How much does playing mas in Trinidad cost? Carnival in Trinidad is EXPENSIVE … don’t doubt that!

With the post Carnival cool down over, it’s back to real life and figuring out the bills. The number 2 question, I’ve  gotten from readers is how much should I budget for my Trinidad Carnival plans?

Here is a detailed cost breakdown for Carnival 2012. I’ve included all Carnival and touring related costs. I recognize that this cost breakdown will differ depending on your own experience, but this is a rough average for any foreigner who can organize their own accommodation and transportation. If you’re looking for a packaged experience, expect to pay significantly more for everything.

Carnival 2012 Cost Breakdown

Overall costs are summarized below

As you can tell, playing mas in Trinidad is not a cheap event by any stretch of the imagination, especially if you’re going to fete and drink EVERY night while you’re there. Going to all inclusive fetes can get tiring by the end of a 7 day stretch since you’re going to see the same routines on stage, hear the same music and see about the same people, especially in the all inclusive fetes.


My cost estimate should be fairly close for most foreigners assuming you’re

  • Without a friend’s or families’ place to stay and have to rent a house or find a hotel. (Adjust upwardly if you’re using a full service hotel)
  • Without a family or friend’s car to use
  • You’re coming from some part of the Western region of North America with a month’s advance booking for your flight
  • Partying all week – you can adjust your estimate using the detailed breakdown.

All in all … Carnival in Trinidad is EXPENSIVE … but completely worth it on your bucket list … unless you’re playing in Tribe (then you can really play in Brazil to get the same experience from a costume perspective … shitty, poorly made, Chinese sourced costumes but great organization and facilities)

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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