November is a great time to visit South America. The weather is warming up and the crowds are winding down. It is no longer high season, which means more space for everyone. While the tourists are few there are lots of things to do and locals enjoy holidays without the crowds.
If you are considering South America in November check out these festivals and holidays.
Both All Souls Day and Independence Day are early this month in Cuenca, Ecuador.
On November 2 and 3 prepare for a series of parties, parades and general festivities, but be sure to make hotel reservations in advance as many locals flock to the city to celebrate and accommodation can be scarce.
Feria de San Clemente arrives November 23. It is Peru's largest religious procession and definitely one not to miss if you're in around this month. In addition to the procession, there will be lots of music, dance, contests, and bullfighting. If you want to know more about this event and others check out November in Peru.
Jazz lovers often find a home in Buenos Aires as it is possible to see live music each night. The Buenos Aires Jazz Festival runs November 22-27 and it grows every year due to its popularity. Like many cultural activities in Buenos Aires, the aim is to bring art to the public and make jazz music accessible to all.
Brazil is a country that loves its German beer festivals.
Oktoberfest in Blumenau attracts over a million people each year and is one of the largest in the world. If Oktoberfest is not enough, there are celebrations later in the autumn for ale lovers. Münchenfest, a beer festival held every year in Ponta Grossa, is one of the largest festivals in Paraná.
Held late in November, Münchenfest has all the great German festival traditions you have come to appreciate with food, dancing, and parades.
Although a slight twist on the tradition, at the same time an electronic music, Münchentronic, runs concurrently.
November 9th marks Day of the Skulls in Bolivia. Somewhat similar to Day of the Dead celebrated in October in many Latin countries, here Bolivians respect the tradition of Indigenous Andean who, after the 3rd day of a burial, would share the bones of a passed loved one.
Some controversial but accepted (yet not endorsed) by the Catholic Church, in this tradition, a skull of an ancestor is often kept in the house to watch over the family. It is believed they give good luck and people pray to the skulls. Each November 9th, the skulls are given as offerings of thanks (with flowers, coca or cigarettes) and may be taken to a cemetery in La Paz for a Mass and blessing.
Colombia has many holidays throughout the year but this one could be the biggest this year. November 13, 2017 celebrates Cartagena's independence from Spain. This fortified city located on the North coast of Colombia is a large draw for tourists with its beautiful colonial buildings. It is often called the jewel of South America for its remarkable architecture; 2011 marked the 200th anniversary (1811).
The Independence of Cartagena Day is a national holiday.
Suriname celebrates its independence from the Netherlands on November 25. Officially named the Republic of Suriname, this nation was declared independent in 1975 over 200 years under Dutch rule, the country now celebrates each year at the Paramaribo Presidential Palace.
As with most national celebrations, the President addresses the country, along with parades, receptions, and an annual marathon. It's an interesting history, as there were a coup d'etat and military rule. In fact in the years prior to independence, 30 percent of the population emigrated to the Netherlands in fear of what would happen to the country on its own.