Escape Winter's Chill With These South of the Border Destination Festivals
The only thing better than a music festival is a music festival wrapped in a luxurious vacation getaway. After all, who doesn’t love a good excuse to travel? Besides, if you’re already planning to attend a music festival anyway, then why not scratch your travel itch on the way to the dancefloor. Whether you’re jonesing for the sort of suntan that can only be found in beachside tropics or you’re after adventures in historical cities bristling with hustle and bustle, there’s no shortage of festivals in South and Central America to add to the travel itinerary.
The only hard part is finding out where to go. Fortunately, that’s a whole lot easier now, thanks to a bit of elbow grease we put into the research. From fiestas to markets to rich cultural heritage and genuine people, Latin America shines for its spirited cultural festivals and its luxe exotic getaways. By further combining all the boutique razzmatazz of top dollar resorts, several “destination festivals” distinguish themselves from their peers. To make choosing one a little easier, the paragraphs ahead share some of our top picks in both continents.
Peruse our picks and choose one of the below for your next festival adventure! You’ll be glad you did.
Ozuna Cancún Fest in Mexico (November 4-8, 2021)
If the cold season arrived way too soon for you this year, consider the Ozuna Fest in Cancún. In addition to being a balmy change of pace, this sunny spot is the perfect way to unwind after a year of “rise and grind.” The area is known for its many swanky hotels, and the event is four nights packing a guaranteed Ozuna headliner set with included food and drinks. Plus a moneyback COVID guarantee.
Electric Zoo Cancun - Cancun, Mexico (November 10-14, 2021)
At under a thousand bucks a person, Electric Zoo Cancun packs just about everything you could want in a vacation escape at a respectable budget. The glam hotel options, multiple hotel takeovers, and frequent boat parties are just a few of the reasons people are flocking to this one. With monolithic acts like Diplo, Steve Aoki, Cash Cash, Alesso, and Kascade those who attend are expected to return home with tales of face-melting bliss too.
Holy Ship! Wrecked - Riviera Maya, Mexico (November 3-7, 2021)
What happens if we put a whole festival on a boat and swing it up to a resort for a full-on takeover? That’s the question Holy Ship! Wrecked aims to answer with their new event, which unloads at one of the sexiest resorts in Mexico, the Maya Riviera. Always packing a fierce lineup of hard-hitting dance music icons across several genres, Holy Ship! Wrecked is rowdiness wrapped in class. Bon voyage!
More Info: https://holyship.com/
Framework Cabo - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (December 9-13, 2021)
In the heart of Cabo San Lucas, the folks at Pollen have organized the ultimate end-of-the-year party and an ideal weekend of festival revelry. For house and techno fans who want to stay warm all the way up to the holiday, Framework is the perfect escape too. Accommodation packages include perks like heated pools, exclusive beaches, 24-hour concierge, and much more.
More Info: https://pollen.co/x/framework-cabo-2021-1
Universo Parallelo - Bahia, Brazil (December 22, 2022-January 3, 2023)
If festival-goers are your family and traveling is the only way you can imagine spending your holidays then head to Brazil’s 16th edition of Universo Parallelo. Spanning through both Christmas and the New Year, Universo Parallelo is a titan among dance music fans known for transporting people to another place. Not to be confused with a run-of-the-mill production, Universo Parallelo is one of the country’s most loved raves, like a portal into the center of Brazil's thriving wonderland. It also serves as a beacon for tourists who absolutely live to dance. As its name suggests, this legendary event is synonymous to tourists and locals in the region with the sort of magic a person only finds on the dancefloor.
More Info: https://universoparalello.org/en/
Departure - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico (January 6-11, 2022)
For the highest caliber house and techno along a shoreline in the Mayan jungle, head out to Playa Del Carmen for Departure. The area is a natural wonder known for killer surfing, sunny beaches, and top-shelf stargazing. The festival has plenty of music options too with three unique music stages with the main stage on the beach. Plus, some of the hottest pool parties of the season.
More Info: https://pollen.co/x/departure-2022-1
Ocaso Festival - Tamarindo, Costa Rica (Januray 6-11, 2022)
If lasers are a raver’s favorite meal, Ocaso Festival is the main course. Deep in the mysterious jungles of Costa Rica, the event is home base to house and techno music fans. It’s also a full-flavored taste of event production at its best in the country. This no-frills, but always over the top festival comes equipped with a list of heavyweight performers who share the stage alongside a cavalcade of the best dance music artists Costa Rica has to offer. It also has the distinction of being one of the few in the region to earn respect from the house and techno underground on an international stage.
More Info: https://ocasofestival.com/
Day Zero - Tulum, Mexico (January 7-9, 2022)
When Damian Lazarus decides to throw a party in Tulum, you’d better believe it’ll be a wild one. Irresistible in its vibe, upscale in its style, primal in a way that is seldom found outside the jungle, Day Zero is like an externalized vision quest with a top-shelf selection of house and techno. For fans, it’s the ultimate intimate memory with a legend to and for those who love to travel it offers a ton of tangential adventures to check out the food, culture, and scenery along the way.
More Info: https://dayzerofestival.com/
BPM Festival - Tamarindo, Costa Rica (January 12-18, 2022)
Perhaps one of the most exceptional events dance music events in Latin America is Costa Rica’s BPM Festival. Slated as the country’s biggest dance music event each year, the seven-day event brings thousands to the country’s “golden coast” for a blissed-out utopian jungle party complete with more than 30 labels and crews and an exhaustive list of dance music artists. The Tamarindo area, where the festival is held, is also a gem for tourists who come to Costa Rica. Between the Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort, the W, and all the other local resorts the toughest part about BPM Costa Rica is leaving when it’s over.
More Info: https://thebpmfestival.com/costa-rica/
Vujaday Music Festival - Barbados (February 9-13, 2022)
Set on some of the most scenic beaches in Barbados, Vujaday is one of the most luxe house music festivals in the region. From pool and boat parties to oceanfront stages, Vujaday is a festival that dresses to impress. Even the name “Vujaday” describes a completely novel experience that hasn’t been felt before. To top it off, it has the distinction of being one of the first events to kick off festival season.
More Info: https://www.vujadaymusicfestival.com/
Ibiza Spirit - Cancún, Mexico (February 19-26, 2022)
When 5 of Ibiza’s most legendary club bookers bring their biggest guns out to fiesta in an 8-day Cancún festival, you can bet the party will be over the top. In addition to being the plushest follow-up to Valentine's Day for couples, Ibiza Spirit is a winning getaway for anyone who over the course of the pandemic has been dreaming of the sultry beachside all-night dance parties and sunny days on a boat ahead of the club.
SXM Festival - Saint Martin (March 90-13, 2022)
Full of hidden beaches, designer shopping outlets, casino resorts, and decadent cuisine over crystal blue waters, Saint Martin is rightly known as “The Las Vegas of the Caribbean.” For poolside parties, yacht excursions, and full-flavored experiences born from the richness of French and Dutch cultures, SXM Festival fits in on the island like a bikini on the beach. For adults who demand high caliber class and a lineup supercharged with top-shelf house and techno, SXM Festival and Saint Martin are the perfect pair.
More Info: https://www.sxmfestival.com/
Tribal Gathering - Panama (March 12-27, 2022)
For a culturally rich festival in Latin America, where the themes, workshops, and even the expertly curated lineup are rooted in ancient indigenous wisdom, Panama’s Tribal Gathering is leading the way. The event trades in the luxe hotel suites for an earthy celebration of heritage. It also packs a vision for what festivals might aspire to be with a truly authentic flair.
More Info: https://www.tribalgathering.com