Monday, January 24, 2011

What are the DATES of the San Fermín fiestas??

The San Fermín fiestas officially begin at 12 noon, on July 6th - with the much anticipated "chupinaxco" rocket blast at the Town Hall.  At this moment, as Hemingway described, and as Michener confirmed, the old city of Pamplona "explodes"!!  The first bullrun is at 8am, on July 7th, with bullruns each morning through, and including, the 14th.  The San Fermín fiestas officially end at midnight on July 14th, with the "pobre de mí" closing ceremonies at the Town Hall. Be there!! 
For some very graphic images of the sanfermines, visit this site:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

NUDE protests in Pamplona - July 5th!

Many of you have written to us, asking about the nude protests that have been taking place in Pamplona each July 5th, for the past 10+ years! This non-violent event in Pamplona has grown into a protest of about 2000 naked, or at least semi-naked, PETA members - all of whom are true animal lovers and much concerned about the treatment of the bulls, during the San Fermín fiestas. Most of these kindhearted adults wear not much more than their red scarves and tiny bullhorns on their heads, and, consequently, they are quite successful in gaining lots of attention and international news coverage for their cause! The exact time and route of the protests are usually unknown to spectators - and even to the participants, as well! But, you can be sure that the protests will take place on July 5th - sometime in the late morning through the afternoon hours, in the old city, Pamplona!

Rumors ran rampant this past July, 2010, that the nude protesters were not going to come to Pamplona on July 5th, so as not to draw more curious tourists and money to the San Fermín fiestas. However, rest assured, there were indeed hundreds of nude PETA participants, scattered throughout the bullrun streets and around the area surrounding the Plaza de Toros, and, yes, lots of photographers did show up to record the events in high definition!

In order to read more about these PETA demonstrations and/or to sign up as a nude participant, check out: For a great, colorful photo gallery of these nude protests, visit:


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Some FUN FACTS and NOT-SO-FUN FACTS about the CHUPINAXCO Opening Ceremonies - 12 Noon - July 6th:

The CHUPINAXCO takes place at 12 noon, on July 6th, at the Town Hall, in the old city, Pamplona.  However, because this is such a monumental event in the SAN FERMIN festival, you can expect that all nearby side streets are also packed with building-to-building-to-building revelers, all with varying degrees of wildly elevated BACs (Blood Alcohol Content).
The Town Hall Square (known as the Plaza Consistorial) measures about 2500 sq. meters in, you cannot even imagine how crowded the square becomes when the estimated 13,000+ revelers attempt to take their spots in the celebration!  This means that about 5 to 6 persons are jammed into each square meter of ground space!

You must wear sturdy closed-toe shoes!  Don't even think of wearing sandals!! There is broken glass all over the ground - so, especially if you want to run with the bulls, be very careful that you don't end up needing stitches in your foot, or feet!!

The Town Hall Square, during the CHUPINAXCO ceremony, is NOT a place for children or older people!  Once you get into the unforgiving crowds at the Town Hall, you CANNOT get out, until the event is over and the revelers leave the Square. Women and young girls report roaming hands on private body parts - unfortunately, due to the huge crowds, they cannot escape the ordeal until the crowds disperse - about one hour later!  During the celebrations, you can expect that there is a lot of very dangerous pushing and shoving, called "surging" by the locals. It gets very hot in the Town Hall Square, not only from the warm daily temperatures, but also from the body heat generated by the huge crowds packed into this small area! You can expect that it becomes very difficult to breathe, especially if you are a shorter person! 

For the CHUPINAXCO, it is best to make reservations on a balcony in order to witness this spectacular event...and to be safe, at the same time!!  We have a very limited number of balcony places for the upcoming Chupinaxco, on July 6th.  If you have not done so already, we strongly advise you to contact us right away, in order to secure a balcony for you and your group!