Now, that you have decided to visit Colombia, you are certainly wondering what is the best time to go. It’s advisable to learn about the weather conditions, but not only. For an authentic and immersive experience with the population, it’s great to participate in local seasonal activities and celebration. Like everywhere else in the world, you will find festivals, celebration and other parties throughout the year. Here are some examples of events not to be missed during your trip in Colombia.
Carnaval de Negros y Blancos, San Juan de Pasto
This carnival at the beginning of January is a colorful festival that lasts for several days. The “Blacks” and “Whites” are celebrated with local parades and local bands. Therefore, it has been classified as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
Feria de Manizales, Manizales
Inspired by the Feria of Seville, that of Manizales is also turned on bullfighting, parades, music, and entertainment. It is also an opportunity to elect the international Miss of the coffee region. The village of Manizales is transformed, for a few days, into the most popular place in Colombia.
Hay Festival, Cartagena
In early January, Cartagena becomes the capital of culture, and attracts writers, poets, and all artists in general. This festival takes place in several cities in Europe and South America throughout the year. It aims to bring out new talents and create international projects related to art.
Carnaval de Barranquilla, Barranquilla
This event is definitely the one not to miss during a visit to Colombia. For four days, Barranquilla Carnival occupies the whole city, and nothing else matters. It is an incessant procession of musical troupes, dancers in colorful costumes, villagers disguised with masks, and papier mache decorations. After those of Rio and Venice, it is certainly one of the most beautiful carnivals in the world.
Celebration of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, Cartagena
The patron saint of Cartagena is celebrated during this essential Catholic event. In addition to religious festivities, there are also food stalls, music and dancers throughout the city.
Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro, Bogota
All theater, circus and performing arts enthusiasts know this international festival that brings together the best artists in the Colombian capital. This major cultural event allows spectators to discover spectacular and contemporary performances.
Semana Santa, Popayan
As a very religious country, Colombia has many festivities related to Saints and events of the Catholic calendar. The holy week of Popayan is a very good example, with its pre-Easter processions, and its pilgrims who come to witness the parade of men of churches and sacred statues.
Filbo Book Fair, Bogota
The Bogota Book Fair is a highly anticipated event for reading enthusiasts and writers from around the world. For nearly two weeks, different countries are represented through literary works of all genres. Words are honored in oral presentations, writing workshops and international book sales.
Celebration of la Leyenda Vallenata, Valledupar
In the north of the country, in the village of Valledupar, traditional accordions sound for several days. During the legendary Vallenata festival, the population lives to the rhythm of local folklore, tales, songs, and dances. There are even songwriting and accordion practice competitions.
Celebration Mono Nuñez, Valle del Cauca
In order to safeguard the traditional Andean music, many events are organized, especially around the city of Cali. Talented artists of all generations come to show their skills and to lead the crowd to dance with typical Colombian tunes.
If you like dancing, especially tango, you will be dazzled by this festival entirely dedicated to this art. Medellin is one of the world capitals of tango, and intends to prove it with these full days of shows given by the biggest names of the profession. This is the perfect place to take an introductory course, or just dream about the talent of the dancers.
Colombia Moda, Medellin
July is synonymous with fashion and design for the city of Medellin. The creators of Latin America meet at this event to find novelties that will be a sensation in their upcoming collections. Thousands of exhibitors come to show their new textiles and influence the fashion of tomorrow.
Feria de las Flores, Medellin
Also in Medellin, the flower fair is a delight for the eyes. Bouquets of all colors flood the streets, and saturate the air. Take out the cameras, and bring back authentic memories of your trip. In addition to locals who carry wooden trolleys filled with flowers, you will see all kinds of activities more or less related to the theme of the festival.
Celebration of the Pacific music Petronio Álvarez, Cali
This festival brings together all the musicians sensitive to the rhythm of the Pacific. This coast has its own sound, and the inhabitants continue to evolve over generations. Come discover the music of western Colombia, and wiggle until the early hours.
Jazz al Parque, Bogota
The most beautiful parks of the capital are transformed into a jazz scene for a few days in September. Brass, pianos and warm voices are in the spotlight for this very popular festival. Lie on the grass, take your picnic and enjoy the catchy music.
Festival Mundial de Salsa, Cali
While tango is more a Medellin’s specialty, Cali has a soft spot for salsa. The best national schools come to show their talent at this renowned festival, which hosts several thousand dancers. Visitors can participate in classes and attend beautiful shows.
Festival Internacional de Teatro, Manizales
International theater companies meet each year in Manizales to offer residents quality shows. Some play in theaters, others perform in the street, but all share a passion for staging and entertainment.
International Coffee Day, coffee region
Visiting the coffee region in October is surely the best time of the year. The cities of the valley celebrate the International Coffee Day, and make the event last throughout the month with tastings, festivities around this drink, and workshops on the production and cultivation of the plant.
Rock al Parque, Bogota
Like the jazz festival that takes place in September, this one is focused on rock music. It is one of the biggest musical events in the country, with well-known South American artists. In addition, admission is free, which is always appreciated.
San Andres Festival
Patron feasts are celebrated flamboyantly on the Caribbean islands, especially San Andres. Don’t miss this parade of colors, music and typical dishes that will put you in the local mood.
Concurso Nacional de Belleza de Colombia, Cartagena
The election of Miss Colombia takes place every year on November 11, in Cartagena. The most beautiful young women in the country parade in front of a jury to determine who will represent the nation in the Miss Universe contest. It’s quite special, but if you like beauty pageants and want to make comparisons with our French election, you can have a good evening.
Día de las Velitas, a celebration everywhere in Colombia
As in the city of Lyon in France, the day of December 8 is traditionally reserved for the Virgin Mary. In order to thank her and pay her homage, thousands of candles are lit all over the country’s cities. Public Christmas lights also begin at this time and last all month.
Fair of Sugar Cane, Cali
During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is very lively on the side of Cali. Between horse shows, salsa shows, local music groups and food stalls, this feria is a must at the end of the year. Come to party on furious rhythms, and spend a few days of madness before closing the month of December.
Alumbrado Navideño, above all in Medellin
Christmas illuminations have become a tradition in Medellin. They beautifully decorate the city from December 7 until New Year’s Day. Lights are placed on the river, others float between the streets and street furniture. This show is truly fairy and worthy of the most beautiful illuminations worldwide.