I've been getting questions by email about the dates of the La Ceiba Carnaval so I thought I would mention it. The official dates of the two week event are May 10 through May 24th.
These dates are according to a recent article in La Prensa. However, one year the people in charge changed the date just a few weeks before the event. There were so many complaints that I just can't imagine that they would ever do such a stupid thing again, but I'd hate for anyone to book reservations on the wrong week because they read it here!
The full name of the carnaval is la Gran Feria Isidra y Carnaval de la Amistad (amistad meaning friendship in Spanish). Parade floats and entertainers are scheduled to come from New Orleans, the Cayman Islands, and many other places.
It is said to be the largest carnaval in Central America. Generally La Ceiba hosts about 200,000 tourists. Several streets are blocked off days before the parade and big bandstands are set up. Local and foreign bands perform for free on Friday night and Saturday evening after the parade is over.
A sort of county fair and rodeo is held for the entire two weeks out near the airport. Activities during the second week include neighborhood carnavalitos (little carnivals) and the big parade and night time street party will be on Saturday, May 24th. This is one of the two times of year that all the nicer hotels fill up so make your reservations soon.
The official Carnaval website (link removed as site no longer exists) by the municipal Tourist Unit has all the information you might want to know − about the 2007 carnival! So typical. We are only five weeks away. Why do now what you can wait until the day before to do? However, if you plan to come, check this site a day or so before and, hopefully, they will have the schedule of events posted.
Some Blogicito carnival related articles from 2007 are here.
Update, April 17, 2008: Okay! I give up. I guess the powers that be think that enough people come to the Carnival as it is and don't want anyone else to know about it. Reader Quitos informed me that the "official" carnaval website linked above has lost their domain as of April 12.
See the 2013 carnival update here.