Oktoberfest where you least expected it? in Latin America
This may well sound strange to you, but Latin America has one of the greatest concentrations of German immigrants and descendants in the world. To realise why, you need to go back to the 19th century when an intense German emigration started (this was then followed with other waves during the 20th Century). The majority went to the US, but Brazil and Argentina were also a popular choice. The other important factor was the incredibly high birth rate among German women (about 10 children per woman) which helped to grow the German population in Latin America.
This is why today Germanic culture and traditions still remain important in countries like Brazil and Argentina. One of them is Oktoberfest, the German Beer Festival! And two of the most important places, after Munich, to celebrate it are Blumenau (Brazil) and Villa General Belgrano (Argentina).
The first Oktoberfest in Blumenau was created to help the city recover from a flood in 1984. Since its first edition it has been a huge success, and today more than 700,000 people visit it each year. Tanzgruppen (folk dance), Schützenvereine (shooting matches), German singing, folk costume and German cuisine are just few of the various activities during this 18-day event.
This year Oktoberfest is from October 7th to 25th.
Entrance is free on Mondays ; R$10 on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays ; R$30 on Fridays, Saturdays and before holidays. See the program here
At about 50km from Santa Catarina, Blumenau is also a great place for nature lovers as it boasts an Ecological Park in the Atlantic Forest with waterfalls and a natural pool. Also, there is the lovely Edith Gaertner Horto Botanic Park hosting a small zoo in town. And while you are here why not enjoy the beaches of Florianopolis, or still better, go further west to the amazing Iguassu Falls?
Villa General Belgrano
Due to the inauguration of its main street coinciding with the Foundation Day festivities in 1964, the National Beer Festival was born. Today, this 11-day event welcomes more than 100,000 people each year. Every day starts with a parade on the main street. Local brew and national/international beer brands are available on site. Folk costume, dancing, dishes and pastries make this festival a very good reason to visit Villa General Belgrano in October.
This year Oktoberfest is from October 2rd to 12th.
Entrance cost is AR$150 on 2, 3, 4, 9 and 12; free on 5, 6 and 8 ; AR$200 on 7, 10 and 11. See the program here
Less than 100km from the City of Córdoba, Villa General Belgrano is surrounded by many rivers and creeks; its endless green areas and woodlands, mild weather and unique natural scenes lure walkers to this privileged site year round. You can also take advantage of being here to go further west and visit Argentina's vineyards in La Rioja and Mendoza!