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Carnaval of São Vicente, Mindelo's biggest event

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

What to expect during Carnaval in Mindelo

Your guide to Mindelo's biggest, most fascinating, and spectacular event on the Islands

It is said that São Vicente has the best Carnaval of all the Cabo Verde Islands... Coming to Cabo Verde for Carnaval? Here is what you need to know!

Carnaval 2024 will be held on February 13, 2024

A very exciting and magical time on the island, occurring annually on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, known as Shrove or Fat Tuesday.

If you are planning to experience Carnaval in Mindelo, make your accommodation bookings ASAP! Flights are also very important to have in advance!

Carnaval festivities begin on São Vicente a month before the Main Event:)


Mandingas begin warming up the Island for carnival events a month before Carnival begins, taking to the streets of Mindelo on Sundays, painted in black oil and tar, with their skirts, and costume, they dance and march through the neighborhoods of São Vicente with a whole crew of locals who accompany and dance with them, all in the spirit of having fun and of course, partying:)

On a Sunday before Carnaval, you may join in on the sidelines of the Mandinga celebrations, it’s a very lively way to integrate yourself in the true local Mindelo Carnaval Experience. The procession of Mandingas happens weekly every Sunday, until Sunday after Carnaval when the Mandingas have their burial, which ends the Carnaval festivities.

Children's and Teachers Carnaval

Professors and Students Parade the Streets of Mindelo

Occurs the weekend before Carnaval Tuesday, you may take to the streets of Mindelo and watch the school groups parade through Mindelo. This is a very special event with lots of thought, creativity, and care put into each school and group. You will notice that the children and teachers have their theme and costume. This past year our children had the theme of recycling / reusing, also music. It is incredible to see the children, parents, teachers and community come together for our children to have a fun carnaval.

Samba Tropical

On Monday evening before Carnaval, Samba Tropical infuses the streets of Mindelo! This is by far one of the most beautiful events to witness! WOW! The costumes, dance and color pop, will blow you away! Carnaval is the main event, however, Samba Tropical is a Favorite here! Heating things up for Carnaval, which is the ultimate event!


Carnaval the Main Event, happens on Tuesday in the late afternoon. Carnaval Groups that have been preparing and practicing in the evenings, months before Carnaval, will enter the streets of Mindelo, with all their flair, color, stunning customs, music and dance. You will witness first hand the resilience, creativity and community of the people of São Vicente!

The groups: Cruzeiros do Norte, Monte Sossego, Flores do Mindelo and Vindos do Oriente are responsible for a theme, creation of a float “andor”, music composition, costume and choreography which all coincide with the theme.

With all the passion and creativity that goes into this we must remember, this is competitive; each group hopes to win the Best of Carnaval, however, there is only one winner per year!

Last year, Carnival 2023, Monte Sossego won the Best Carnaval Group! We look forward to Carnaval 2024, and hope to see you there!

By: Angela Silva

What are we up to during Carnaval? Join us!

During Carnaval Season, we will have our daily tours on São Vicente: Full Day, Half Day and City Walk Tours; where will show our guests the important places they can visit during the events.

We will also visit the group practices to witness the preparation and commitment that goes into Carnaval.

Contact us if you would like to schedule your excursion: or WhatsApp +238 977 0914

Tickets / bracelets for bleacher seats:

Due to the way the ticket sales have been organized in the recent past, it is not possible for us to book in advance or even know the details of the cost etc - In the recent past tickets sales have been announced up to 2 days before the event, and only allowed 2 tickets per 1 person. We are looking for ways to improve this and will keep you updated!

This has not been something we have offered due the the organization of the tickets sales.


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