South America celebrates Oktoberfest!
Bavarian brew fiestas reach South America this month. Brazil and Argentina are typically known as lands of samba, tropical fruit & cachaça and tango, beef & malbec respectively. Few know about the polka, wurst, and beer-making tradition that was brought in these two countries by German immigrants in the middle of the 19th century.
Of the many places that celebrate Oktoberfest in Latin America, two in particular have gained some authority worldwide.
The first one, held in Blumenau, Southern Brazil, is considered the most famous and authentic Oktoberfest in Latin America. The town, founded in the mid-19th century by a small band of German immigrants created its first Oktoberfest in 1984, in order to help recover from a flood.
Today, it is considered the world’s third largest Oktoberfest in term of visitors, as it welcomes more than 700,000 people every year.
Held between October 4th and 22nd this year, you’ll find parades, Tanzgruppen, Schützenvereine, German singing, folk costume and German cuisine. Entrance cost to the expansive German Village Park is not available on the official website yet but it should be between R$12 and R$40 depending on the day (up to £10). One thing for is sure though, this year if you come with your typical costume you’ll get in cheap! See the full program here.
At about 50km from Santa Catarina, in Southern Brazil, Blumenau is also a great place for nature lovers. Close to the Atlantic Forest, its Ecological Park boasts waterfalls and a natural pool. In town, you’ll also find the lovely Edith Gaertner Horto Botanic Park and its small zoo.
Across the border to the south, Latin America’s second most famous Oktoberfest is in Villa General Belgrano in Argentina, dating back to 1964. This year the event takes place from 6th to 16th October and is getting ready to welcome more than 100,000 people. Each day starts with a beautiful parade on the main street, then folk costumes, dancing, and local food. Of course, local brews and international beer brands are quaffed.
Entrance costs from AR$200 to AR$500 (up to £22) depending on the day and if you prepaid your tickets. Find out more about the program here (Spanish only).
Less than 100km from the rather lovely city of Córdoba, Villa General Belgrano is surrounded by many rivers and rolling green hills. It’s a great area for horse riding in particular though you can keep going west to Argentina’s famous vineyards in La Rioja and Mendoza.