on my first Carnival experience in Trinidad here, with lots of general info you need to know for your first time.
I got so many more questions on logistics this year for attending Carnival, and how much it costs and where I got my costume etc. You can read my first blog post (linked above for general Carnival inf0) and I will do my best to explain a little more in detail in this post as well.
My experience is a little different than the norm because I am hosted by Harts and they custom make my costume as part of our collaboration agreement. Carnival costumes are beautifully detailed and all handmade. They range from $3000-10,000 TT which averages out to around $400-$1000 USD depending on design and if they are front or back line costumes. When you join a band you pay for an all-inclusive package which includes your costume, access to parties, drinks, lunch etc. You can find out all the info on the bands website (I listed the popular bands in my previous Carnival blog post here).
- My biggest advice if you want to attend Carnival in Trinidad is to plan and book WAY in advance. Some people start booking right after Carnival ends for the following year. You don’t have to plan a year out but I suggest at least minimum 6 months in advance to make it easier on yourself. Hotel accommodations book up quickly, costumes sell out and flights get very expensive with limited options the closer it gets.
- Check both hotel and Air B n’ B options for accommodations. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency last year which is the best hotel and most centrally located for Carnival. Book in advance! This year the Hyatt was sold out, and I stayed in a 3-bedroom apartment in the heart of everything so luckily it was still very convenient.
- Girls: Wear comfy shoes! I usually bring heels for the stage and for picture purposes but then throw them off ASAP and put on either sneakers or comfortable boots. There are lots of great options for Carnival shoes you can get at CARNIVAL KICKS.
- Don’t need too much to accessorize with because the costumes are so elaborate but I always like to support local designers and you can find some fun accessories and jewelry from PLUM FLOWER CREATIONS. The designer and owner is from Trinidad.
I feel like all other general information you can find in my previous Carnival post. Feel free to comment if you have any additional questions and you can also watch my Carnival story highlights on my Instagram to see more.
Thank you HARTS for another amazing Carnival experience. If you’re interested to join HARTS for your Trinidad Carnival experience, you can book everything through their website, and tell them I sent you 🙂
Also thank you to JP Mora and Visionary Media House for capturing all my Carnival content!
Stay tuned for my full Carnival video that will be posted on my YOUTUBE channel later this week. In the meantime below are a few photos and close ups of my costume!