1. Semana Santa (various countries)
Semana Santa, or “Holy Week,” is the most important Catholic festival in South America. Beginning in late March and ending early April, the week-long event contains a unique mix of religious, pagan, Catholic and even commercial celebrations. Celebrations can be found throughout South America, including extravagant street processions during Good Friday in Quito, Ecuador; colourful flower painted murals in the streets of Ouro Preto, Brazil; and all-night street celebrations in Ayacucho, Peru before the start of Easter.
2. Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia (Mendoza, Argentina)
The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia is a five-day festival in Mendoza, the heart of Argentina’s wine country, complete with parades, folkloric events, fireworks, open-air concerts, and a royal coronation. This festival is perfect for wine-lovers.
3. Pujillay (Tarabuco, Bolivia)
To commemorate the defeat of Spanish troops by local armies in 1816, Bolivia hosts the Pujillay in Tarabuco on the second Sunday in March. Events of the festival include ritual dancing, singing, lots of music and drinking the much beloved chicha (corn beer).
4. Rupununi Rodeo (Lethem, Guyana)
Guyana’s Rupununi Rodeo is perfect for those looking to add a little more excitement to their Easter weekend. This three-day event drawing more than 10,000 visitors each year, with cowboys competing in roping competitions of cattle, as well as saddle and bareback riding of wild horses found in the Rupununi wilderness.
5. Lollapalooza Chile (Santiago, Chile)
Lollapalooza Chile is a must for any music lover, attracting more than 100,000 festival-goers every year. The celebration starts at the end of March and ends early April with a lineup full of local homegrown acts as well as well-known international groups.
6. Semana Criolla (Montevideo, Uruguay)
Most South American countries celebrate traditional Easter festivities. However, Uruguay likes to be a little different. With Semana Criolla (Creole Week), the festive celebration infuses gaucho traditions into the holiday week, which includes roping and rodeo competitions and even lyric competitions between payodores, or poets who romanticize the gaucho lifestyle in songs.