10 of the best: carnivals and festivals - 5. Trinidad Carnival, Caribbean
The event: The Caribbean’s best carnival, it is a riot of colour, steelpan and soca music and partying which has been copied around the world. www.gotrinidadandtobago.com/trinidad/carnival
When: February 20 & 21, 2012
What happens: Many cultural events take place across the island leading up to the highlight – two days of street parades before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, with things kicked off at 4am on the Monday when revellers take to the streets for the pre-dawn J’Ouvert party. Carnival Monday brings out elaborately-costumed “Pretty Mas” bands, dancing to soca music blasting out from speaker-filled trucks before the main event on Carnival Tuesday, when masquerades take to the streets en masse and vie for the title of Masquerade Band of the Year.
Do it: Flights with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Monarch and Trinidad hotels can be booked through Newmont Travel for the island’s carnival.