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Cruising Article –05/20/2011

Celebrate the Boi Bumba Festival in Parintins, Brazil

South American cruise destinations

The Amazon is famous around the world for its lively flora and fauna, but one destination in the region is known for its lively culture as well. During a Brazilian cruise, you can head to Parintins to experience a vibrant city unlike anything else on the planet.

Parintins is located on an island in the middle of the Amazon River, approximately halfway between the river's mouth and the central city of Manaus. This location in the heart of the rainforest makes the city inaccessible by road, so to get there you must take either a boat or a plane. Although the area is home to just 100,000 people, it holds one of the most popular cultural events in Brazil - the Festa do Boi Bumba.

This exciting festival, which takes place every year at the end of June, is a thrilling blend between Portuguese and Amazonian celebratory traditions. During the event, the people of Parintins divide themselves into two teams, with each team wearing either red or blue. These groups then compete against one another to come up with the best costumes, dances, floats and more. When you attend the Festa do Boi Bumba, you can marvel at energetic locals dancing alongside large floats decorated with flowers, tree bark, feathers and more.

If you aren't in town around the time of the festival, don't worry - there is still plenty for you to enjoy on a Parintins shore excursion. On a tour of the city, you can see Liberty Square, the city's central plaza; the Cathedral of Our Lady of Carmo, which is a great example of Portuguese architecture; and some of the arenas and clubhouses associated with the town's trademark festival.