Jeff Rasley

...Experience Uruguay the auténtico way!

Candombe And The Uruguayan Carnival

Uruguay celebrates the longest Carnival Competition in the world! Starting at the end of January each year, local carnival groups compete for more than 40 days in 5 different categories for the Carnival title.


One of the 5 categories is called Candombe. Candombe is a drum-based rythm and a dance that the African slaves that were brought to Uruguay in the 18th Century used as a means to preserve their culture. Nowadays, it is one of the most interesting facets of Uruguayan culture and was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009. 


Candombe is an important part of the Uruguayan Carnival, which includes the longest Carnival Competition in the world! Starting at the end of January, local carnival groups compete for more than 40 days in 5 different categories for the Carnival title!

One of the 5 categories is ¨comparsa¨ - the name for a Candombe group, which includes the drum players, dancers and different characters that represent the African heritage.


During the Uruguayan Carnival, the comparsas compete against each other in the so called ¨Llamadas¨. The Llamadas, the ¨Calling of the drums¨ is the name of the drum parades that take place on one Thursday and Friday of February in the Barrio Sur and Palermos neighbourhoods in Montevideo.


But the comparsas also compete in the Teatro de Verano, the official Carnival venue,  with a theater-performance.


Candombe is present in many neighbourhoods of Montevideo throuhgout the whole year and you shouldn´t leave Montevideo without having experienced it!

Experience Candombe in a Group Tour from November to January - Approx. 3-3.5h

This tour is a cooperation with the Museo del Carnaval!

This walking and public transportation tour will allow you to experience Candombe by visiting a local “comparsa” (drum and dance group) and accompanying them during their weekly rehearsal in the heart of Montevideo.

The tour starts with a visit to the Museo del Carnaval where you learn important facts regarding the the history and evolution of Uruguayan Carnival. Then we take the public bus to Avenue 18 de Julio and Tristán Narvaja Street from where it is a short walk to the Cultural Center  “Mi Morena”. 

At the cultural center you will be welcomed by the members of Mi Morena and be able to observe how the dancers and typical comparsa characters rehearse. We then take to the street and accompany the comparsa on their rehearsal parade. We are sure that even the non-dancers among you will not be able to resist moving to the rhythm of the drums! 

This is an authentic Uruguayan cultural experience, organized by the Museo del Carnaval and the members of Mi Morena to guarantee you a safe and fun experience.

IMPORTANT: During this tour, we will be walking a lot: First, we walk approx. 5 blocks (approx. 5 minutes) to the bus stop, ride the bus for approx. 15 minutes, and then walk another 7 blocks (10 minutes) to reach the cultural center. Then we accompany the comparsa group for approx. 8 blocks before we walk back to Avenida 18 de Julio (another 7 blocks).

If the weather forecast announces rain or strong winds, the rehearsal will be canceled. Also, Uruguay Auténtico cannot be held responsible for rehearsal-cancellations by the drum group because of other reasons.  


  • 30 US-Dollars per person - a fair amount of the money goes to the Candombe-Group in order to support their Cultural Center and their participation in the Carnival Competition. Also the entrance fee of the Carnival Museum is included. 

  • Guaranteed with 4 participants. 

  • Starting time between 3 and 4 p.m. - exact time will be announced a couple of days before.

  • Duration: approx. 3 - 3.5h 


  • November 11th, 18th, 25th

  • December 2nd, 9th, 16th - December 23rd and 30th are subject to confirmation. 

  • January 13th , 20th, 27th


For an even more detailed description, availability information and any questions you might like to have answered, just send an e-mail including your desired tour date to: or just fill out the contact form below: