Los Indianos in La Palma: A Unique Carnival Celebration

Los Indianos in La Palma: A Unique Carnival Celebration

26 January 2024

Discovering Los Indianos in La Palma

The Carnival of La Palma is quite an experience. It is known for its joy and festive atmosphere, but there is one event that makes it stand out in particular and attracts visitors from all over the world, who join the locals to celebrate a different kind of Monday: "Los Indianos de La Palma". This annual festival is held on the first Monday of Carnival week and is an event that combines history with fun.

The history behind Los Indianos celebrated in La Palma

Los Indianos is a tradition that dates back several decades, symbolising the return of emigrants from La Palma who travelled back from America and were named "Indianos". This event represents the success and fortune many achieved abroad and celebrated upon returning home with great wealth.

It was originally a parody of the pompous airs of the returned Indianos, who wore luxurious jewellery and costumes as signs of their success. Over the years, this popular festival, with white as the predominant colour, has become an essential part of the Carnival, providing a glimpse of the history and culture of the beautiful island.

Los Indianos festival

The Fiesta de los Indianos is an event that transforms Santa Cruz de La Palma into a stage full of life. The participants, dressed in white, walk through the streets of the capital of La Palma from the early hours of "Carnival Monday", dancing to the rhythm of Cuban music and parodying those original Indianos wearing their best clothes.

One of the festival’s highlights is the talcum powder battle, which takes place in the early afternoon and covers everyone in the crowd in a white cloud as they laugh and toast. A unique tradition that symbolises the joy and free spirit of the festival. 

The city of Santa Cruz de La Palma, from the Avenida de Los Indianos to the Plaza de España (renamed Plaza de La Habana for the occasion), is filled with Caribbean rhythms and an ephemeral white cloud for the day. Los Indianos is an amazing experience where locals and tourists come together to enjoy a day full of music, dance and fun.

Los Indianos during Carnival in La Palma

Photo by Georgie Pauwels, “carnival streets”.

Traditional attire in Los Indianos

The attire is a key element in Los Indianos and an essential part of the tradition that all participants must respect, always maintaining the parodic and festive element that characterises it. 

Those joining the festivities all dress in clothing corresponding to the epoch, predominantly of a white or beige colour, reflecting the elegant image of the emigrants from La Palma. Men usually wear suits and Panamanian-style hats, while women opt for dresses made of linen and hats adorned with flowers or made of straw.

Accessories are a must. Handheld fans, jewellery, banknotes popping out of pockets, suitcases and Havana cigars add authenticity to the outfit. This costume is not only part of the visual spectacle of the celebration but also reflects an important part of the history of La Palma.

Tips to enjoy Los Indianos

To make the most of the experience of Los Indianos in La Palma, follow these practical tips:

  • Arrive early: to enjoy the parade and take part in the activities, it is important to arrive early, as the streets start to fill up at 9 am. 
  • Dress appropriately: dress comfortably and in light colours, in line with tradition. Don't forget a hat or sunscreen for the day.
  • Plan your trip in advance: Given the popularity of the event, it is crucial to plan your transport and stay in advance as the island is often fully booked on these dates and you may find it difficult to find flights and accommodation easily. The best options to get there are by boat to the port of Santa Cruz de La Palma or by plane to La Palma Airport.
  • Bring your talcum powder: to add to the fun, don't forget to bring your bottle of talcum powder. It's an essential part of the party.
  • Enjoy the atmosphere: soak up the festive atmosphere and explore the streets of Santa Cruz de La Palma to the rhythm of the music - get ready to become part of this unique tradition!

The magic of carnival at your fingertips

Are you ready for the Los Indianos celebration? Plan your trip to the Carnival of La Palma and get ready for a unique event. History, culture, and fun make the Indianos celebration an unforgettable experience.

As you plan your trip, remember that exploring the "Isla Bonita" (Beautiful Island) is easier and more comfortable if you have your own vehicle. With TopCar, you can hire a car in La Palma that suits your needs, ensuring comfort and flexibility during your journeys. Travel miles of experiences with TopCar, but don't forget that the starting point is the Los Indianos celebration.